Today in 2020 I have a good handful of friends that I’m still in touch with who are from the SBS.
People tend to think that we were rivals, but in truth we’re one, despite the Army Navy/RM split.
Back in the mid 1970s when I joined the SAS, the SBS were the Special Boat Section. They then made a move to be called the Special Boat Squadron, and before I left the Regiment in the mid 90s, they had already become the Special Boat Service.
Different names…but the very same men.
As a member of an SAS boat troop for almost 20 years of my 23 years service, I worked with the SBS on many occasions in training and on operations through the 70s, 80s and 90s. Terrific lads and fun to be with despite their different language…”babies heads?”
Falconer and Shepherd, Ramallah, West Bank. 2002 (Yes my T shirt says Old Navy, but if he was wearing one, it would say Oldest Navy!)
The photo was taken back in 2002 with my good friend Duncan Falconer.
We were working as security advisers to the media in conflict zones around the world. At this time we were covering the Second Intifada, the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
A good few years before, we were both in an “O Class” submarine on our way to the Argentinian mainland as part of an extremely small team, to take out Argentina’s Super Etendard jets that were having a huge impact at the time on the Falklands War in 1982. On our way in, the Argentinians surrendered. They obviously got wind that we were coming, therefore the operation was called off, and we were immediately pulled back!
Duncan and I have plenty in common. Today we’re both best selling authors. We have both met the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his compound in Ramallah. We’ve both worked together in the Greater Middle East on Kidnap and Ransom operations (where we both made a fortune kidnapping), as well as looking after the media and others. We were both instrumental along with many of the lads within our two units, in bringing forward anti terrorist tactics and modus operandi back in the day.
Good to see how my mate Duncan’s come on so well with his great and extremely realistic books and films. If anyone has the experience to write them it’s him…well done pal.