8 Things to Remember
As the designated protection you may have to create a plan for taking a domestic client abroad. If so, here are 8 things to consider before you set off.
In some third world countries, the advance can be more challenging to effectively execute; that said, never go on a road trip without making sure that you understand the routes or have someone with you who does. When traveling on the route with a local driver, and until you get to the final destination, always keep an attentive eye on the road and never assume that the local driver knows how to spot signs of danger, an ambush or a potential kill zone.
2. Welcome Party:
Where possible and depending on your manpower, always make sure that a qualified agent, or person who can follow guidelines, strictly to the letter; is always at the next venue with the welcome party. Without this resource, you’ll be shocked by the chaos with which you’ll be greeted upon your arrival.
As a foreign protection specialist always endeavor to keep a low profile and be extremely courteous and respectful to everyone who you come into contact with. Where possible be generous with gifts; you’ll be surprised by the Intel rewards that you’ll eventually reap through these actions.
4. Local Resources:
Interact with the local staff and security agents in a manner which will help you understand their intellectual capacity and even their level of training. This will assist you in selecting the best individuals from the local team who can effectively help you achieve your mission.
5. Variable Standards:
It will behoove you to quickly establish a rapport with local law enforcement, and most all with the commanders. Whenever you are working with armed law enforcement agents continue to monitor their levels of complacency until you are safely back to the hotel or residence with your principal. Why? Accidental discharges are commonplace and it’s not unusual to see armed law enforcement officers pointing the barrels of their rifles, often with fingers on the trigger, either knowingly or unwittingly. You don’t want any type of weapon pointing at your principal!
6. Assumption is the parent of mishap:
Never assume that any venue will have been comprehensively secured and diligently maintained unless undertaken by either you or your team. Create a means for continuous supervision at every location where you find yourself working alongside local security agents and law enforcement officers, especially in third world countries.
When you are lodged in a hotel or serviced apartments always consider your own personal security and mission OpSec as staff such as cleaners and room service will be very nosy in certain countries. I always hang the do not disturb sign on my door, except for a short period to allow for cleaning, and only after I’m completely satisfied that the room has been thoroughly sanitized of anything which may compromise the task.
8. Lured into complacency:
When operating in a foreign country you should always assume that you have been identified by your; clean appearance, nationality or skin color and are being targeted by criminal elements. A common and effective tactic is to use the opposite sex as bait in kidnapping attempts. Westerners, especially in third world countries need to remain diligent and be careful to avoid any unnecessary flirtatious interactions with strangers. Limit social events to only those organized by people you know and don’t ever wander alone into the city, especially at night. There will be ample time for all that after a successful mission.
By Benjamin Alozie
Benjamin Alozie is the Director of International Operations for ICON Global. Reach him at B.Alozie@Industry-Icon.com