The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special Forces. The SBS can trace their origins to the Second World War when they were formed as the Special Boat Section in 1940. They became the Special Boat Squadron after the Second World War and the Special Boat Service in the 1980s.
The SBS is manned by ranks drawn mostly from the Royal Marines and carries out a role similar to the Special Air Service, but with a traditionally stronger focus on amphibious operations. Two of the SBS's four squadrons, C and X, are configured for general operations. S squadron specialises in the use of minisubs and small boats and M squadron specialises in Maritime Counter Terrorism. The SBS also operates on dry land, with recent operations in the mountains of landlocked Afghanistan and in the deserts of Iraq. Their main tasks include intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism operations (surveillance or offensive action), sabotage and the disruption of enemy infrastructure, capture of specific individuals, close protection of senior politicians and military personnel, plus reconnaissance and combat action on enemy territory.