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4 Reconnaissance Commando (South Africa)
Country South Africa
Branch Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa Army
Allegiance Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg Republic of South Africa
Service history
Active 17 July 1978
Role Reconnaissance
Part of South African Defence Force
Motto Iron Fist From The Sea

The 4 Reconnaissance Commando is a defunct South African Special Forces unit of the South African Defence Force that was formed in July 1978, specialising in amphibious operations.


The unit was formed on the 17 July 1978 as 4 Reconnaissance Commando at Langebaan. It was initially made up of members of 1 Reconnaissance Commando.[1] During the 1981 reorganisation, 4 Reconnaissance Commando was renamed 4 Reconnaissance Regiment (4RR).[1] The unit was said to be small with mainly white soldiers who operated in Angola and Mozambique[2]:Chp3

Re-organisation after 1992Edit

The next reorganisation occurred in 1992 when the Special Forces HQ was disbanded and renamed the Directorate Reconnaissance Forces and 4 RR remained but 2RR, the citizen force unit, was disbanded.[1] In 1993, a further reorganisation occurred when the Directorate Reconnaissance Forces was renamed as the 45 Para Brigade and 4 Reconnaissance Commando was renamed the 453 Para Battalion.[1] The last change occurred in 1995, 45 Para Brigade became the Special Forces Brigade and subsequently 453 Para Battalion is now called 4 Special Forces Regiment.[1]

Commanding OfficersEdit

Officers commanding were:[3]

  • 1978–1982 – Cmdt. M. Kinghorn
  • 1982–1994 – Col. J. Venter
  • 1994–n.d. – Col. K. Nel


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "4 Reconnaissance Regiment / 4 Special Forces Regiment". South African Special Forces Association. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  2. O'Brien, Kevin A. (2011). The South African Intelligence Services: From Apartheid to Democracy, 1948-2005 (eBook). Studies in Intelligence Series. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-84061-0. 
  3. "TRC Final Report". SABC. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 

External linksEdit

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