aboutimage“ Ultima Ratio Regum ” From its Latin origin, the phrase translates to “The Last Argument of Kings”, a profound motto first inscribed onto the barrels of cannons forged during the reign of France’s King Louis XIV.

This meaningful inscription served as a reminder to all that when measures of diplomacy and tact have failed to reach common ground there is but one last resort among honorable men.

Across centuries this message has remained poignant and true and it is to the select forces of specially trained operators of today who risk their lives in the most strenuous of situations in order to protect the safety and liberty of others that we respectfully dedicate this publication.

While society tends to highlight its heroes by the sensationalism associated with movie stars and sports figures, the perilous missions executed by these special units occur, most of which are handled out of the limelight of the media’s grasp and under the radar of social awareness. Whether raiding a nursery school to attempt a rescue mission to save dozens of children from suicide bombers , assaulting a jetliner carrying armed terrorists in order to save innocent passengers held hostage on board or free-falling from a Hercules C-130 at night over an unknown territory, these silent heroes have a different idea of a hard day’s work.

Those men belong to a world where a handshake and a given word mean more than a written contract, and some of them granted us their trust and accepted to share a glimpse into their incredible lives. It has been nothing but an honor and a privilege to work with men of such character and courage and we hope that our respect and admiration for who they are and what they do will be adequately conveyed through the images and captions in the pages that follow.

With FLASHBANG released quarterly, each edition will allow you to embark on an incredible journey across the planet to discover some of the best, most operational and sometimes secretive police or military units. Through hundreds of exclusive and never before-seen photos, you will fast-rope from helicopters, ride speedboats or drive heavily armored trucks alongside these men, revealing amidst the adventure how they relentlessly prepare for the worst and train to be the best to protect us all.

It is going to be a hell of a ride, and we are happy to share it with you.