For some time now there has been a perception that Close Protection jobs fall into two main categories, Executive and Hostile, with many people holding the belief that if you are operating in Afghanistan or Iraq you are in a hostile environment, and anywhere else in the world you aren’t.
This is obviously misleading and incorrect, and it is important that anyone who is already working or who aspires to work in this industry understands exactly what a hostile environment is and has the ability to protect his or her principal in one.
Some alternative words for hostile are: harsh, adverse and unwelcoming and in my opinion anywhere that has high levels of poverty, poor infrastructure, limited emergency or medical facilities, extremes of weather or is prone to natural disaster constitutes a hostile environment.
All of us know that as Close Protection Officers we are responsible for mitigating risk faced by our principals, whether that is a planned threat in the form of assault or a kidnapping attempt or an unplanned incident such as natural disaster or road traffic incident. Therefore it is essential that a CPO regardless of background has an understanding of hostile environments and has the skills required to operate safely and effectively within them.
During my career I have looked after a range of clients, from royalty and celebrities to business executives, and I have operated in over 25 countries across the world. Many of them were in my opinion hostile, whether because of high crime rates in the case of South America or civil unrest such as Egypt and Libya during the Arab spring, or simply because the areas we were operating in were under developed and lacked the levels of infrastructure we are used to in the western world, such as East Africa and India.
Anyone who is serious about a career in Close Protection must be prepared to operate anywhere in the world, including these hostile areas and will be expected to have the ability to not only recognise and mitigate against threats, but also deal with worst case scenarios when they invariably happen.
Training for the UK and adhering to the SIA criteria for CP training just isn’t sufficient.
The hostile phase of the Galahad Associates Close Protection Operators course isn’t all about contact drills in the sandpit. Lets face it anyone deploying to those areas will already have vast amounts of military, theatre specific experience and weapons handling proficiency, and anyone who hasn’t isn’t going to pick it up during 3 to 4 days training. Instead we concentrate on advanced navigation, vehicle extraction, personal survival and reaction to armed threat such as car jacking and illegal VCPs. We also look at cultural awareness and discuss the difficulties that are inherent when working in a range of different environments.
A huge amount of thought and experience has gone into the development of our close protection training courses. The extra modules aren’t marketing gimmicks, but rather essential skills required to be able to keep your principal safe wherever he or she decides to travel.
That is the reason our course runs over 26 days
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