FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Teams

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FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Teams
Country United States United States of America
Branch Varies
Size Varies
FBI SWAT agents in a training exercise

FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Teams are specialized tactical teams (SWAT) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). SWAT agents are specially trained to intervene in high-risk events like hostage and barricade situations.[1] The FBI maintains SWAT teams at each of its 56 field offices throughout the country varying in size up to about 42 members.[2][3] In the event of a large scale problem that local law enforcement does not have the resources to handle, FBI SWAT teams from the local field office, as well as outside the local region can be dispatched to aid the local authorities.


SWAT teams are considered very versatile and can be used in various types of operations.[1]


An FBI SWAT team conducts an anti hijacking exercise at Keesler Air Force Base
  • High risk arrests and assaults (armed and dangerous subjects)
  • Hostage rescue
  • Car stops
  • Counterterrorism
  • Maritime Operations
  • Tubular assaults (aircraft, trains, buses, etc.)
  • Stronghold assaults (structures requiring specialized breaching equipment that local law enforcement might not have access to)
  • Fugitive tracking (in rural environments)
  • Operations in WMD environments
  • Dignitary protection
  • Coordinate multi-location warrant service
  • Site surveys for high visibility events
  • Aircraft Hijackings
  • Specialized sniper operations[2][4][5]


File:SWAT Officers 2.jpg
El Paso Field Office SWAT members in a target training exercise

Several factors can determine the use for SWAT. Some of those factors are:

  • The potential of violence
  • The potential risk to law enforcement and the public
  • The location of the warrant service and case requirements[4][dead link]

Enhanced FBI SWAT Teams

A total of nine to fourteen of the larger FBI SWAT teams bear the designation of "Enhanced FBI SWAT" Teams; they are specially trained to be able to assist the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team if needed.[5] Enhanced FBI SWAT teams comprise a larger number of personnel than regular teams, in addition to having access to a more extensive range of tactical equipment and methods. They are also available for worldwide deployment should the need arise, and can assist in military and intelligence special operations.[2][5]


Weapons utilized

File:FBI Atlanta SWAT.jpg
Atlanta FBI SWAT officers performing a door breaching during a training exercise

FBI SWAT Teams carry a variety of weapons that are generally found in most other law enforcement and counterterrorist tactical teams. The following are some of the primary weapons of FBI SWAT:

Vehicles utilized

File:SWAT Vehicles 1.jpg
Some FBI SWAT officers in a vehicle training exercise

The FBI SWAT teams use vehicles similar to those that local SWAT teams use, such as:

  • Specialized vehicles for insertion into tactical situations and for tactical maneuvering while in tricky situations.
  • In addition, if the SWAT officers want to avoid detection, they can use a variety of modified buses, vans, trucks, or other vehicles that would seem normal.


  1. "Up Close with an FBI SWAT Team Agent". FBI. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 2011-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "FBI SWAT". Retrieved 4 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "FBI". FBI. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Buffalo FBI". Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Our People and Capabilities". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 4 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links