One Stop Tactical Shop


tags: AFP, Tactical Policing,

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From the September 2012 issue of the APJ.

In July 2012 the Australian Federal Police (AFP) stood-up the new Specialist Response Group (SRG), a capability that consolidates the AFP’s tactical and specialist operational policing teams. As a result, the SRG is capable of deploying at short notice to anywhere in Australia or, for that matter, the world.

SRG police deliver a range of services, including:

  • Tactical Response: a capability qualified to conduct tactical operations in accordance with Police Tactical Group (PTG) standards guided by the National Counter Terrorism Committee (NCTC);
  • Targeted Operations: a public order policing capability that also supports advance warrant / tactical policing operations;
  • Search and Rescue: a capability that can coordinate, conduct and assist search and rescue operations, particularly in remote locations;
  • Tactical Armaments: Marksman Reconnaissance personnel who provide rural reconnaissance, PTG marksman capabilities, urban and rural tracking and image capture and transfer;
  • Tactical Intelligence: a capability that deploys intelligence operatives to collect, collate, analyse and disseminate field intelligence in direct support to SRG operations;
  • Bomb Response: includes bomb appraisal and management capability specialising in appraisal, search, training, recovery and destruction of ordnance;
  • Police Negotiators: a deployable capability working with SRG and the broader AFP to negotiate with offenders or suspects, to achieve peaceful resolutions to critical incidents;
  • Air Support: an aviation capability providing specialised operational support to activities conducted by SRG and other units;
  • Communication Response: specialist tactical capability providing communication support in the field;
  • Medics: police officers with advanced medic-training who deploy with SRG members to remote environments where routine medical support is not readily available;
  • Canine (‘K9’) Operations: general purpose response dogs and handlers trained for high risk incidents and public order responses; and
  • Water Operations: specialist maritime and dive operators.

The creation of the SRG comes after a two-year planning and implementation process that culminated in the amalgamation of the ACT Policing Specialist Response and Security (SRS) capability with the nationally-focused, specialist operations capability, the Operational Response Group (ORG).

Service Delivery

All SRG members are experienced police officers who participate in continual training regimes in their respective disciplines. Most members are qualified to conduct multiple taskings; every member is, of course, a police officer first, and a specialist second.

SRG works to achieve three tiers of service delivery:

  • Day-to-day support operations in the Australian Capital Territory, as part of the AFP’s commitment to providing community policing services to the Australian Capital Territory;
  • Specialist support to national AFP operations throughout Australia, or in support of State or Territory police agencies, when those agencies request additional assistance from AFP; and
  • Internationally, in support of the AFP International Deployment Group’s capacity building and regional stability operations off-shore.

There is no other specialist policing group in Australia with such breadth of operational expectations placed upon them.

To meet these expectations, the SRG is structured to be a “one-stop shop” to support AFP operations and assist partner agencies where required, with a philosophy that shuns elitism and emphasises the need to be professional in delivering support efficiently, effectively, safely and, most importantly, with humility.

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