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Leadership in a Multi-Assault (MACTAC) Incident

The unprecedented terror attack in Mumbai, India beginning 26 November 2008 represented a chilling paradigm shift of terrorist tactics. It will be recalled that a team of at least 10 terrorists initiated a deadly battle at a police station, then fanned across the city to attack the soft underbelly of hotels, cafes, theaters and hospitals. Civilians were gunned down and taken hostage, while terrorists looked for people carrying foreign passports. Approximately 167 persons were killed and 308 injured during almost four full days of horror.

More alarming is the fact that within just the last few weeks, four years after the Mumbai attacks, a scouring of electronic documents seized as a result of the Bin Laden raid revealed one document called Future Works. That appears to have been the product of discussions to find new targets and methods of attack, preferably directed against Americans in America. German investigators believe it was written in 2009 -- and that it establishes the template for all future al-Qaida's plans. While Future Works does not include dates or places, nor specific plans, it appears to be a brainstorming exercise to seize the initiative and reinstate al-Qaida on front pages around the world.

Researchers have reminded us that we have yet to learn the lessons of Mumbai, which center on “command and control failures” and “…slowness and disorganization of tactical response.” Former Los Angeles Police Chief William C. Bratton said, “The Multi Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC) project is a highly ambitious, multiagency program specifically intended to counter the threat of paramilitary terrorism.” In observing that “The MACTAC project also involves officers and supervisors with special weapons expertise, counter terrorism tactics experience and several military personnel who have recently returned from tours in the Middle East” Bratton explicitly acknowledged the inadequacies of current American urban community policing doctrine. Alpha Tactical Solutions offers experienced, professional MACTAC training to supervisors of law enforcement agencies. Alpha Tactical Solutions staff members include those who originally developed the MACTAC philosophy as well as leaders who are highly experienced in the field. There are three primary learning goals of this curriculum: Identifying state of the art equipment, tools and weapons for law enforcement response. Designing flexible, innovative, cutting edge tactics to swiftly resolve such an attack. Developing Departmental and Regional-wide training to prepare everyone, from dispatchers to field officers, to Special Weapons and Tactics teams, to respond to such an incident. This course is not centered on tactics, although that portion is important to ensure that all course participants are able to work together cohesively. This is an intense leadership exercise designed to enhance the capabilities of any agency. On completion, participating students will be equipped with the personal confidence and technical leadership skills to safely impede the attack and minimize the impact on the community.