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Special Air Service of New Zealand

From Academic Kids

The Special Air Service of New Zealand (NZ SAS) was formed in June 1955 as an elite New Zealand Army unit capable of special missions. It was modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS)

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World War Two

Prior to the formation of the NZ SAS, Many New Zealanders served with the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) which had a close relationship with the SAS. It was nicknamed "the Mosquito Army" by Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell. Special Air Service soldiers would refer to it as the "Libyan Desert Taxi Service."

Malaya and Borneo

From 1955 to 1957 a NZ SAS Squadron was attached to the British SAS in Malaysia for the Malayan Emergency.

Vietnam

Based in Nui Dat, Vietnam, the SAS NZ 4th Platoon served under Australian command in November 1968, attached to the Australian SAS

War on Terrorism

Starting in 2002, the SAS NZ began operations assisting in the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan. On June 17, 2004, two SAS NZ soldiers were wounded in a pre-dawn gunbattle in central Afghanistan.

Organisation

1 New Zealand SAS Group

  • Headquarters Support Wing
  • Training Wing
  • 1 SAS Squadron (Air, Boat, and Mountain Troops)
  • 2 SAS Squadron (Air, Boat, and Mountain Troops)

Note - Teams of about 4 to 6 soldiers, led by a captain or sergeant, are the basic operational elements of the NZSAS.


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