14 Intelligence Company
14 Intelligence Company - sometimes referred to as 14 INT, 14 Company, or 'The Det' - was a British Army special forces unit, established during the Troubles, which carried out surveillance operations in Northern Ireland.
Before 14 Company was created, undercover military surveillance in Northern Ireland was carried out by a unit known as the MRF (referred to in different sources as the Military Reaction Force, Military Reconnaissance Force or Mobile Reconnaissance Force). The MRF had some success, but it's operations were eventually compromised. 2 IRA double-agents that the MRF had turned were discovered by the Provos and interrogated, spilling the details of a covert MRF operation based out of the Four Squares laundry in Belfast. Using information gleaned from the interrogations, the IRA ambushed a MRF laundry van, killing one undercover soldier.
With the MRF compromised, it was decided that a dedicated force of highly-trained plains-clothes surveillance operatives should be established for operations in Northern Ireland. 14 Intelligence Company was to be selected and trained by a specially setup training wing of 22 SAS. Additionally, SAS officers would form the unit's command. In 1973, 3 Detachments, or 'Dets' were setup, each within its own sector of Northern Ireland
During the Troubles, men from the SAS and SBS would serve tours with 14 Company. It was good experience for the special forces soldiers, who would not only enhance their assigned Det with their particular skills, but they also would, on completing their tour, return to their units with invaluable operational experience.