National Task Force

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National Task Force
Active1991–present
Country Sweden
AllegianceSwedish Police Authority
BranchNational Operations Department
TypePolice tactical unit
RoleDomestic Counter-Terrorism and high-risk interventions
Size≈ 60
Motto(s)"Posse Ante Factum Audere Cum Convenit"
EngagementsVarious hostage operations
Capture of Mijailo Mijailović and several suspect terrorists
Commanders
Current
commander
Hampus Nygårds[1]

The National Task Force (Swedish: Nationella insatsstyrkan, NI), formerly known as the National Task Force of the Swedish Civilian Police (Swedish: Ordningspolisens nationella insatsstyrka), is a police tactical unit within the National Operations Department of the Swedish Police Authority.

History[edit]

After the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986, two state commissions were appointed that looked over Sweden counter-terrorism capabilities. As a result, the government gave the task to the Swedish National Police Board to organize the "Standby Force Against Terrorism" (Beredskapsstyrkan mot terrorism) within the Stockholm County Police Authority in 1990.[2] The group was soon renamed Nationella insatsstyrkan and became also a resource for the whole of Sweden. The right to make decisions about when they were used was delegated by the government to the Swedish National Police Board.[2] After a parliamentary decision in 2002, the NTF was transferred from the Stockholm County Police Authority to the National Criminal Police (Rikskriminalpolisen). In connection with the reorganization of the police in 2015, the NTF was placed under the National Operations Department.[2]

Tasks & operations[edit]

The NTF is meant to handle extraordinarily difficult or life-threatening criminal situations, such as terrorism and hostage situations. The main tasks of the unit includes:

  • Maritime operations
  • Securing evidence in complex or high risk situations

The unit also conducts intervention tasks in cities too remote for the reinforced regional task forces of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö to reach, and too complex for the regional task forces of the non-metropolitan regions to handle.

The NTF has participated in international operations in an advisory roll. They regularly accompany the personal protection details of the Swedish Security Service abroad, providing a CAT (counter assault team) capability. They were also deployed aboard the Swedish Coast Guard vessels participating in the EU-led border security operation Triton, acting as a boarding party.

The difference in the day-to-day intervention tasks between the NTF and the reinforced regional task forces is small and often blur.[3]

Organization[edit]

The NTF has one head of the unit with a number of subordinated coordinators, and a staff of experienced police officers from the unit. Under this management group the force is divided into 8 groups:

The NTF is part of the National Intervention Concept (NIK). Launched in 2015, this concept standardized and regulated the employment, structure and capabilities of the Swedish police's tactical units. The NIK divides the various tactical units into three levels of capabilities:[4]

National capability: Provided by the NTF

Reinforced regional capability: Provided by the RRTF (Piketen) in regions Stockholm, West and South.

General regional capability: Provided by regional tactical teams dispersed throughout their respective region. This capability exists in regions North, East, Mid and Bergslagen.

National Task Force during the 2017 Stockholm attack.

Selection[edit]

The unit recruits operators bi-annually. To be eligible for service with the NTF the applicant is required to have completed either: [5][6]

Applicants who meet the basic requirements are then tested on their physical and psychological stamina during two 2 day periods. If successful they're invited to attend a grueling 10 day selection course in the field, At the end of the recruitment process an average of 6-10% of the candidates remain and progress to the roughly 6 months long operator training course.

Candidates not already serving as police officers undergo a shorter, compressed police training roughly 18 months in length (including a 6 month probationary period) prior to attending the operator training course.[7]

Service[edit]

Members of the NTF work full-time in the force. At the units inception the operators used to work two weeks on the unit followed by two weeks of regular police work, but as the need for them increased they changed it to full-time to cope with the demand and the need for more training. Most members have prior military service and as of recently direct application from the military to the unit is possible.

The NTF has a close and active cooperation with the military, they have aviation support via the Air Force's UH-60 Black Hawks and regularly train with their military counterpart, the Special Operations Task Group.

The NTF also has an active cooperation with several equivalent units in Europe in place via the ATLAS counter terrorism network, especially with other Nordic units such as the Danish AKS and the Norwegian Emergency Response Unit.

For maritime operations the NTF is supported by the Coast Guard who's National boarding group operate Rigid-hulled inflatable boats.

RHIB:s from the National boarding group.

Armament & equipment[edit]

The NTF are issued a wide variety of weapons, namely being the MP5 submachine gun, assault rifles such as the G36, which have since been replaced by the LWRC M6[8][9] as well as shotguns. In addition, all operators are equipped with the SIG Sauer P226 pistol as a sidearm, which is the standard sidearm used by all Swedish police officers.

Snipers are equipped with the L96A1 AW sniper rifle, HK417, and according to pictures taken during US President Barack Obama's visit to Stockholm in September 2013, the new Sako TRG M10 Sniper Weapon System in .338 Lapua Magnum.[10]

The special equipment of the NTF is significantly different from that of the ordinary police. Operators are equipped with different radios, as wells as vest and uniforms from American manufacturer Crye Precision, ballistic Ops Core helmets and AN/PVS-31 night vision goggles. They distinguish themselves from other Swedish police by the green uniforms worn while operating in uniform.

Commanders[edit]

  • ????–2010 – Bertil Olofsson[11]
  • 2010–2015 – Marie Jarnérus[11]
  • 2015–present – Hampus Nygårds[1]

Similar units[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b af Kleen, Björn; Härdelin, Lotta (2017-06-04). "Elitstyrkan laddar för den nya terrorismen". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Nationella insatsstyrkan" [National Task Force] (in Swedish). Swedish Police Authority. 2016-10-06. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  3. ^ Schoultz, Eva (2013-06-28). "Gränsen mellan piketen och Nationella Insatsstyrkan granskas". Polistidningen: organ för Svenska polisförbundet (in Swedish). Stockholm: Svenska polisförbundet. LIBRIS 3679459. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  4. ^ Creator. "Region Öst övar det nationella insatskonceptet | Polismyndigheten". polisen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  5. ^ Creator. "Jobba på nationella insatsstyrkan, NI | Polismyndigheten". polisen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  6. ^ Creator. "Jobba på NI | Polismyndigheten". polisen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  7. ^ Creator. "Jobba på nationella insatsstyrkan, NI | Polismyndigheten". polisen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  8. ^ http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/04/21/lwrci-swedish-police/
  9. ^ http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/04/12/lwrc-ic-a5s-now-use-swedish-le/
  10. ^ "Instagram post by Lars Jonsson 🇸🇪 • Nov 30, 2014 at 2:05pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  11. ^ a b Bark, Susanne (3 June 2010). "DI Weekend: Med livet som insats". Dagens Industri (in Swedish). Retrieved 10 April 2017.

External links[edit]