U.S. Department of Defense


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FROM: Leadership in Dangerous Situations : A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services, and First Responders. Edited by Patrick J. Sweeney, Michael D. Matthews, and Paul B. Lester (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011).


US government work


The Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist the bureau's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in Memphis to apprehend a married couple wanted on drug trafficking charges. The fugitive couple and an adult son, all with criminal records, were believed to be living in trailers in a mountain valley where outsiders would be easily noticed. The fugitives were known to stockpile weapons and had vowed never to be taken alive by law enforcement. Thus the FBI considered them to be armed and extremely dangerous.

Two HRT snipers along with two SWAT snipers were given the mission of positively identifying the fugitives and providing security and containment for the assault force. The snipers would have to travel several kilometers through wooded, mountainous terrain using night vision goggles (NVGs). The SWAT snipers did not have nighttime, overland movement capability, which is why HRT was brought in.