Close Protection About Close Protection

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Operators of the Military Police Battalion of Special Purpose Cobras demonstrating tactics of rejecting the attack to VIP.Photo: D. Ostojic

Reactions of the CAT (Engl. Counter Assault Team) facing attackers. Photo: J. Mamula

Circular defence of the CAT team of the Polish Military Police unit for extraction of the VIP out of the area of attack. Photo: Janosh Goulish

Demonstration of VIP extraction from the area of attack.Photo: J. Mamula

Close Protection includes operational and technical actions, procedures and measures that are based on positive legislation, performed to protect live and physical integrity of VIP or to protect buildings or items , that are of special importance for the state or state authority.

In a narrow sense, close protection refers to actions, procedures and measures that are taken by authorized operators, specialists in close protection as a rule, and speaking in broader sense these activities can include subjects of private, civilian sector, primarily authorized private companies, as well as licensed [1] individuals.

Today, a regularity can be noted that defined purposes of many elite police and military units include tasks and duties of close protection. The volume and intensity of training in this area depends on plans and programs of training and of current needs of states under whose security systems concrete units operate. Thus, some units can be exclusively intended for tasks and duties of this kind and are, as a rule, units for protection of state leaders and their families, and are often referred to presidential or royal guards and the like. On the other side are modern units where close protection is only one part of the segments of operators` training.


Photo: J. Mamula

The professional study of close protection as a part of the special force operators` training is conditioned primarily by the need that life and physical integrity of very influential persons (and their families) must be protected almost continuously, if there are security and tactical reasons for it (which are usually evaluated by security intelligence services on multiple levels). Given the risk and severity of possible threats, not only to certain persons and their families, but also for wider community, since attacks on prominent individuals or buildings that are symbol of authority and power, always leave great impression to community, in the form of fear and insecurity of many, the protection of these must be organized and undertaken by highly trained men, that modern special force operators are. They are, as a rule, good connoisseurs of tactics (especially if they are close protection specialists), well trained shooters, physically fit, and their strong character is a prerequisite they will react rationally in stressful situations when threats occur and be at their best. These are reasons why today`s special force operators are entrusted lives of the most prominent statesmen, the most important buildings, items and the like.


Photo: J. Mamula

Training can be divided into basic and specialist and is usually carried out in groups, because of the rule that a group or a team of operators mostly take care of security of VIP (or VIPs), important buildings and items. Within this training operators study different types of formations and their applicability in different situations, rules of communication among group or team operators, their relations to VIP, or VIPs, techniques of fast weapon pulling during concealed carry, tactics of facing/rejecting of the attack, extraction of the VIP and the like. Operators also learn to use different vehicles and drive in different formations and conditions, to avoid obstacles at speed driving and similar. Groups and teams for close protection can often be reinforced with trained tracking and/or attacking dogs. The first ones, have a great role in conducting EOD inspection of buildings, vehicles and ground surfaces, and the second ones may be helpful in fighting attackers.

Close protection of VIPs, important buildings and items can be organized on ground and water surface mostly, and of course, it is possible to organize it in the air. When protection is organized on the water, retainers can be assisted by diving groups/teams.

[1] Many companies nowadays organize and carry out courses of professional training and specialising civilian individuals, who afterwards can work abroad, due to obtained certificates, in countries that acknowledge these certificates, which depends on the status of the certificate issuer.

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