3 Columns of Protection- Pt. 2

Yesterday I posted on, what I consider the left column of the 3 columns of protection-Bodyguard security.  Today I will blog on the right column of the three, the High Risk side also known in the industry as PSD.  This platform became a household name after the Fallujah incident.  Prior to the middle east DSS performed what we now know as the patform PSD.  That’s not to say that private companies did not go into non permissive environments and perform protection, but after Desert Storm and the Iraq invasion the risk/threat exponentially went up causing the protective footprint to take a major shift.

High Risk/High Threat protection took a major hit after the Fallujah incident whereby government leaders stepped in and regulated, governed and mandated just about every aspect of the business.  It didn’t help that it appeared that a certain company and its owner appeared to be untouchable and without recourse.  In my view this brought upon a fury of laws and mandates to include a specific training and certification that was overseen.  The second factor was that it appeared that any wrongdoing on the part of anyone under this column was exempt from any military or local jurisprudence.

High Risk’High Threat protection is at the highest end of protection.  Contrary to most domestic attacks where the principal is targeted, in PSD work the team members are targets as well.  They are viewed as a part of the occupation forces as well as an extension of the American cause.  This higher spectrum of the protection scale utilizes a more agressive patform than domestic EP and has absolutely no resemblance to bodyguard security.  They are seemingly trained more in weapons usage on average and utilize them in a more offensive manner than that of a domestic protection team.  It is said and believed by manythat this form of protection is “better’ suited by former military, especially former Special Forces operators due to experience non permissive environments, and their shoot and move experience within a group dynamic.  In fact, at its onset, Blackwater only hired former military personnel and was highly populated with former SF guys.  There are times when a PSD team will run “slick” camouflaging their appearance by using domestic in-country vehicles rather than up armored SUV’s.  Regardless of this covert appearance and not running guns up, the firepower remains on board.  Sometimes they will also reduce the motorcade size to further enhance the covertness of the motorcade and team.

Here’s the rub Stanley, the High Risk/High Threat footprint is being reduced by several factors: companies are findng it harder to work legally under so many new regulations, there is a lesser need as well as the fact that the bigger companies have swallowed up the majortiy of the remaining work.  That has caused a huge surge of high end specialists returning to CONUS.  On average the specialists or operators do not have the mediocre skill set to meld in to a desk job.  They tend to seek employment in a field that they are accustomed to-Protection.  In saying that, the column that closely emulates what they specialize in is Executive protection or close in personnel protection.

The Linkedin groups are saturated with the quotes, “I am returning from…..I am looking to work domestic security”  These specialists have a lot to add to any team, but it is my humble opinion that there is a major shift in mindset as well as training that needs to be done to successfully manage insertion back into the corporate  or private sector of EP.  Retraining the midset and platform is vital to do this.  My worst fear is if they don’t tranisition back properly something may appear threatening, which in reality is innocent behavior marl spark a reaction, based on their experience and someone may get hurt or an over reaction could freak out the protectee.  The worst of all bad situations is if one of these operators come back and links up in a standard bodyguard position without any reprogramming, coupled with the way that client base wants their security to perform could end up in bad situation.  I am not implying that every operator would reposnd the same way however under duress we all resort back to our baseline training.

High Threat/High Risk protection- the right column of the 3 columns of protection

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