The Killing House is the two-storey, eight room building where the UKSF hone their snatch operation skills. They dispatch of the enemy with ease but I was thinking about the amount of time they spend there has anyone ever died during training in the Killing House?
The SAS is the world’s best when it comes to hostage rescue missions or a snatch operation as they’re also known. They’ll enter the room, destroy any terrorists and rescue the hostages before anybody even knows what’s going on.
How Are They So Good?
In a word, practice. Like anything, if you continually engage in the focused repetition of a skill then you’ll get better, and rescuing hostages isn’t any different.
The SAS are highly skilled soldiers before they even start their training. With years of military experience behind them (unless you’re joining the reserves), they have had the time and training to hone their skills from accuracy and reactions to speed and discipline.
It’s in their camp at Stirling Lines, Hereford that the main hostage rescue training facility is located that helps them level up. It’s called the Killing House and it’s where the UKSF conduct their Close Quarter Battle (CQB) training. Members of the Royal Family have gone through the scenario of being rescued so that they have some idea of what would happen should they find themselves in a real situation of similar danger. Princess Diana even had her hair catch fire when she was there.
The Killing House
The Killing House is a two-storey building and it’s kept as regular as possible to everyday buildings we use. There are four rooms on each floor and in each room there are pictures on the walls, furniture and the house even has toilets should any ‘hostage’ during a training day need to change their pants (which I’m sure they do).
There probably won’t be many snatch operations where they are out in the desert with terrorists standing out in the open waiting to be killed so some static target ranges that you have probably seen before are not suitable for this type of training.
The differences between the Killing House and normal buildings are there though. The Killing House has special rubber coated walls so that bullets are absorbed during training sessions and the gun fumes are extracted using fans. Lastly, there are video cameras filming every move, this can then be played back and evaluated to spot mistakes, find areas that can be improved upon and iron out the creases.
Live ammo is used at all times and the Counter-Terrorism team will sharpen their skills in there every single day.
Has Anyone Ever Been Killed in the Killing House?
This is what I was wondering recently so I wanted to do a little bit of research. You very rarely hear of SF lads getting killed at all, even on ops. They generally just tend to wipe the floor with the enemy with a few hairy situations along the way.
The government keep most of it hush hush for obvious reasons and at the level they operate at you would think accidents don’t happen, thousands of rounds in confined spaces being fired every single day can point to it being a numbers game though.
Sadly there has been one fatality that I could find from my research. Staff Sergeant Raymond ‘Growler’ Abbots is the only member of the SAS that has died during training at the Killing House.
Growler was born in 1951 and served with 4 Royal Tank Regiment before joining the SAS in January 1973. He was a member of G squadron and living up to the reputation of being a crazy bastard like all special forces lads he was known for his glass-eating pranks in the squadron bar.
He died in January 1985 during assault team training when he was shot by accident and passed away shortly after despite medical treatment. A legend and hero for his service that will be remembered by all that knew him.