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The SAS has been based at Hereford in the west of England for many years. Stirling Lines, named after David Stirling, was initially the home of the Regiment but in 1999 they moved to a former RAF base at Credenhill on the outskirts of Hereford.

Commanding officer John Woodhouse introduced SAS Selection in 1952. Before that, troopers had earned their credentials in the field.

The SAS Selection is the toughest selection procedure of any Special Forces team in the world.

It is a 6 month test of strength, endurance and resolve over the Brecon Beacons in Wales, the Elan Valley, and in the jungle of Brunei. The Namib Desert is also used as a desert conditions training ground. It includes tests of interrogation resistance. Anyone who fails the test is returned to his former regiment. They get only two tries.

After passing Selection, soldiers enter one of the Squadrons and then become members of a "Troop" which consist of Boat, Air, Mountain and Mobility each with special skills in their areas. They lose their previous rank when they join the Regiment. They are on probation for four years before they are fully accepted, trusted and trained in the SAS.

Pen y Fan image

Pen Y Fan

Apparently the more conventional officers in the British army do not much appreciate the "unruly" SAS members. During operations, SAS troopers and their officers are sometimes known to call each other by their first names!

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