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South African Armed Forces

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Brief Description

1 Reconnaissance Commando
1 Reconnaissance Regiment (1 Recce) [Afr: 1 Verkennings-regiment] was established as 1 Reconnaissance Commando at Oudtshoorn on 1 Oct 1972. This was the first Special Forces unit formally established in South Africa. In 1974, the Commando relocated to Durban. It was upgraded to regimentatl status and redesignated as 1 Reconnaissance Regiment on 1 Jan 1981, when it was placed under the command of the Special Forces HQ, directly under the command of the Chief of the SADF. Between 1991 and 1993, the SF HQ was replaced by the Directorate Reconnaissance, which was directly under the command of the Chief of the Army. In 1993 the Dir Recon became 45 Parachute Brigade due to an organisational change and all the units were renamed: 1 Recce Regt became 452 Parachute Battalion. The burgundy colours of 44 Para Bde were also adopted for 45 Para Bde. On 1 Sep 1995 the Regt was redesignated as 1 Special Forces Regiment, keeping the burgendy colours. Finally, on 1 Mar 1997, as part of the military rationalization process of the SANDF, 1 Special Forces Regt was disbanded and its personnel were incorporated into the other SF regiments.

Special Forces Brigade
Special Forces Headquarters was established in 1978, at the Zanza Building in Pretoria. In 1980, Special Forces Headquarters was moved to Swartkop Park nature reserve outside Pretoria, which has subsequently unofficially been called 'Speskop' within the Special Forces community. In 1981, Special Forces became an independent formation.


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