Updated: Aug 5
The variety of tools and support available for the modern-day Bodyguard and executive protection (EP) agent are wide and depending on the detail or task at hand. The flooding of tactical gear in the market may be overwhelming for Agents to know what to bring to a mission. In this article we discuss some of the fundamental equipment necessary for common close protection missions.
Initially, It is essential to define the fundamental roles and objective of an EP Agent. The main priority is to protect a specific individual, group of individuals or their assets. This objective does not only include protection from physical attack, but also includes the overall well being of a client, whether it be their reputation and mental health. Agents often travel in a moment’s notice all over the world. Professional security Agent will have set gear for different situations and design these loadouts according to the specifics of a detail. There are several parameters that will dictate what type of equipment should be included in a loadout. Here is a basic list of things that I try to carry in my bag for most situations.
Weapons: personally, I always find carrying a weapon to be a necessity, but this is a situational view. Depending on the kind of work you are doing, you may find yourself carrying a weapon sometimes (if not all of the time). The ability and need to carry a weapon will be determined, not only, by your specific licenses and certifications, but also by the situation at hand in conjunction with legalities. Every EP agent should be aware that their first priorities are prevention, avoidance and de-escalation and these tools should only be used as a last resort. Once again, if you decide that you need to carry a weapon in detail, you better be well trained in its use as well as the legalities involved with deploying it during our executive protection training.
The ability to communicate is essential in any protective assignment. Whether you are communicating with team members or coordinating things from a logistical standpoint or even with the client, it is always highly recommended to have at least one form of communication equipment (I recommend a backup) that has been tested and used in the specific environment in which you are expected to operate. You should be familiar with the gear and how it operates. Always have a means of recharging this device, for example carry extra batteries, charging systems, portable power banks etc. A set of communication accessories may also be necessary: mouthpiece(mic), bluetooth/ standard headphones or an ear-piece may be needed, depending on the situation.
Earpiece for radio and phone:
Flashlight: To see in the dark can be useful in a different situations. Whether it’s searching a dark vehicle, sweeping in the yard for explosives or communicating with teammates in dark conditions. Smartphone lights are great to have, but having a light with high levels of illumination to explore distant situations that the phone can't do, especially if you need to use it while you are talking on your phone.
Night vision: To see in the dark but not be seen can add a tremendous value to the operation. At times we rather not expose our location and also to locate a potential threat before it's too late to surprise and intercept or too late for evacuation. Here some of the options available in the USA to explore the darkness
Multi-Tool: A small multi-tool can be handy in countless situations, whether you are using a screwdriver to access a battery pack or need a small knife to open a package, these tools are small and compact and don’t take up much room.
Medical Equipment: In case of a low risk level mission details you are more likely to be wrapping a sprained ankle or cleaning a scrape, but having the ability to stop bleeds, apply a splint, wrap a wound and establish airways, among other things, is a top level priority to most professional protection. No matter the detail, I will always have an extensive trauma kit (including AED) accessable (vehicle, hotel room etc). The types of product that you decide to pack will be determined by the following factors: Location, threat assessment, environment, client needs etc. If your location will put you and your client(s) further away from EMS, it is important to have the ability to stabilize your client(S) or teammates until you can reach a higher level of care.
Protection glasses: In case of emergency it's recommended to wear clear glasses or sunglasses to protect the eyes during emergencies.
Notepad: Carry a small notepad and pen can be used for anything from taking down a license plate or room number, to drawing a diagram of a building layout. It is easy to take notes on your phone, but once again, it is always nice to have a backup for when technology decides to fail you.
Miscellaneous Tools: Tape, zip ties/ flex cuffs, sharpies etc. The number of situations where small, useful things like these can help you is too vast for me to explain. But having the ability to fit in a backpack pocket can make an agent’s life much easier.
Food and Water: Depending on the detail, it can be hard to find and/or have the time to refuel your body. Keeping items such as protein bars, drinks or even a caffeine shot can be beneficial in keeping you at the top of your game. Remember, in order to care for the client(s), you must also care for yourself.
This list is very basic and doesn’t take into account the numerous and dynamic situations in which EP details may take place.