SONS OF GOD – Monday April 8 2013

– The Special Operations Group is Victoria Police’s last line of defence.
“They are the last port of call,” Superintendent Ross Guenther said. “If they can’t deal with the situation, we need to call in the firepower of the Army.”
SOG officers deal with the state’s worst – terrorists, gunmen, hostage sieges, high-risk arrests – and undertake heart-stopping covert surveillance.
It’s a gruelling battle to be recruited into the crack unit, formed in 1977, and, when they get in, recruits are trained for every scenario imaginable.
The Herald Sun joined the SOG, sometimes dubbed Sons of God, on a counter-terrorism roping course for a rare insight into the squad.
It is a world-class program, run by Victoria Police, for the elite of the elite.
Police officers from similar tactical units in Canada, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Singapore joined Victoria’s SOG on the three-week course, which also included members of the Australian Defence Force, Melbourne Fire Brigade and Australian Federal Police.
Week one was spent climbing rural rock faces at Mount Arapiles; Week two scaling city buildings and structures, including abseiling down the Rialto Tower and MCG scoreboard; and the third week covered air assaults, culminating in an impressive storming of the Queenscliff ferry.
SOG officers, who wear a distinctive black uniform and carry almost 30kg of equipment, are on call 24/7.
And they do not leave a job until it is completed.
SOG members have been recruited from diverse careers, including financial advisers and business analysts.
The group is made up of hobbie triathletes, ultra-marathon runners and ironman competitors – but fitness levels count for nothing if they can’t back it up with the mental agility required at the end of an equally draining shift.
In one mock exercise akin to a Hollywood action blockbuster, a police sniper takes aim at a ferry taken over by terrorists.
A second helicopter swoops in and hovers just metres from the boat’s deck as several SOG members fast-rope down and an RHIB boat speeds alongside allowing several more to climb up the ferry’s side – Jon Kaila


About Jumpin' Jack Cash
This entry was posted in Hostage Taking, Police Training, Siege, Terrorism, Violent Crime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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