This module contains the following:  

  • Video introduction with Henrik Bramsborg (DK).
  • Written introduction by Henrik Bramsborg. 
  • Text about formations by Craig Pedersen (SA)
  • Images and instructional content. 
  • Use of formations by Craig Pedersen. 
  • About formations by Nikolai Ehlers (BE)

Video module contains: 

  • Single-formations 
  • Dual formations
  • V-formation 
  • Diamond formation
  • Box formation 
  • Escorting clients 
  • Evacuating a client




Basic Bodyguarding Skills, Craig Pedersen,

Bodyguarding, A Complete Manual, Burt Rapp and Tony Lesce

The Executive Protection Bible, MJ Braunig

Henrik Bramsborg

Henrik Bramsborg (DK) is a professional bodyguard operating out of Northern Europe. Henrik Bramsborg works as a security professional and is also an author of several books. 

Craig Pedersen

Craig Pedersen (SA) is a security consultant and author of books about close protection operations. Craig Pedersen has many years of frontline experience. 

Single and Dual

Single and Dual drills are for operatives who are experienced in escort drills, particularly observation and movement with excellent contact skills. There is no margin for error whatsoever on these formations, your positioning has to be 100% perfect every time to avoid black spots in your 360 arc of influence.

You will have noticed by now that the standard position for the OC is about one to two paces behind the principal and one or two paces to the left. The reason for this will become apparent when studying contact drills and emergency extractions. For the moment, concentrate on the positions and try to get a visual concept of how the escorts will maintain observation.

As you now should have a clear idea about the bodyguards' placement in formations, try to go out and do some drills. It is much harder than you think to maintain a good solid formation, while walking through a mall or other crowded place.

Being in a protective formation is not necessarily safe for the client. If the bodyguards are not aware, constantly scanning the surroundings for dangers/safety hazards, it doesn't matter how many people are in the formation.

Constantly look around, assess and take precautions if needed. It's an ongoing and VERY tiresome process which is why the US Secret Service maintains a maximum of two hours shift on their protective agents.

Open V formation

The Open V formation is usually used with an odd number of operators, ie. 3 or 5 man teams. However its security use is primarily when entering or exiting secured buildings.

The Open V is probably a derivative of the more commonly known Wedge formation.

When leaving a building, the team will take up the exact same positions, but their noses pointing the other way. The OC or BG one will be right in front of the VIP. The rest will take their positions as before and create a V-formation. It is quite easy to remember; the point of the V ALWAYS points outwards.

When utilizing this formation, which mostly used at larger events, make sure to have someone controlling the vehicles/doors. Do not assume that on-site security can manage – They are crowd control, more than anything and often under-staffed.

In an open environment, this formation serves little protection, but leaves plenty of room for a VIP out shopping. It should only be deployed with no-threat/low-threat clients in an open environment.

The video will show you how its done..

Box formation

The box formation can be closed up for added cover, by 1,2,3 and 4 moving closer to the Principal and OC should the situation require it. This formation can also be relaxed by 1,2,3 and 4 spreading further apart from the OC and Principal to allow more freedom of movement and a lower profile.

Again, I hear many experts crying out that the box formation should be banned because of the inherent weakness created in the rear of the formation which has led to at last two assassinations in the last decade. While I do agree, the box formation remains a good starting point for beginners to come to grips with the dynamics of team movement on escort and changing position within the formation etc. for this reason alone, it warrants inclusion in a manual of this nature.

Diamond formation

This is a popular standard for all round protection. It is in essence only a slight variation of the box. The responsibility for the forward arc, lies mainly with 3, whereas side protection from 2 and 4 is perhaps more secure than a box. Operative 1 will certainly have to be extremely alert as his main responsibility will be the rear.

This formation addresses the gap left at the rear by the box, but allows for intrusion into the formation from 45 degree angles.

Standard single formation with BG

Dual formation - BG1 has the same position as a single formation (above). BG2 is providing additional coverage and has his own duties and roles in protecting the principal. 

When walking towards a building, the OC or BG 1, walks directly behind the VIP, blocking the view from behind (to deter snipers from getting a clear shot). BG2 and BG3 will walk a little in front and to either left or right of the VIP. If there’s more people deployed, BG 4 and BG 5 will walk a little in front of BG 2 and BG 3 again a little to the left or right of their colleagues. This way they create a V-shaped cordon, creating room for a meet-and-greet and making it possible for the on-site security and SAP team to assist if need be.


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