The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) serves as the United States’ main counter-terrorism and hostage rescue unit, founded with assistance from Delta Force. Known for rapid response to hostage and terror situations, HRT is trained in close combat, sniping, and other specialized tactics. Created in response to global threats, its training and tactical prowess have been honed through collaboration with various special operations units. Its mission is supported by specialized equipment, including an array of vehicles and weaponry tailored to diverse scenarios.
- Formation and Purpose: The FBI’s HRT was created as a reaction to the evolving nature of global security and domestic threats, especially after the 1972 Olympics incident. Its founding was influenced by Delta Force, and its main functions include hostage rescue and domestic counter-terrorism.
- Training and Capabilities: HRT members undergo rigorous training alongside other special operations groups and SWAT teams, building skills in close combat, sniping, and rapid breaching. Their adaptability makes them an elite force within the FBI, capable of responding to crisis situations within four hours.
- Organization and Selection: As of 2020, the HRT consists of 149 full-time members and operates two main teams: Gold Team and Blue Team. Selection is stringent, requiring relevant skills and experience, along with a commitment to a three-year Special Agent contract.
- Tactics and Mobility: The HRT employs a broad spectrum of tactics, such as hostage rescue tactics, precision shooting, counter-hijack strategies, and tactical site surveying. Their mobility is supported by helicopters and various land-based vehicles, enabling rapid deployment.
- Equipment and Arsenal: The HRT’s success is also attributed to its specialized equipment, ranging from helicopters like the UH-60M Black Hawk to various ground vehicles like Humvees and APCs. Their extensive arsenal includes sniper rifles and close-quarter battle weapons, allowing flexibility in mission execution.