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Maritime Counter Terrorism (MCT)
As the UK's naval special operations unit, The Special Boat Service has the responsibility of responding to the threat of terrorism against any of the UK's maritime interests. Over the years, the specialised SBS MCT unit, M Squadron, has developed methods of rescuing hostages on oil rigs, cruise ships and cross-channel ferries. When one considers the prospect of mounting a rescue operation against a North Sea oil rig from the freezing cold seas below, one can speculate that the SBS sometimes has a more challenging task on their hands than their SAS colleagues!
The SBS regularly practice assaults on all kinds of vessels and installations. MCT operations usually involve simultaneous assaults from the air and sea. Chinooks from RAF Special Forces flights and/or Seakings/Lynx helicopters from the Commando Helicopter force are used to deliver SBS MCT teams onto target. SBS snipers aboard Lynx helicopters will often be used to cover maritime assaults. A selection of rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) are used to assault ships and oil rigs from the water.
The SBS also practices with the SAS for large-scale operations for which the one SAS squadron on anti-terrorist alert would not be sufficient. Such scenarios include a terrorist takeover of a Nuclear Power station or the simultaneous takeover of multiple sites.
The SBS wear special assault clothing including :
Assault gear / weapons include :
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