Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s elite SWAT and Hostage Rescue Teams (HRT) are among the country’s most talented and highly trained tactical operatives. While each member of these select teams is expected to demonstrate competencies related to any role on the team, most of these operatives specialize into a specific unit role. The Assault Teams of these units are trained to covertly infiltrate or breach into buildings, aircraft, marine vessels, trains, and buses with minimal damage to hostages and bystanders, while still incapacitating hostiles.
In order to become a member of an Assault Team, FBI personnel must first serve for at least two years in the field. They may then participate in the two week selection process that utilizes a variety of extreme conditions and endurance tests to weed out all but the most mentally and physically capable. Qualified personnel must then complete an intensive training program before filling Assault Team jobs and returning to their primary FBI Special Agent role. They are then activated and deployed as incidents arise.
FBI Assault Team Operative Job Description
The FBI is the world leader in barricade situation resolution, with a database that includes more than 5,000 incidents. These range from airplane hijackings and hostage situations to criminal standoffs. The assaulters and breachers on the FBI Tactical units utilize the lessons gleaned from these incidents as well as the latest imaging and surveillance technology, weaponry, and negotiation strategies to resolve these situations.
Under the guidance of mobile surveillance teams, Assault operatives may silently enter occupied structures or take up positions around an area of operation in preparation for an assault. They may employ a variety of tactical methods like fast rope rappelling or smoke grenades to rapidly enter and neutralize targets.
Assault Team jobs involve performing the following functions:
- Maintain the highest physical and mental capabilities through unit and independent training
- Rapidly assess and respond to a hostile tactical situation
- Endure long periods of inactivity and silence while in a hostile environment
- Provide medical care and assistance to injured team members and bystanders
- Collect evidence and intelligence, evaluate it and relay it to appropriate investigators and intelligence analysts
FBI Assault Team Operative Salary
Assault Team operatives may be rated from GS-10 up to GS-15, depending upon their years of experience, military or law enforcement background, team assignment and responsibilities. If the assaulter or breacher is a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, they automatically receive a GS-14 or GS-15 pay rating due to their “supervisor” status. In 2012, the salary ranges for these pay grades were:
These annual salaries are also adjusted for cost of living, which may vary from a 12.5 to 28.7 percent bonus. Assault Team operatives also receive a 25 percent salary bonus designated Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) pay, which is meant to compensate law enforcement and tactical professionals for long hours and 24/7 availability.
All FBI field operatives also receive a generous benefits program that includes health insurance (with vision and dental options), Thrift Savings Plans, life insurance, and full retirement benefits after 20 to 25 years of service.