SAS test marches will be halted if temperatures rise too high - reports

Decision raises fears among members of the SAS and US special forces that elite unit is watering down its entry requirements

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The Independent Online

Test marches for SAS recruits will be halted if temperatures rise too high, it was reported last night.

The climbdown by the Army follows the death of three reservist candidates for SAS selection who collapsed during an exercise in the Brecon Beacons.

The decision to reduce the demands on candidates, reported by The Times, has raised fears among members of the SAS and American special forces that the elite unit is watering down its entry requirements.

One former SAS officer told the paper: “Once you start introducing health and safety then forget it. The feeling around the camp fire is that this is going to change [selection] and make it softer and easier.”

A former member of a US special forces unit added: “It’s all very well taking weather conditions into account in the training course, but what happens when they are deployed to Iraq in 50 degrees?”

One of the measures to be introduced to reduce the chances of a repeat of the deadly march is the introduction of extra water. This has also caused concern, the paper said, among special forces because discipline with available water is regarded as an essential skill in places where it is scarce.

However, another former SAS said the new measures were sensible: “Putting more water out there is not going to kill selection. If it had been out there on that day [in 2013] then those three guys would be alive. Perhaps we are pushing people too far.”

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