Close Protection

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Cobras specialists during VIP extraction tactics practice. :


Close protection includes operational and technical actions, procedures and measures that are based on positive legislation, carried out to protect life and physical integrity of the VIP, or to protect high-value infrastructure or items, being of special importance for a state.

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

Today, a common rule could be noted, that defined purposes of many elite police, military and military-police units include close protection tasks and duties. The volume and intensity of the close protection training within the training curricula differ, depending on the current needs of states under whose security systems specific units operate. Thus, some units can be exclusively tasked for actions of this kind, and are, as a rule, units for protection of state leaders and their families, and are often referred to as presidential or royal guards and the like. On the other side stand modern units where close protection is just one part of the operators` training.

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

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 commonly protects VIPs, important infrastructure and items. Within this training operators study different types of formations and their applicability in different situations, rules of communication between operators in a group or a team, their relations to VIP, or VIPs, quick weapon draw techniques during concealed carry, tactics of assault accepting/repelling, VIP extraction 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. Close protection groups and teams can often be reinforced with trained tracking and/or attacking K9s. The first ones, have a great role in conducting EOD inspection of infrastructure, vehicles and ground surfaces, while the second ones may be helpful in assault repelling.

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