Reinforced Regional Task Force
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|Reinforced Regional Task Force (Piketen)|
|Branch||Swedish Police Authority|
Reinforced Regional Task Force (Swedish: Förstärkt Regional Insatsstyrka), prior to 2015 officially known as Piketen (or Piketenheten)[note 1] is a regional special operations asset of the Swedish Police Authority, similar to SWAT type units in the United States. RRTF is called upon when situations occur that are too dangerous for ordinary police to handle such as hostage situations, serving high-risk arrest warrants and confronting armed criminals. RRTF units are based in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
The main task of the RRTF is interventions in dangerous situations or dangerous environments, e.g. hostage situations and situations including armed dangerous suspects. Other tasks are riot control, escorting VIP's/objects of value and serving high-risk arrest warrants etc.
RRTF, formerly known as Piketen, has been active since 1979. Its creation was an answer to the events of the Norrmalmstorg robbery in 1973, where robber Jan-Erik "Janne" Olsson took four hostages at Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg ("Norrmalm's Square") in Stockholm.
RRTF operators from Malmö and Gothenburg have been deployed with the EULEX Intervention Group in Kosovo (Special Team Six), tasked with high-risk operations such as hostage rescue and arresting armed criminals.
In 2011, the RRTF officially opened up for any female officers who wish to serve in the unit though none have passed selection yet.
Due to the major reorganization efforts of 2015, Piketen was reclassified as "Förstärkt Regional Insatsstyrka", or in English, "Reinforced Regional Task Force", RRTF.
The RRTF:s are stationed in the three largest cities of Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, providing a day round, year round tactical intervention capability in Police regions Stockholm, West and South. However the units can at request be put to use nationwide all over Sweden.
The RRTF:s are part of the National Intervention Concept (NIK). Launched in 2015, this concept standardized and regulated the employment, structure and capabilities of the Swedish polices tactical units. The NIK divides the various tactical units into three levels of capabilities:
National capability: Provided by the NTF
The RRTF:s spend about 30% of their time on training, which is mainly focused on high-risk intervention. For example; one or multiple dangerous perpetrators in rural terrain or in an urban environment and perpetrators in houses or vehicles (also including hostage rescue). Such dangerous interventions require a lot of advanced tactical training. The units strives to resolve any given situation as calmly as possible to avoid injury or loss of life and uses highly trained negotiators when tactically possible. Circumstances dictate whether officers operate in uniform or civilian clothing. They mostly make use of unmarked civilian vehicles, primarily Toyota Land Cruisers and Volkswagen Multivans, or special assault vehicles.
The units officers are well-trained in different methods of entry (MOE), such as rappelling and door breaching. They also receive training in close target reconnaissance, close quarters battle, TCCC, self-defense, and various weapon systems. Officers are then specially trained as medics, breachers, specialist drivers etc.
To be eligible for RRTF selection an officer must have at least 18 months of service, but exceptions can be made if the applicant possesses skills or experiences valuable for the units. After a series of physical and psychological tests successful applicants progress to a final week long field exercise, commonly known as "hell week". Applicants who successfully complete "hell week" then progress to 6 months of training before claiming an operational slot with their unit. The selection and training process has an attrition rate of roughly 90%.
The main weapons of the RRTF:s are the Heckler & Koch MP5 and Heckler & Koch G36C, the latter having since been replaced by the LWRC M6. The issued sidearm is the standard police issue SIG Sauer 226. The RRTF:s did have sniper rifles on trial but the project was scrapped as the usage of both sniper rifles and EMOE (explosive breaching) was limited to the counter-terrorism unit of the Swedish police, the National Task Force. As of late 2018, LWRC REPR rifles in 7.62 had been issued to the RRTF:s, effectively reintroducing the sniper capability at the units.
All operators are equipped with ballistic Ops Core helmets, plate carriers and flame retardant clothing.
Notes and references
- Helander, Magnus (19 November 2015). "Polisen vässar insatsstyrkor". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- "Piketen". www.polisen.se (in Swedish). Polisen (Swedish Police Authority). Retrieved 2016-10-04.
- Hjort, Anna (2013-09-05). "Känsligt uppdrag i Kosovo". Polistidningen (in Swedish). Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- "Piketenheten först med kvinnliga poliser". P4 Stockholm (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
- Creator. "Region Öst övar det nationella insatskonceptet | Polismyndigheten". polisen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-03-31.
- "LWRC IC-A5s Now in Use by Swedish LE - The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. 2017-04-12. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
- Stenberg, Göran (4 May 2013). "En vanlig dag på jobbet". Helsingborgs Dagblad (in Swedish). Retrieved 4 April 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Piketen.|
- "Efterlyst". Efterlyst Special. Season 2. Episode 1 (in Swedish). 2013-05-28. TV3. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "Efterlyst". Efterlyst Special. Season 2. Episode 2 (in Swedish). 2013-06-04. TV3. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "Piketen" (in Swedish). Swedish Police Authority. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- Efterlyst Special: Piketen May–June, 2013 on TV3; 2x40 min. Swedish-language documentary series about the unit.