SASR - After Vietnam

The Australian withdrawal from Vietnam brought to an end the doctrine of 'forward defence' through involvement in South East Asian wars. Instead, the Australian military's new focus was on the defence of continental Australia against external attack. In line with this change, the SASR took the lead in developing the Australian Army's capability to conduct patrol operations in Northern Australia. This role is now filled by the Army's three Regional Force Surveillance Units.

Following the Sydney Hilton bombing in February 1978 the SASR was given responsibility for providing Australia's military counter-terrorism response force. In addition to being able to respond to terrorist attacks in Australian cities, the SASR counter-terrorism unit was also required to be capable of boarding ships and oil platforms.