The Home Service Force was a Home Guard type force established in the United Kingdom in 1982. It was linked to the Territorial Army (TA) and recruited from volunteers aged 18–60 with previous British forces (TA or regular) experience. It was introduced to guard key points and installations likely to be the target of enemy ‘special forces’ and saboteurs, so releasing other units for mobile defence roles. It was stood down in 1992.
The pilot started in September 1982 and consisted of four companies that were used to relieve the Army of guarding key points, consisting of 18-59 year-olds with training obligation of 4-5 weekends per year. In 1984 there were platoons in 11 cities and the force began expanding to 5000 persons nationwide, with the goal of establishing a platoon in every T.A. company by 1988. Its last unit was disbanded in 1993.
Membership was open to recruits who had previous military service, which could have been with the Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force, MoD Police or as adult instructors in the Army, Navy or Air Cadet Forces. Reserve forces of significant length of service were also eligible. This meant that there wasn’t the usual raw recruit training, just refresher training to bring everyone up to scratch, for example, some of the volunteers were used to the SMLE rifle and many a drill night was spent getting to grips with the SLR and then later with the SA80.