A SWAT (special weapons and tactics)team is an elite tactical unit in American and some international law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers. Their duties include performing hostage rescues and counter-terrorism operations, serving high risk arrest warrants and search warrants, subduing barricaded suspects, and engaging heavily-armed criminals. A SWAT team is often equipped with specialized firearms including assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, carbines, riot control agents, stun grenades, and high-powered rifles for snipers. They have specialized equipment including heavy body armor, entry tools, armored vehicles, advanced night vision optics, and motion detectors for covertly determining the positions of hostages or hostage takers inside of an enclosed structure.
SWAT Duties are: Hostage rescue, rescuing officers and citizens captured or endangered by gunfire,
countering terrorist operations in U.S. cities and stabilizing dangerous situations dealing with violent criminals (such as rapists, serial killers or gangs)
SWAT units may also employ ARVs, (Armored Rescue Vehicle) for insertion, maneuvering, or during tactical operations such as the rescue of civilians/officers pinned down by gunfire. Helicopters may be used to provide aerial reconnaissance or even insertion via rappelling or fast-roping. To avoid detection by suspects during insertion in urban environments, SWAT units may also use modified buses, vans, trucks, or other seemingly normal vehicles.
While a wide variety of weapons are used by SWAT teams, the most common weapons include submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles.
Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular sidearms.
Common submachine guns used by SWAT teams include the 9 mm and 10 mm Heckler & Koch MP5
To breach doors quickly, battering rams, shotguns, or explosive charges can be used to break the lock or hinges, or even demolish the door frame itself. SWAT teams also use many less-lethal munitions and weapons. These include Tasers, pepper spray canisters, shotguns loaded with bean bag rounds, and PepperBall guns.
AFEUR - Agrupación de Fuerzas Especiales Antiterroristas Urbanas
The Agrupación de Fuerzas Especiales Antiterroristas Urbanas ("Urban Counter-Terrorism Special Forces Group", AFEUR) is an elite unit of the Colombian Army, whose primary mission is to perform counter-terrorist operations and hostage rescues based on stealth, surprise and team work.
VIP protection is another task of the unit. For example, they protect the Colombian President when he travels, and provided protection for President Bill Clinton's (Army group) and President George W. Bush visits to Cartagena, in 2000, 2004 respectively. They also provided the second security ring to President Bush's visit to Bogotá in 2007.
Yamam - Special Police Unit
The Yamam, is the acronym for Special Police Unit, Yeḥidat Mishtara Meyuḥedet, Israel's elite civilian counter-terrorism unit. The Yamam is capable of both hostage-rescue operations and offensive take-over raids against targets in civilian areas. Besides military duties, it also performs SWAT duties and undercover police work.
The Yamam's primary duties are:Offensive or preemptive operations.Direct action, Undercover police operations.VIP security.
Most of the Yamam's activity is classified, and published Yamam operations are often credited to other units. Nevertheless, the Yamam enjoys a high reputation among SF professionals and the Israeli public.
Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) is a Canadian Forces unit responsible for counter-terrorist operations.
JTF2 describes its mission as "rendering armed assistance in the resolution of an incident that is affecting, or has the potential to affect, Canada's national interest."
JTF2 personnel are divided into two categories: Category A – special operations assaulters (SOA) who are directly employed in the tactical aspects of special operations and other high value tasks; and Category B – support and specialist personnel (SP) fill positions in staff officer, support, and specialist positions. This category also includes the special operations coxswain position.
JTF2's secrecy has kept the unit out of the Canadian public eye for quite some time, though it did appear in the Tom Clancy Rainbow Six video game series. A character named Roger McAllen, who was part of the former Royal Canadian Mounted Police SERT, ported over to JTF2 when they were handed over responsibility for counter-terrorism duties in 1993.