I came across a very interesting article over the weekend. It’s entitled “Can an Executive Protector Really Prevent an Assassination”? It was posted by John D. Byrnes, here’s a snippet from the article.
In famed author, Gavin de Becker’s well researched book “Just 2 Seconds,” he chronicles the seconds between an assassin’s “Moment of Commitment” and the Executive Protector’s “Moment of Recognition” and the resulting ability of that Protector to save their client from assassination.
His research is explicit; if the protector is 15 feet away from the assassin he has only an 18% chance of protecting his client. If he is 7 feet away from the assassin he has only a 45% chance of protecting his client. Only when he is within-an-arms-length from this assailant and he is completely “in the now”, can he offer a 98% chance of protection. If his mind is at all distracted, his percentages drop like a rock!
To read the full article click on this link: Blog.AggressionManagement.com
The successful protection detail favors the use of proactive measures to avoid the confrontation, while maintaining a reactive capability in the form of good plans, procedures and training to aid in escaping the confrontation.
You must take a proactive approuch to protection details,
1. The vast majority of organized attacks are successful.
2. The protector usaully die
3. The protector rarely fire their guns effecively, if at all
4. The protector gunfire almost never affects the outcome of the attack..
This is from a training book from DDS protection handbook… If there is a major threat… the chances are the protectee and the protector will die…. can not avoid this…. unless you have a team of 40 working all specs of details…
I liked the article and tried not to focus too much on the numbers themselves because in the end, there’s always “lies, damn lies, and statistics”, as we know. Every case is different.
But I think that the “prevent, not react” principle will always be at the core of what we do, and that the author meant to shake some of us out of a false sense of security. No matter how prepared we (think we) are, if “they” want to get to our protectees, they will. We can only hope to deter/stop the majority of attacks.
Just look at how easy it would’ve been to hurt the Bristish royals here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/04/charles-camilla-attack-vi_n_804174.html or how long it takes to neutralize this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rwxIjQZF98
And I can only dream of the resources of the protective teams in these two recent incidents.
Fascinating article, I’m a novice to the executive protection community. Hucky, I’m very grateful for the information that you and your colleagues provide here.
Solid comments gentlemen, I appreciate your contribution
Just look at some of the prep work for the royal wedding in the UK. The police is already doing the prep work and this is what changes the numbers and reduces the time when you need this analysis. It is still interesting in any event
Interesting but this analysis is done when you are comparing one attacker and one protector at that moment only. That is why a lot is done to prevent in the first place, and why there are teams working on protection. I guess these factors will influence the situation. The key is rather to change everything into your control and then the numbers will be more to your liking.
Carver Gambino Myhand
My take: In a true assasanation attempt cannot or will not be stopped by a protection agent alone a skilled killer who is a sniper will plan and execute with military dilligence. A team of agents may stop the attempt with a 50 percent chance of success. This will require spotters and over 20 men. Stationed and ready for anything. The attacker who is out to make a name by close contact will depend on how close the team allows the person to penetrate the circle of agents to get the chance to do bodily harm but depending on the attention and response to the threat will depend on the life or death of the principle. Alertness, action, responce, and a 6th scence all play a factor in this life or death
“Just 2 Seconds” is a fine book, I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy a few years ago. The time and distance testing Gavin de Becker and crew conducted accomplished its objective in opening the discussion of how best to provide close protection. I do have some issues with their manner of testing. In many of their test cases, they didn’t replicate a real life scenario with crowds, noise, and other visual distractions. The other issue is that a “success” for the protector is pushing away the shooter, while other team members cover and evacuate the principle. On its face this is a success, though the VIP is out of harm’s way, the clock is still ticking when the assailant is still armed. In many of De Becker’s examples, the drill stops at pushing the assailant away and not disarming him or her. Just go to De Becker’s website and watch the streaming video of their drills, you’ll see what I’m talking about.