For the first time ever the Australian Federal Police has given the press a look into the secretive unit which produces some of the world’s most elite bodyguards – the Close Personal Protection.
In a report by The Weekend Australian Magazine, writer Trent Dalton has revealed the gruelling training and sacrifice of the men that protect and serve Australian and foreign dignitaries, known as their principal.
According to Dalton, these men usually start as state and federal police services before entering the CPP.
Participants must pass a nine-week entry course that pushes them to the edge of their mental and physical capacities, through street gunfight and terrorist attack simulations, as well as deprivation of sight and sound and light and time.
Their training is led by federal agent Lucas Atkins who was CPP before being ousted in 2012 while on duty.
He says when you are CPP the only thing that matters is to remember “You’re the last line of defence between a threat and the leader of a country.”
Another agent, who could not be identified, said “If you die, the principal is going to die,” so it isn’t an option.
The men endure 16-hour shifts, four or five days in a row, exhaustion and deprivation, as well as the constant wariness of an attack at any time, “so you have to train yourself to be better than any threat against the principal,” says Atkins.
These men are dads and husbands says Dalton. They “spend their off days manning barbecues and watching football and their on days walking through dense crowds with British royals, presidents, scanning faces and hands… anything out of the ordinary, the smallest sign of something not quite right”.
These are silent, stealthy heroes who forever up hold the unbreakable vow to Protect the P – the principal.
Read Trent Dalton’s full article in The Weekend Australian Magazine.
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