Contacting local agencies and government offices, such as the State Department and embassies, adds yet another layer of security.
The detail Having specialized security officers, drivers, and support staff that speak the local language, know the culture, and can provide excellent security cannot be overlooked. The best planning is worthless if execution lacks the necessary professionalism and means to enforce the plan.
Training Training the executive is yet another aspect of the CSO's new responsibilities. Teaching the executive how to remain safe, emergency procedures, expectations from the security detail, and familiarization with protocols can be a tremendous asset in case of an emergency. There is also a new emerging trend of teaching executives basic SERE (Survival, Escape, Resistance, and Evasion) skills. These skills can spell the difference between surviving a violent encounter and becoming the victim. Many executives are seeking this type of training on their own these days. Having the CSO support such training and evaluate different programs can further enhance the executive-CSO relationship.
K&R (kidnap and ransom) Finally, kidnap and ransom is truly a unique factor to consider whenever discussing high risk travel. Don't think so? Just ask insurance agencies, many of which now offer specialized insurance policies for precisely such possibilities. Unfortunately, not enough executives take advantage of it, leaving them exposed and greatly increasing K&R from a possibility to a reality.
This is a service that should be discussed in depth between the executive and the CSO. There are many variables in favor and against such services. Nonetheless, it is a situation for which we must prepare. Just ask the Austrian now being held captive in Yemen.
BK Blankchtein is the owner and chief instructor with Masada Tactical, LLC, a provider of tactical training.
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