FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT)
The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) maintain a dedicated counter-terrorism unit known as the Hostage Rescue Team or HRT. It was formed in 1983 to fill a gap in federal counter-terrorism capability.
Hostage Rescue Team - Role
In addition to counter-terrorism, HRT functions as a national SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) unit. HRT mission profiles include:
- Hostage Rescue
- Counter Terrorism
- Barricaded subjects
- Helicopter operations
- High-risk raids, searches, arrests, and warrants
- Mobile assaults
- Manhunt and rural operations
- Maritime operations
- Cold/extreme weather operations
- Dignitary protection
- Force protection for FBI personnel overseas
- Assistance to military special missions
FBI - HRT Video
Hostage Rescue Team - Organization
HRT is part of the Tactical Support Branch of the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG). It is based at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. It is thought to be manned by 100+ specially-trained FBI agents.
HRT is organized into 3 Tactical Units, Red, Blue and Gold, one of which is a designated maritime team. HRT Tactical Units consist of:
- Assault Team
- Snipers / Observation Team
Tactical Units rotate through 60-day cycles of operations, training and support.
Tactical Units are supported by:
- Tactical Helicopter Unit
The Tactical Helicopter Unit (THU) operates a fleet of helicopters, including Bell 412EP, UH-60M Black Hawk and Bell 407 models.
- Tactical Mobility Team
Vehicles operated by the Tactical Mobility Team include
- Chevy dual-axle pickup trucks fitted with assault ladders for storming buildings, static aircraft etc
- Chevy Suburban 4X4 SUVs
- DDGMC LAV-APC Bison 8×8 light armored vehicles
- command element
Hostage Rescue Team - Weapons
HRT operators are armed with a variety of weapons:
- 1911 .45 pistol (made under contract by Springfield Armory)
- MP510A3 - a variant of the MP5 SMG chambered in 10mm
- MP5SD6 - a suppressed MP5, chambered in 9mm
- M4 / M16 variants
- Remington 870 Shotguns
- Remington M40a1 sniper rifles
- HK PSG-1 Sniper Rifles
Hostage Rescue Team Operations
Some notable operations carried out by the FBI's HRT include:
October 2013 - Libya
HRT operators, along with Delta Force and the CIA, capture terrorist Abu Anas al-Libi in Libya.
more info: Abu Anas al-Libi Capture
June2014 - Libya
The HRT carry out a joint operation with Delta Force to capture Ahmed Abu Khattala, a militia leader suspected of being behind the 2012 attack on the diplomatic mission at Benghazi.
more info: Abu Khattala Capture