Emergency Response Unit (Norway)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2009)|
|Active||1976 – Present|
|Role||Counter-terrorism and Law Enforcement|
|Engagements||Torp hostage crisis
Kosovo War (Through Special Team Six)
2011 Norway attacks
The Emergency Response Unit (Norwegian: Beredskapstroppen), call sign Delta, is a specialized police unit which is the main public force counter-terrorism unit in Norway. Its members are trained to perform dangerous operations such as high-risk arrests and hostage situations. The team members are recruited from the ordinary police force. It is organizationally part of Oslo Police District, but is responsible for the whole country, including oil installations in the North Sea.
The unit has among other participated in the Torp hostage crisis at Sandefjord Airport, Torp on 29 September 1994, the aftermath of the NOKAS robbery and the 2011 Norway attacks. The members have a wider variety of weapons than the ordinary police force, including SIG Sauer P226 pistols and Diemaco C8 rifles. Delta is similar to FBI Hostage Rescue Team in the United States. Members spend half their time training and preparing for missions and the remaining participating in ordinary law enforcement work in Oslo. For training in close quarters combat they often use a specially built city inside Rena Military Camp close to Rena which originally was built for training the Telemark Battalion and military special forces.
According to Emergency Response Unit's web site, they conduct in average almost one armed operation every day. In 2004, for instance, they conducted 422 armed missions and only fired their weapons twice.
One of the Emergency Response Unit's most dramatic missions was the Torp hostage crisis, where an elderly couple and two police officers were taken hostages by two criminals. In the end of the two day drama, the Emergency Response Unit executed a rescue operation rescuing all of the hostages and killing one hostage taker and arresting the other. In the aftermath of the fatal NOKAS robbery, the Emergency Response Unit arrested many suspects involved with the robbery. Since October 2006, Delta has focused their operations against gang crime in the capital of Oslo and arrested many criminals and seized many weapons used by the gangs.
2011 Oslo / Utøya attacks
The Emergency Response Unit was called to Utøya island and subsequently apprehended Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks in Oslo and Utøya on 22 July 2011. In the aftermath, they received further anti-terrorist training from Ireland's national police tactical intervention unit, also named the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Garda Síochána.
Deployment in Special Team Six
Members of the unit have been deployed in the multinational police unit, Special Team Six many times. Team Six has most notably served in Kosovo. One of the unit's most important task was to arrest war criminals. According to one of the Delta operators, during a rescue mission, grenades and bullets flew over their heads while Team Six rescued 50-60 persons from furious Albanians. This incident was a rescue of United Nations personnel trapped in a building. Team Six was commanded by a Norwegian operator from the Emergency Response Unit during this mission and during the period January–July 2004. Beredskapstroppen has had personnel deployed in Team Six ever since its foundation.
- Heckler & Koch P30 semi-automatic pistol
- Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol
- SIG Sauer P226 semi-automatic pistol
- Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun
- Diemaco C8 assault rifle
- Benelli M3 Super 90 shotgun
- SIG-Sauer SSG 3000 sniper rifle
- ARWEN 37 less-lethal weapon
- Heckler & Koch MP7
The unit frequently drove unmarked Mercedes Geländewagen, marked and unmarked Chevrolet Suburbans, Unmarked BMW X5s and marked and unmarked Volvo V70s. The Emergency Response Unit has recently started utilizing new 2009 Mercedes MLs as a replacement for the older Volvo V70 and Chevrolet Suburban. The Emergency Response Unit has two Rigid-hulled inflatable boats. The type has three engines with a total of 675 HP. For air transport the Emergency Response Unit uses military Bell 412 SP from the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
The operators use a special type of visor on their helmets which can withstand 9mm bullets. The French National Gendarmerie Intervention Group also reportedly use this visor. The unit uses a gas mask with a closed system (rebreather). They use advanced equipment to determine the type of chemicals they are up against. Their uniforms differ slightly from those normally worn by the men and women of the Norwegian Police Service; instead of the normal black pants and blue shirts they wear black jumpsuits.
- "‘Gardai will help us stop the next Anders Breivik’". Daily Star (Ireland). 26 March 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2014.