National Task Force
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2007)|
|National Task Force|
|Active||1991 - Present|
|Branch||Swedish Police Service|
|Role||Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement|
|Engagements||Various hostage operations
Capture of Mijailo Mijailović and several suspect terrorists
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 special operations unit within the National Criminal Investigation Department of the Swedish Police Service. It is meant to handle extraordinarily difficult or life-threatening criminal situations, such as terrorism, hostage situations, armed kidnapping and serving high risk arrest warrants in cities too remote for the SWAT-units in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö to handle. It also deals with emergency rescue situations that would be too dangerous or difficult for other police units or emergency services. NI's missions are identical to those of Germany's GSG 9, French GIGN and the FBI HRT in the United States. In 2006, NI-officers were deployed to Lebanon to help evacuate Swedish citizens during the war between Hezbollah and Israel. NI officers have also been deployed with Special Team Six in Kosovo.
NI has one head of the unit (currently Marie Jarnérus) with a number of subordinated coordinators, and a staff of older, distinguished police officers. Under this management group the force is divided into 8 groups:
To be eligible for NI, the applicant is required to have at least 2 years of distinguished service in the police, a clean criminal record, and be able to pass a series of tests:
- Physical stamina
- Non-predisposition for several types of phobias, such as fear of cramped spaces, heights or water
- Psychological fitness
- Deep interview
- 10 days in the field
Members of the NI work full-time in the force. They used to work two weeks and then have 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. Part of their training is done with the Swedish armed forces. Several of the members are former members of elite military units, and the Nationella Insatsstyrkan is described by some as a paramilitary unit within the Swedish police force.
NI often train with the special forces unit of the Armed Forces, the Särskilda operationsgruppen.
NI has access to a wide variety of weapons including submachine guns (MP5), assault rifles (G36, AK5) and shotguns. In addition, all operators use the SIG Sauer P 226 pistol as sidearm, which is the standard sidearm used by all Swedish police officers. Snipers are equipped with the L96A1 AW sniper rifle (Swedish military designation: PSG90), 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 caliber .338 Lapua Magnum. The special equipment of Nationella Insatsstyrkan is significantly different from that of the ordinary police. Their equipment, such as communication radios suitable for diving and special ceramic bullet resistant vests, is specific to the situations they would be called upon for. They also distinguish themselves from other Swedish police by a wide variety of uniforms, including woodland camouflage.