The National Republican Guard (Portuguese: Guarda Nacional Republicana)
is the national Gendarmerie force of Portugal. GIOE (Grupo de Intervenção de Operações Especiais) is the GNR’s Special Intervention Unit. All of its members are certified Special Operations Forces’ operators specialized in Counter-Terrorism. GIOE is the GNR’s last resort force, tasked with any mission whose dangerousness and complexity exceed the responsiveness capabilities of the rest of the forces, anywhere in Portugal or abroad.
The Finnish Border Guard (Finnish: Rajavartiolaitos) is the national security agency responsible for enforcing the security of Finland’s borders. Positioned in the Southeast district as well as in the Gulf of Finland district, the Special Intervention Unit is equipped and prepared to execute the most demanding border security tasks throughout the whole country. In addition it is also prepared, if necessary, to support the police in special circumstances involving internal security.
The Special Suppressive Antiterrorist Unit (EKAM) is the Greek counter-terrorism unit of the Hellenic Police. It is the most distinguished branch of the Hellenic Police. It operates all around Greece and abroad whenever is deemed necessary and has confronted challenging hostage situations and dangerous criminals and terrorists arrests since its creation in 1978.
The Sûreté du Québec, with its 5’600 Officers, is the provincial Police service for the Canadian province of Quebec. Within the Agency, the almost 40 years old elite Tactical Intervention Group’s (GTI) primary mission is to intervene during hostage-taking and barricaded person situations. They are ready, trained and equipped to operate at anytime, anywhere in this huge 1,542,056 km2 (595,391 sq mi) territory which is about three times the size of France
Operating out of Buenos Aires, the ALBATROS Group is the elite unit of the Naval Prefectura, the Argentinian service acting both as Coast Guards and a Gendarmerie force. The ALBATROS Group skills in amphibious and waterborne operations allow them to face the many challenging situations and environments they encounter while protecting the country’s rivers and maritime territory.
Poland has a highly developed system of law enforcement and a crime rate lower than in many European countries. Thus, there are still about 200 criminal groups operating across the country and it’s central location in Europe makes it an ideal territory for trafficking and smuggling of all sorts. Amongst those organized crime groups, those dealing with economic and custom/Tax crimes are fought by a small but very efficient and well equipped tactical unit belonging to the Customs and Treasury Service.
From the ancient and always busy Athens bay, MYA, the spearhead of the Hellenic Coast Guard can strike anywhere in the Aegean sea to protect Greece’s interests. Highly trained assaulters and divers, they are proud of their Spartan heritage and are ready for any maritime interdiction actions, hostage rescues or terrorism situations that may arise.
As New South Wales Police Force tactical unit, TOU is tasked with responding to high-risk and sensitive law enforcement situations including terrorist attacks, hostage crises, active shooters situations, violent crimes, armed offenders and high risk warrants. Operating out of Sydney, the very professional and well-equipped force maintains a high level of readiness through constant training and the acquisition of state of the art tactical equipment.
GEI s prepared for any situation that could compromise the security of Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and one of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. The quite young elite unit maintains a high level of operational readiness and works relentlessly to adapt to always evolving threats. They operate around the clock to keep the beautiful Catalan city out of arms way.
Specialist Response Group – Tactical Response Team is a highly trained police unit of the Australian Federal Police, based in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, and capable of deploying at short notice in order to undertake a variety of specialist policing tasks and to operate in urban, rural and waterborne environments. It is responsible for providing tactical solutions in support of AFP operations conducted either through planned deliberate actions or as an emergency response to a developing incident.
The Special Operations Group (Portuguese: Grupo de Operações Especiais, GOE) is the elite police tactical unit of the Public Security Police (PSP) of Portugal. It is integrated in the Special Police Unit (Unidade Especial de Polícia / UEP), whose goal is to offer tactical and technical response to any situations involving terrorism, or highly organized and violent crime.
GOE will be deployed for any situations that put national security at risk. Based out of Lisbon, they can be projected worldwide.
The Antiterrorist Operations Bureau (Biuro Operacji Antyterrorystycznych or BOA) is Polish central police highly qualified counter terrorism unit. Based out of Warsaw, they are tasked with dealing with any situations that pose a serious threat to public order and security in Warsaw or anywhere in the country. One of the oldest CT unit in Europe, BOA is also a member of the ATLAS network regrouping the police tactical units of the 28 Member states of the European Union.
BRI. The three letters unfortunately became renowned after the infamous terror attacks against the “Hyper Casher” and the Bataclan in Paris in 2015. But the unit have been on the forefront of the fight against crime and terrorism since the seventies. With a wide range of expertise and highly trained personnels, the BRI is Paris counter terrorism unit with responsibility over its 20 arrondissements (districts).
The Special Operations Group (SOG) is the tactical group of the Victoria Police and Australia’s first full time and dedicated Police Tactical Group. Based in Melbourne, the SOG’s highly trained professional officers provide Victoria Police with a counter terrorist, high risk arrest and critical incidents response capability.They also offer specialist assistance in performing tasks which are beyond the scope of operational police.
The Special Actions Detachment (DAE) is the special operations maritime unit of the Portuguese Navy and is part of the Portuguese Marine Corps.It is one of the smallest but most capable special forces units within the Portuguese Armed Forces. It is responsible for conducting special operations, beach reconnaissance, Combat Search and Rescue, maritime counter-terrorism, demolition operations, and other missions in support of Portuguese and NATO armed forces.
SCO19 (Specialist Crime & Operations 19) CTSFO (Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearms Officer) is the special operations unit of London’s Metropolitan Police (MET). This elite cadre of highly-trained police officers are on standby to respond to any terrorist or major crime incident that would occur in London or at a national level.
The Grupo Especial de Operaciones (Special Operations Group) is the police tactical unit of the Spanish Cuerpo Nacional de Policía (National Police Corps). The GEO is responsible for countering/responding to terrorism and VIP protection duties and but it can also be used in a support role for police operations outside the realm of terrorism. The GEO is part of the national police tactical units of European Union countries network known as “ATLAS”.
In the front line of local violent crime fighting in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, BOPE is a highly experienced and motivated special unit of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State (PMERJ) whose infamous “skull” badge is respected and feared. Due to the specific nature of crime in favelas, BOPE have an extensive and sough after experience in urban warfare and progression in confined and restricted environments.
The Special Response Team of the ATF was formed to manage the inherent risks associated with the investigation and apprehension of some of the United States most violent criminals. SRT operations involves arrest and search warrants, home invasion investigations, robberies, undercover operations, rural operations, tracking of personnel in rural areas by human and canine operators, high-risk surveillance, quick response to natural disasters and high threat protection detail assignments.
Despite its “only” 200 000 inhabitants, Geneva is a highly important place for both the international diplomatic and financial scenes. Thus, the potential threats that GIGG is managing are looking more and more like the ones of a much bigger European capital. With a certain “Swiss spirit” (modesty and discretion) the unit shows great professionalism and can implement wide competences, backed with top of the range equipments.
Landlocked in the central Balkan Peninsula with a strategic position, Kosovo is a disputed territory and partially recognized state with inter-ethnic tensions between Serbs and Kosovar. IG EULEX is tasked by the European Union with assisting local authorities with high-risk operations such as hostage rescue and arresting armed criminals and was put together with operators from several Police counter terrorism units from all over Europe.
The Border Patrol Tactical Unit provides an immediate response capability to high-risk incidents requiring specialized skills and tactics. With a cadre of full-time team members headquartered in El Paso, Texas and non-full-time members dispersed throughout the the country, BORTAC offers a global response capability and conducts operations both in the United States and in other countries in furtherance of the U.S. Border Patrol’s mission. The teams can be called upon to deploy immediately when needed.
The NOCs is a highly specialized counter-terrorism unit of the Italian State Police, capable of intervening from the 3 dimensions on the whole national territory within a few hours and with capabilities of operations on aircraft, trains, buses, embassies, or stadium areas. Famous for the 1982 rescue of US Brigadier General James Dozier, kidnapped by the Red Brigades, the initially named “Counter Commando Unit” is based in the outskirts of Roma,
The tactical arm of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Emergency Response Team (in French: Groupe Tactique d’Intervention) is a group of highly-trained RCMP members capable of employing specialized weapons, equipment, and tactics to resolve potentially violent and high-risk situations. ERT operations can take place day or night, in all types of terrain, locations and weather conditions, on land or at sea, both within Canada or abroad.
Their territory of action is in northern Bohemia and their mission is to fight against organized and violent criminals, kidnappers and dangerous or armed offenders of all sort. They can also be deployed to protect or restore public order or assist during natural disasters. Capable of deploying from every dimension, “Zásahová Jednotka” is a well trained, motivated and adapable intervention unit of the Czech Republic Police.
Active at national and international level, the special unit of the Austrian Law Enforcement system, known as “Special Task Force COBRA” has undergone several thorough evolutions during its more than 25-year eventful history. Geopolitical changes and evoluting security policy conditions have brought permanent adjustment and ongoing development of the organizational structures and scope of operations of this well known and respected unit.
Often deployed on short notice all over the globe by land, air or sea, the Special Forces Group operates in small teams for extended periods of time, far away from its base and in sensitive or hostile environments with little or no external support. With a very high level of physical and psychological stamina, a great team spirit and thorough tactical and technical knowledge, the unit is well prepared for those challenging missions.
The highest decorated regiment of the Italian Army, the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is an Airborne Ranger unit specialized in mountain combat. To this day it is the only “mountain paratroopers” unit in the world. It is also one of three Special Forces regiments of the Italian Army and has served both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Special Intervention Brigade is an elite unit with national jurisdiction and a mission to intervene whenever Romania’s security is at threat. Handling special and high-risk situations, such as hostage rescue and counter-terrorism operations, the unit carries the name “Vlad Tepes” after the legendary Romanian ruler, “Vlad the Impaler”, the son of Vlad Dracul, also known as “Dracula”…
On Sept. 24, 2014 the U.S. Marshals Service commemorated its 225th anniversary. As the oldest US federal law enforcement agency, the Marshals Service occupies a uniquely central position in the federal justice system. Within the agency, the Special Operations Group is a specially trained and equipped tactical unit deployed in high-risk and sensitive law enforcement situations including homeland security, national emergencies, domestic crises and natural disasters.
TEK is the newest (September 2010), the most professional, best financed and well-equipped state agency in Hungary. Under the direct supervision of the Hungarian Ministry of Interior, the Counter Terrorism Centre is tasked with preventing terrorist attacks, solving national and international hostage crises, capturing and arresting dangerous armed criminals, fighting organized crime and protecting the Hungarian government. They are also a member of the Atlas Network, a grouping of the special police units of the 27 states of the European Union.
The fourth largest local policing agency and the largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, or LASD, is home of one of the most experienced and respected SWAT units in the country. The SEB is often looked to by national and international law enforcement agencies for training and advice. Responsible for a territory of 4,752 sq mi, with a population of 3,000,000+, they are also one of the busiest teams in the United States.
From the small island of Mocanguê, in the Rio de Jainero bay, the Brazilian Navy Combat Divers Group can strike anywhere. Whether in the huge Amazon river and its surrounding hostile jungle, or in the oceanic strip of the Brazilian coast, they are ready for any maritime interdiction actions, hostage rescues or facility recovery situations that may arise. They are the tip of the spear of the Brazilian Navy and will play a central security role during the soccer world cup in June and then of the Olympics games in 2016.
As one of the most prestigious units from Italy, the 9th Paratroopers Assault Regiment serves as the only recognized Special Forces unit of the Italian Army. Named Col Moschin for their efforts during World War I for capturing the eponym Alps peak from harden enemy positions. They are today the spearhead of the Italian Army, conducting missions in counter-terrorism and other high-risk operations wherever Italy’s interest are threaten.
Operating out of Rio de Janeiro, the “Coordenadoria de Recursos Especiais“ (CORE) is the elite group of the Civilian Police. Their skills in advanced weapons and tactics and urban patrolling allow them to face the many challenges they encounter while “pacifying” and regaining ground in some of the most dangerous favelas of Brazil.
The Vancouver Police Department’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) has prided itself over the years by maintaining a high level of operational readiness through constant training, preparedness, and the acquisition of an arsenal with state of the art tactical equipment.
The team serves as the guardians of the city and operates around the clock as one of the most specialized units in Canada.
For the last ten years, the French Navy combat divers “ Commando Hubert” have been deployed to maritime operations and special missions as the country’s premier Special Forces unit. Very few are capable of completing the grueling selection and training process and those that survive can only be compared to a select hand full of units around the world. (more…)
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department S.W.A.T. team “Zebra,” is one of the oldest full-time S.W.A.T. divisions in the United States. Their skills, experiences, and expertise are highly valued and sought after. Serving high-risk warrants, negotiating hostage situations and protecting high profile dignitary personnel are just some of the operations that LVMPD officers deal with on a routine basis. (more…)
With extremely experimented assaulters, snipers, K9 handlers or divers operators, the ESI Special Intervention Squadron (formerly known as “Group Diane”, “DSU” or “CGSU”) serves as Belgium’s ultimate armed police force. Those humble professionals, highly respected in the elite units community are also very active members of the European counter-terrorism network “Atlas Group”. (more…)
Active since 1979 and stationed in the three largest cities of Sweden, Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö, the emergency response team of the Swedish Police Service, PIKETEN, is tasked with handling high-risk criminal situations and life-threatening circumstances such as armed or barricaded suspects and hostage crises.
A world leader in several economic areas, the Republic of Singapore’s 710 square kilometers (274 square miles) has the reputation of being one of the safest place on the planet. Singapore’s Police Force, STAR, takes its role very seriously as the tip of the spear and is prepared for any situation that could compromise the security of one of the world’s leading financial center and busiest ports.
As France’s National Police special operations tactical unit, RAID is a key player in the fight against all forms of high-profile criminality. Now part of the newly formed Intervention Force of the National Police (FIPN), RAID deals with Hostage Rescue situations, rogue shooters, high risk warrants, VIP protection and counter terrorism.