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How many FBI HRT teams are there?

Written by Abigail Walker - January 16, 2023

How Many FBI HRT Teams Are There?

The FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) is the premier counter-terrorism unit in the United States. As of 2021, there are currently four operational teams of highly trained tactical agents who make up the Hostage Rescue Team. Each team is comprised of specially trained hostage negotiators, weapons specialists, combat medics and other tactical professionals with extensive experience in hazardous missions.

  • The first HRT team was activated in 1983 as a response to increased terrorist activities around the world.
  • Since then, additional teams have been added to meet the needs of various global threats and security challenges.
  • Each team operates independently of one another, but all are overseen by a senior command staff based out of the FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C.

FBI HRT teams specialize in six core competencies: crisis management, high-risk operations, tactical deployment and execution, intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism and tactical training. They are equipped and trained to respond quickly to any situation that poses an imminent risk to public safety or national security interests - whether domestic or international - including hostage rescue scenarios, active shooter situations and more complex threats like bioterrorism and cybercrime.

In order to ensure their success on these assignments, each team is thoroughly trained on a variety of topics such as crisis negotiation tactics, medical care during hostage situations and advanced firearms tactics. Every member of an HRT team must maintain peak physical condition due to the extreme physical demands associated with these types of operations. This includes passing rigorous fitness tests several times per year, in addition to staying current on their skills through ongoing firearms and tactical training courses.

The FBI's Hostage Rescue Team has become an invaluable asset for law enforcement agencies throughout the world who rely on their expertise during times of crisis or unrest when lives may be at stake. With four active teams operating today—and possibly more on the way—the FBI HRT remains one of America's most critical counterterrorism assets both at home and abroad.

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