The Team Leader
This individual may be the Principal’s Bodyguard, or the overall head of the protective operation. The job of the Team Leader is to make sure that everyone has the information they need to perform their function. He usually liaises directly with the Principal or the contracting security company. The close protection team Leader is able to fire and hire team members for most assignments.
Typically abbreviated as BG, he is a member the PES (discussed later). His role is different. While everyone in a team is technically a bodyguard (i.e. Their function is the same, regardless of whether they are drivers, or guard the garden gate. One BG is allowed per principal. Although there may be a night and day BG, generally one BG is available for each principal. The PES is the other ‘Bodyguard’. The BG will always be in close contact to the Principal. The Principal’s job is to protect him from all dangers, i.e. To provide ‘body coverage’. The BG is the principal’s inner defense and is responsible for ensuring that no threat reaches him. The BG, who is part of the PES team, is the one who never fights or stands when working. He flees (with the Principal, of course), providing body cover while he does so. This role may be, depending on the situation, completely different from that of the PES.
The Principal is the Bodyguard, and he is the main man or woman. He is at the centre concentric circles of protection. Concentric circles share the same centre. He is the final piece of protection, and he puts himself between any threat and the Principal. We will also learn more about the RST and the PES.
The Section for Personal Escort (PES).
Depending on their situation, the PES may have different functions. They provide an outer defense cordon, rather than the BG’s inner. They may serve the same purpose as the BGs in some cases, namely to provide body protection and escape from danger. In other cases, they may serve to protect the Principal and allow the BG to move him away from danger.
Depending on the situation, the PES might be as close as the BG in some cases, while they may be far away in others. You might find the PES outside a venue, in a car that is ready to go if necessary.
Security Advance Party (SAP).
Each assignment will have a different composition of the SAP. Some may have one or two dedicated members who do only advance work. Some may only need an SAP for a specific purpose. The SAP’s main function is to make sure there are no unexpected costs for the Principal when he travels on his business and social schedules. The SAP will check that the routes and venues are safe before the Principal travels. This may take place months ahead of time. It may also include the planning of an overseas vacation, which may be done minutes before the Principal arrives. The SAP is an important role. It must have great communication skills, be able to exercise personal security and be well-trained in search.
The Residence Security Team
As the name implies, the RST looks after the security of any property where the Principal is residing. It could be a house or a hotel. Even if they only reside for a few weeks, many principals have all their residences secured with an RST. Most bodyguards begin their apprenticeship here. The RST must be able to use modern equipment to help secure premises. They must work hard, hope to be noticed and then move on to better things. The RST may be asked to perform route reconnaissance and SAP work. You will be unable to complete these tasks if you do not follow the rules. If you do a great job, the next time someone from the PES takes a day off, you might be able to stand in and impress.
Although all members of the team should have the ability to drive, the driver’s role is often a solely dedicated one. This means that the driver is only employed as such. Close protection training may be required for this driver. It is a crime if they aren’t. The vehicle they drive is often the best weapon a close protection team has. It is better to have a driver who has been trained in close protection and can work with the team in an emergency than a chauffeur who is employed only because the Principal likes his peaked cap.