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Special Operations Division

The Special Operations Division (SOD) is composed of highly specialized units that directly support the agency’s worldwide protective mission. Each unit has a specific function that enhances the secure environment required by our protectees.

Entry into most SOD components requires successful completion of a specific selection and training regimen.

Airspace Security Branch

The Airspace Security Branch (ASB) develops and implements security plans to monitor and control the airspace surrounding locations visited by the president and vice president of the United States, National Special Security Events and other designated major events. The members of the branch work with a variety of technologies and government agencies to monitor air traffic and coordinate defensive responses in the event of an intrusion.

ASB comprises members of the special agent, Uniformed Division and administrative, professional and technical ranks.

Canine Explosive Detection Unit

Canine EOD

The Canine Explosive Detection Unit utilizes specially trained detection canines to secure locations from explosive devices.  The Canine Unit conducts area security sweeps, investigates suspicious packages and conducts vehicle inspections and material examinations. To accomplish their mission, the Canine Unit supports Secret Service protective details worldwide. 

Members of the Canine Unit are selected from the ranks of the Uniformed Division.

Counter Assault Team

CAT

The Counter Assault Team (CAT) provides direct, tactical support to Secret Service protective details, including those of the president and vice president of the United States. CAT personnel receive advanced training in weapons handling, tactics and decision making. CAT’s primary function is to divert, suppress and neutralize an organized attack against a protectee, motorcade or supported location. To accomplish their mission, CAT personnel conduct thorough tactical advance planning and extensive coordination with supporting tactical entities.

CAT members are selected from the ranks of special agents.

Counter Sniper Team

CS

The Counter Sniper Team (CS) provides long-range observation and real-time information gathering at exterior sites visited by Secret Service protectees. Counter snipers are highly trained, precision marksmen responsible for long-range threat identification and mitigation in coordination with other tactical elements.

Members of CS are selected from the ranks of the Uniformed Division.

Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems

The Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems Branch (C-UAS) develops and implements unmanned aerial systems detection and mitigation plans for sites visited by the president and vice president of the United States, National Special Security Events and other designated major events. The members of the branch use a variety of technologies to screen the area around a protective venue and coordinate defensive responses in the event of an unauthorized UAS intrusion.

C-UAS includes special agent, as well as members of the Uniformed Division and administrative, professional and technical ranks.

Emergency Response Team

ERT

The Emergency Response Team (ERT) provides exterior tactical security at designated protective venues including the White House and Vice President’s Residence. ERT’s primary function is to prevent any person or group from gaining access to a protected location. ERT personnel receive advanced training in weapons handling, tactics and decision making. Selected ERT members are also cross-trained as canine handlers. To accomplish their mission, ERT responds directly to potential hostile threats in dynamic environments.

Members of ERT are selected from the ranks of the Uniformed Division.

Hazardous Agent Mitigation Medical Emergency Response Team

HAMMER

The Hazardous Agent Mitigation Medical Emergency Response Team (HAMMER) supports the agency’s protective mission through chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection and intervention, emergency medical support and rescue/extrication capabilities. HAMMER members receive extensive training in emergency medicine and CBRN hazards. To accomplish their mission, HAMMER personnel utilize a variety of systems to monitor for potential threats.

HAMMER is composed of members of the special agent and Uniformed Division ranks.

Specialized Rifle Unit

SRU

The Specialized Rifle Unit (SRU) provides enhanced external and middle perimeter security at designated protective venues including the White House. SRU members work closely with other SOD units and form the outer ring of tactical coverage.

Members of SRU are selected from the ranks of the Uniformed Division.

Technical Operations Branch

TOB

The Technical Operations Branch (TOB) provides advanced technical and communications support to SOD tactical units during protective operations. The TOB investigates, develops and deploys new technologies to enhance the operational capabilities of SOD component units. To accomplish their mission, TOB members deploy worldwide to directly support SOD units on site.