Qualification and Training Standards
Each private security firm contract awarded by the Department of State requires that each person who will work on the contract meet specific requirements delineated by position title/description. The security firm contractor must substantiate that each person proposed possesses the requisite experience and training required by the contract before that individual is approved by the Government’s Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) to start performance under the contract. Specifically, each and every candidate person must be individually nominated by the security firm and then approved by the Government’s Contracting Officer’s Representative before that individual may perform any services under the contract.
Qualification statements for a Guard and a Protective Security Specialist (PSS) are as follows:
(1) Three (3) years of military, similar police, or local guard force experience.
(2) Familiarity with physical security and access control matters.
Protective Security Specialist
(1) One (1) year experience in protective security assignments
This experience and background may have been gained in any of the following assignments:
- U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service
- U.S. Secret Service
- U.S. Federal Agencies, e.g., FBI (Former special agents with protective security background)
- U.S. Special Forces or Special Operations
- U.S. Military Infantry (Army or USMC)
- Commercial Executive Protection Services With Military or Police Background
- Law Enforcement Experience (U.S. Military Police/Criminal Investigation Division or in an Emergency Services, Special Weapons, or Tactical Operations Type Unit of a Local or State Law Enforcement Agency)
Training Requirements of Local Guard Contracts
The types of training required for a guard contract are basic training, firearms qualification (if firearms are required), annual refresher training, Guard Electronic Monitoring (GEMS) training, explosive detection and x-ray training, and chemical and/or biological awareness and countermeasures training. As a minimum each guard receives 80 hours of basic training and 40 hours of firearms training.
Basic Training: Before assigning an employee to a Department of State contract, each private security company shall have the employee satisfactorily complete a program of basic training approved by the U.S. Government. This training program shall be a minimum of 80 hours duration and include the activities listed below:
Orientation: Introduction to the training program, training objectives, the role of the guard force in the Mission Security Plan. The post Regional Security Officer (RSO) shall participate in this block of instruction.
U.S. Government Assets: Description of U.S. assets to be protected, including name, location, and function.
Local Law and the Power of Arrest: The powers and legal limitations of the guard to use force and arrest offenders, and the relationship of the guard force to the host government security forces.
Terrorism and Criminality: Description of the nature of the threat to U.S. assets, with examples.
Fires and Explosions: Description of the threat to assets from fire and explosions, with examples.
Mission Emergency Plans: Role of the guard force in cases of fire, explosions, bomb search and building evacuation.
Physical Security Measures Employed by the Mission: Description of the access control systems employed, including alarms used (anti‑intrusion and fire).
Basic Guard Duties: General description of guard actions for protection of facilities and residences. Denial of access to unauthorized persons, preparation and maintenance of guard force records, logs, and reports.
Guard Force Communications: Procedures to be used in case of incident; notification of others; use of radio equipment.
General Orders and Post Orders: Emphasis on guard responsibilities, conduct, and penalties for violating orders.
Maintenance of Post Logs and Preparation of Incident Reports: Procedures for preparing daily logs of incident reports.
Unarmed Defense and Restraint of Disorderly Persons: Procedures for defending against physical attack; procedures for restraining others; guidance on the use of force.
The Use of Personal Equipment: Procedures for the use of the baton, handcuffs, and Mace, as applicable.
Access Control Equipment Use and Procedures: Use of electronic body and package search equipment; body search manually; vehicle search and building search for suspected bombs; visitor control systems, including badge issuance and control. (Training shall include general coverage of this subject for all guard personnel, with special hands‑on training for those with access control duties.)
Observation Techniques: Use of observation techniques for static guards, mobile patrol units, and foot patrols to identify, report and record suspicious acts and persons, with special emphasis on surveillance detection techniques for all guards.
Dealing with Government Employees and the General Public: Procedures to be used when conversing with Government employees and the general public; actions to be taken when confronted by hostile individuals and mentally disturbed persons.
Basic Firearms Training shall be a minimum of forty (40) hours. This training shall be conducted in both a classroom environment and at a suitable firing range. A syllabus for training must be submitted and approved by the Government COR prior to commencement of training, and the COR has the right to be present during any or all stages of training. Firearms training shall address the weapons described in Exhibit E. The contractor shall furnish all material necessary for the training including classrooms, firing range, targets, target holders, ammunition, and weapons. This program shall include the following activities:
(1) Classroom instruction shall include but not be limited to:
- Weapon nomenclature
- Weapon safety features
- Safe weapon handling
- Proper weapon stowage
- Proper marksmanship techniques
- Host country laws and regulations that pertain to carrying and use of the weapon
- Elements of the General Orders and Post Orders covering weapons and armed post
(2) Firing Range training shall include but not be limited to:
- Hands on familiarization with and the proper use of the weapon
- Firing positions
- Firing of the weapon with a minimum number rounds of ammunition
- Speed reloading
- Firearm safety
- Cleaning and maintenance of the firearm
Training Requirements of Worldwide Personal Protective Services (WPPS) Contracts
WPPS requirements include the use of Guards for static positions around compounds where Personal Protective Services personnel are housed and base operations are conducted. The WPPS guards receive the same level of training as guards performing duties under the Local Guard Program. All personnel performing as a Personal Security Specialist (PSS) attend and successfully complete pre-deployment training that consists of 164 hours of instruction delivered by instructors previously vetted by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. The training requirements are described below. All training is conducted in accordance with Diplomatic Security Service lesson guides provided to the private security firm.
Organization of a Protective Detail: Instruction on the duties, organization, responsibilities, and position nomenclature within a protective detail. This includes Agent-in-Charge (AIC), Shift Leader (SL), Left Rear (LR), Right Rear (RR), Follow Car Driver (FD), Limousine Driver (LD), Lead Car Driver (LCD), Lead Right Front (LDRF), Well (Well), Site Advance (ADV), Lead Advance (LEAD ADV), Pre-Post (PP), Protective Intelligence (PII), Command Post/Residence Watch (CP/RW).
Terrorist Operations: Instruction concerning the terrorist attack cycle and specific instruction about designated terrorist groups that represent a threat to the principal, his immediately family, and members of his staff (indigenous or transnational).
PRS Formations and Standard Operating Procedures: Instruction of the following protective formations: One man escort detail, two person escort detail, wedge, simple diamond, diamond, extended diamond; demonstrate proper formations and positioning during fence line, press conference, speech, and receiving lines; demonstrate proper deployment procedures during arrival and departure scenarios; “running the fenders, Emergency Evacuation Drills, understand and implement basic protective doctrine of “sound-off, cover, and evacuate” during attack on protectee drills. Candidates will receive scenario-based training for responses to attacks on protectee.
Motorcade Operations: Instruction in Diplomatic Security Service tactical motorcade operations, terms, and procedures; understand and implement motorcade immediate action drills, i.e., drive through left or right, reverse out, push out, ram, evacuation of protectee from limousine (duress and non-duress); understand and demonstrate proper use of blocks and screens; negotiate roadblocks and checkpoints; demonstrate knowledge of anti-terrorism driving skills.
Protective Security Advances: Instruction in the duties and responsibilities of a site advance agent; designate primary, secondary, and tertiary routes; identify choke points, ideal attack sites and safe havens on designated routes; conduct a site advance in accordance with Diplomatic Security Service procedures (12 FAH-2); write a site survey in an approved Diplomatic Security Service format; perform a hospital survey.
Radio Procedures: Instruction of Diplomatic Security Service radio procedures, terms for arrivals and departures, motorcade operations, and advances. The candidate should also be able to correctly wear and operate a radio with surveillance wires.
Countermeasures: Instruction in protective security countermeasures and their methods of use for the following: surveillance detection, protective intelligence investigations, threat analysis, and deception operations (dummy and stealth motorcades).
Emergency Medical Training: Instruction of, and capability to perform basic emergency life support and first aid. Medical training will also encompass first aid treatment to victims of a chemical or biological attack.
Firearms Shooting Proficiency: Instruction of and demonstration of acceptable proficiency in the use and handling of all issued personal firearms, to include handguns and shoulder fired weapons. Candidates shall also demonstrate knowledge of the Diplomatic Security Service deadly force policy and Mission Fire arms Policy. Qualifications shall be to Diplomatic Security Service standards, which are determined by Subject Matter Experts: M4 Rifle/Carbine with Iron Sights, M4 Rifle/Carbine with Optics, Glock (Model 19) pistol (Concealed Carry with Belt/Hip, and cross-draw holsters), M249 and M240B machineguns, and the M203 grenade launcher.
Driver Training: Instruction in and demonstration of acceptable proficiency at an appropriate driving location. Training vehicles will be automatic, four-door sedans, suitable to accommodate three students and one instructor per vehicle. Instructors shall be in the vehicles with the students during all vehicle dynamics, evasive maneuvers, and basic motorcade operations exercises. Vehicles shall be kept in safe, operable condition during the training course or replacement vehicles shall be immediately available (no more than 5 minutes of training down time). As a minimum the following topics will be taught:
- Vehicle Dynamics: Serpentine, Braking (threshold non-ABS), with ABS, Braking and Turning (accident avoidance), Turning and braking. Skid Control, Emergency Speed Transitional driving using full road surface and then travel lane only, drive from right front seat.
- Evasive Maneuvers: Y turn, backing through/around traffic and then performing turn around maneuver, ramming vehicle blockades (single and multiple blocking cars, forward and reverse); precision immobilization technique, and defensive line.
- Basic Motorcade Operations: DS tactical motorcade operations, terms and procedures (The contractor shall provide four (4) Suburbans for the basic motorcade operations training portion of the training), motorcade immediate action drills, (Drive through, Reverse Out, Push Out, Ram), blocks and screens; negotiate roadblocks and checkpoints, attack on motorcade scenarios.
- Armored Vehicle Dynamics: Lecture covering characteristics of armored vehicle. Practical exercises to include recovery techniques using the skid pad, serpentine exercises both forward and backwards, swerve to avoid techniques, braking exercises, and Y turns.
Defensive Tactics: Instruction in basic survival skills and defensive tactics. This includes: fundamentals of survival skills for non-lethal and lethal force situations; basic strikes; takedowns; control techniques using pressure points and joint manipulations; weapon retention and takeaways; applications of intermediate weapons using the straight baton and OC spray; and defense against weapon attacks.
Land Navigation and Equipment: Instruction on basic map reading, terrain feature identification, grid coordinates and using a lensatic compass. Instruction is also provided on the use of GPS chart plotting receivers, marking waypoints, plotting routes, and performing basic navigation with GPS devices.