|Country Hong Kong|
Part of Hong Kong Police Force
|Size Over 140 officers|
|Active July 23, 1974 - present|
Type Paramilitary/Civilian Law Enforcement
Role Counterterrorism, hostage rescue, VIP protection, underwater operations.
Established in 1974 by the British Hong Kong government and trained by the Special Air Service (SAS), the SDU is arguably one of Asia's finest and most well-known special operations units. Officers in the Unit take on both law enforcement and paramilitary roles in sea, air, and land. The Unit's primary functions include counterterrorism, hostage rescue, underwater operations, and responding to active crimes involving firearms. Membership in the Unit is highly secretive and known only to close family members, thus all officers wear masks during operations to protect their identities.
The SDU is a subdivision of the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) of the Hong Kong Police Force, and is headquartered in Fanling. The current commanding officer of the unit is Superintendent Ian Christopher Strange.
Equipment and Weapons
SDU officers currently deploy in olive green for urban operations and MultiCam for rural operations, replacing the navy blue jumpsuits worn throughout most of the Unit's history. Officers may also deploy in plain clothes during a rapid response when there is no time to change. Unlike many similar units around the world, all SDU officers wear balaclava hoods or gas masks at all times to protect their identities. Also unlike many similar police units, SDU officers do not wear patches or display the word "Police" on their uniform.
The Unit is currently equipped with the following weapons and equipment: