Put a HRT on ’em — 1985 style

This video, found on Soldier Systems Daily, is a 1985 briefing on the FBI Hostage Rescue Team. The HRT was riding high at the time, coordinating closely with military special operations forces assigned the hostage rescue mission (overseas; FBI had authority stateside), and years from its appalling 1990s performances that included a sniper team getting (deservedly) indicted for homicide and saved only by a legal maneuver that introduced a technicality preventing prosecution.

The video starts with some action video of live-fire training in tire houses, and then goes into individual section briefings on equipment, arms, snipers, etc.

As you can see from the video, their TTPs are really dated now, but at least in terms of HR assault this was the heat in the Reagan years. (So were the mustaches).

Unlike their military counterparts, the FBI HRT members are all very well compensated, sworn Special Agents, college graduates who must have already been selected into FBI and succeeded in training as SA’s before applying to HRT.

A significant minority of them were at the time military veterans, mostly former officers, and that’s probably even more true today. (The guy with the Randall on his belt is one who’s at least seen some ARSOF cross-pollination).

They’re obviously pretty tactically hopeless in the woods. This is one thing that hasn’t changed.

A wise old friend who had served his country as a combat soldier and as an intelligence officer once explained the mindset difference to us: “Soldiers suck as spies. Spies suck as soldiers.” He would illustrate this with many pungent examples from Army and CIA history, most of them unclassified now. But the whole thing extends into a nine-square matrix when you factor in cops (and the FBI are simply glorified cops), who suck at soldiering and spying. (Despite the fact that more FBI guys are doing spook stuff than chasing Mann Act violators these days).

And soldiers and spies? They suck at being cops, and we can quote further examples….

6 thoughts on “Put a HRT on ’em — 1985 style

  1. TRX

    > And soldiers and spies? They suck at being cops,

    “But-but-but… soldiers and police both wear uniforms, and they’re on the public payroll, and the police always claim they’re understaffed, and everyone knows soldiers spend 99% of their time goofing off or doing make-work anyway… we should get our money’s worth out of them!”

    Unfortunately for the countries who have combined their military and police forces, it never seems to come out very well in the end…

  2. Stefan van der Borght

    Combine is bad. Multiply is worse. Especially when one can ditch an ethos of integrity and bravery and replace it with less capable, but more numerous, regime loyal enforcers with little brains and less scruples. Say, I wonder if you’ve heard of the late Yuri Bezmenov and seen his vids on Youtube?

  3. Stefan van der Borght

    Concur. I ditched my three year old beard so as to not be profiled as an adherent of the Religion of Piece, and saved the Mo. Not sure if it qualifies as Horse Guards Parade, or 70’s Porn, but at least I can wear a gas mask again. Not a bad idea if the latest Ebola fad catches on here. Also, I finally get to learn how to use a genuine straight razor, and never have to pay a cent for those junky disposable cartridge face mutilating abominations ever again. The Beard will rise again, though…

  4. paul

    When I left the service I went to work for the FBI as support while I attended college.

    My intentions were to become an agent……6 1/2 years later I left to become a tradesman.

    I could write a book.

  5. Tom Schultz

    Loved the equipment displays and explanation of duties. Too bad they didn’t have a Team Daddy handy to show them how it should be done..