HRTs are responsible for some of the highest risk missions that require consistent success. Out of over 36,000 FBI staff, only around one hundred of these are employed to HRTs, and they are some of the most highly trained law enforcement professionals the country has to offer. They are capable of carrying out difficult missions anywhere in the world.

HRTs are the FBI’s number one response units when it comes to fighting terrorism. They work in the U.S. and overseas, and have jurisdiction on U.S. soil, unlike other teams like Delta Force. HRTs have served at international events like the Olympics.

HRT Job Descriptions

HRTs are full-time staff, and unlike their SWAT counterparts, do not have Special Agent duties. They train constantly and intensively, and must maintain the following skills:

1. Weaponless combat.
2. Marksmanship.
3. Rappelling.
4. Hostage negotiating.
5. Close-quarter combat.

HRTs staff must have been Special Agents first, and should have at least two years of relevant experience in the field, plus undergo a two week screening which includes:

1. Long distance running.
2. Navigating obstacle courses.
3. Push-ups and pull-ups on a timed basis.
4. Sprinting.

Once employed in a HRT, Agents must undertake a four month FBI Academy course at the New Operator Training School. Meanwhile, testing occurs throughout a HRT agents career to maintain their performance, sometimes training with Special Forces staff including Delta and Navy Seals.

Job Description for Hostage Rescue Teams

HRT staff have the following responsibilities:

1. Maintaining and operating attack ships, aircraft and other vehicles.
2. Responding to and stopping terrorist operations.
3. Chasing and arresting criminals using vehicles and on foot.
4. Secretly entering buildings to undertake hostage rescue.
5. Providing security for FBI and other government staff at special events including internationally.
6. Being able to repel from helicopters in the sky.

Salary for Hostage Rescue Teams

HRT staff are considered supervisors, and their salaries reflect this, beginning at a GS-14 or GS-15 pay grade, and adjusted for COLA. HRT personnel also get an extra 25 percent salary bonus for Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime. HRTs also receive also receive benefits including health, long term care and life insurance, Thrift Savings Plan, paid leave, and retirement benefits for 20-25 years of service.