Archive | Close Protection

Roles of Close Protection Unit

A Close Protection Unit is tasked with protecting VIPs. In order to become part of this unit, operators who have already spent time as regular Military Police soldiers, must undergo an intensive selection process, before they can become part of the unit.

The Close Protection Unit works and trains from a camp in Hampshire and operates in areas as diverse as Columbia and Algeria, protecting everyone from Diplomats to Afghan Generals. Those would-be bodyguards must show above average intelligence and fitness as well as grit and determination before they are accepted on to the eight-week course.

The course takes the volunteer RMP soldiers back to basics, teaching them defensive and offensive driving techniques, new weapons systems and shooting methods. All of this is so that they might save the life of ‘the principal,’ as the VIP is referred to, in an ambush situation.

Alongside the lessons, recruits are developed physically. The intensity of the fitness programme does contribute to the failure rate on course. For most of those who fail the course, fitness or injury is the reason.

Another major aspect of the course is the ranges, where the new weapons and drills are practiced. The nature of the job, means that prospective bodyguards need to be well drilled in non standard engagements as well as a variety of new shooting techniques geared towards protection of an unarmed principal both on foot and in vehicles.

Close Protection Unit Course

close protection operative

For those who last the course, there is a two-week exercise, which acts as their final assessment. This test can be anywhere in the UK and sometimes involves guarding actual VIPs, who volunteer their services to enhance the realism. The assets brought to bare on the final phase of training are impressive, with helicopters routinely used to move exercising troops as they would be on the job.

For those who pass this final hurdle, the job awaits, where ‘the principal is the only thing that matters’, as one instructor put it. The newly qualified bodyguards or ‘BGs’, as they are know, could find themselves operating all over the globe, in small teams or on their own. For all those who pass, the job is a calling.

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Close Protection Operative

A Close Protection Operative or ‘Officer’ as they are sometimes called ia type of security operative or government agent who protects a person or persons. The person or persons are usually a public, wealthy or politically important figure in society.

Close Protection Operative Job Role

close protection operativeA Close Protection Operative’s job would be to keep their ‘client’ out of danger. The danger could be anything from theft, assault or kidnapping to harassment or threats.

Some of the most important public figures in the world like heads of state, senators, politicians and governors are protected by groups of close protection operators. They could be a private group from a security agency or they could be security forces of the government. To give an example of types of security forces within the government I recommend looking at the United States Secret Service.

Types of Close Protection Operatives Work

Contrary to popular belief, most types of work covered by a CPO isn’t like Kevin Costner in the movie ‘Bodyguard’. Their role entirely depends on their skill set or what they have been employed to do. They could be a part of extra units deployed to deal with IED detection, bug detection, counter sniper operations, pre-search operations or general background checks.

Some operatives train specifically in close quarter protection like those bodyguards in Afghanistan where they are no more than a few feet away from their client at all times and most are so professional in the work which they do that you’d not even notice that they were there.

Other Close Protection Operative Duties

Driving

In some cases, CPO’s are expertly trained in evasive driving techniques so that they can execute short-radius turns (J Turns), high speed cornering and anti-surveillance. They may have the role to act as decoys by getting rid of tails on  a lead vehicle.

Weapons and Tactics

Most career close protection operatives are highly skilled in weapons, tactics and a varied amount of weapons systems. Their systems may range from a small hand-held baton to a taser, pistol or full automatic weaponry.

Counter Sniper Weapons and Tactics

The real role of a close protection officer is to stop an attack before it even starts and this means they may have to ‘flush out’ snipers from their sniper holes. They are trained to know where a shot might be taken and use that information to clear potential hotspots and plan routes around them.

Daily Tasks

Daily tasks of a CPO can include the following, planning and assigning responsibilities, searching vehicles, transferring clients to their vehicles, travelling, security cordons when arriving at destinations and returning their client to a safe location.

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Close Protection Jobs in Afghanistan

Close Protection Afghanistan

close protection operative is a security operative whose primary goal is to protect their client, usually in a public environment. These clients could be public figures that are wealthy or political figures. A close protection job in Afghanistan might entail protecting your client from assault, theft, kidnapping, harassment or maybe even the loss of life.

Afghanistan as a country has been going through war in the past 10 years. The presence of armed militia’s and rebels has been a hinderance to the country and most of these are from surrounding countries. Access to weapons is an easy thing in Afghanistan and thus most ‘fighting age’ males carry AK47’s or a very similar weapon. Most Afghan’s carry these for protection but some insurgents obviously carry them for other reasons.

As a result they need to have close protection officers to keep watch and guard over them or their family when staying in the country.

Safety is a big issue not just to them but to all people in the world. So the question of why become a close protection officer arises especially in a high risk area as that. The demand is high, mostly because there are far less people who are willing to put  themselves in harms way.

Process for becoming a Close Protection Officer

Becoming a close protection officer is not a walk in the park. A client will only want the best security personnel around them. So, one has to go through a rigorous training exercises. Does this mean one has to have some military back ground to become a close protection officer? To some extent yes and to some extent, no. Being a former military officer or a law enforcement officer is only advantageous to giving you a better resume than a person who is just an ordinary civilian. Any person provided that they do not have a criminal record that can disqualify you can become a close protection operative.

The training will include some of the following things: communication skills, hand to hand combat, disarming of the armed assailants, first aid, negotiation, precision driving skills when under some kind of siege. Though the following will not be taught at once but rather in stages whereby you have to complete one level of competence successfully for you to proceed to the next stage.

For those wishing to carry fire arms one will have to undergo training and then request for a permit to carry a fire arm which can be used only when the need arises rather than to scare off people.

When you become a CPO you can now specialise in various fields which include:

Driving: most CPO must have a driving license and some extra driving skills to be able to get your principal out of sticky situations.

Daily task: this is where you assist the client to perform most of his activities and run errands.

Planning and assigning duties: when you are working in a team of CPO’s you can meet with team leaders and review all the activities of the day and set the plans and the responsibility of each CPO to make sure that the client will not be in harms way.

If you possess a university or college degree in something relevant to the personal protection job you can use it to secure a better job in with your clients as well as well paying assignments.

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