Tactical teams have been part of NATO’s counter terrorism strategy since the 1960s and 70s when terrorism became a prime threat to European cities and civilian aircraft. In the present day with the groups such as IS and AQ along with domestic home grown groups, the re emergence of soft target attacks have created chaos throughout Paris, San Borodino and Boston. Terrorist have moved away from sophisticated mass casualty bombings and attacks like 9-11 and instead opted for less sophisticated attacks involving heavily armed gunmen and small explosives. To counter this threat domestic counter terrorism police forces along with the FBIs HRT are the best solution to this threat.
The FBI HRT (Hostage Rescue Team) first created in 1983 was designed to protect against a 1972 Munich style attack. The unit evolved gradually and became the premiere domestic counter terrorism force in the United States. HRT which is based in Quantico Virginia receives training from Navy DEVGRU and other military Special operations units. The capability that HRT provides is the ability to use military force and tactics against terrorist on US soil with the precision designed to protect civilian life. HRT tactical operators utilize CQB tactics, which make use of less lethal flash bangs and small arms to clear rooms occupied with terrorist that might be holding civilians hostages. HRTs urban training allows the unit to effectively counter gunmen during a mass shooting incident.
HRTs arsnel consist of standard issue AR-15 variants such as the M-4, M-16, along with the German HK-416 , for close quarters situations in dense areas the lighter 9mm MP-5 and its many variants are employed. The MP-5 uses a smaller 9mm round compared to the AR-15s 5.56 mm round, this smaller round reduces the threat of penetrating walls and hurting civilians and bystanders. HRT snipers make use of marksmen weapons such as the MSG-90 or R700 to engage individual’s while heavy hitting M-82 50 cal anti material rifles are used for engaging vehicle’s and aircraft. HRT also has many different methods of deployment including helicopter born assaults, ground vehicle based assaults and water insertions.
HRTs size is classified but recent terrorist incidents and attacks have reflected there ability to rapidly deploy around the country at a moments notice to take out high level individual’s and rescue hostage’s. HRT was responsible for taking down the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013.