June 29, 2018

Name: Torbjörn

Age: 34

In private: hobby mechanic, enjoys steerage dancing

Key words: humbleness and constant change

How did you come across Vesper Group?
I was out on a mission while serving abroad with the Swedish Armed Forces when I ran into a Vesper team. That meeting inspired me. The team was small and independent in a high-risk environment and they worked very similar to military methods, but in a different way. It got me thinking and when the plan had matured I prepared myself for quite a while. Once I applied, I was both ready in mind and in good physical shape.

You have worked two years in the Middle East. Having a child in Sweden, how do you manage your professional and private life?
I work around eight weeks in a row and then I am on leave four weeks. That is not a problem for a single person, but it works almost impeccably even for me as a father. Of course, everything was thought of and talked through, planned and prepared familywise before I left.  And there are a lot of things I can support them with even from Iraq – for instance I have performed talks and meetings with physicians. Technology of today is a tremendous facilitator and to stay in touch there’s Skype and other things. My child and family get all my time and presence when I’m on leave. Then I’m truly present the whole time and I don’t carry a load of work stuff in my head.

Tell us about your background, your studies and work experience?
I worked eight years in the Swedish Armed Forces and some of those years in service abroad. I started within the infantry and finished by doing police service abroad. I have also completed the Police Academy and worked two years within the Swedish Police Authority.

In what ways do your experiences come to use at Vesper?
I must take a much bigger responsibility than I did in the big government authorities where I used to work.  It’s not possible to carry on based only on the first assignment of the day. For example, I need to be able to fix technical details on a vehicle or study the next day’s assignments. One day I will be digging and freeing a car out of a sandy trench and the next day I’m working in a suit and tie during a protective assignment. Just about everything that I have learnt and my personal qualities comes to full advantage. I must push my knowledge and social skills to the limit and I find such changes and variation very stimulating.

What is the best part of the job?
That we are a small, close and tight team. Also, that we have the same work moral and problem-solving attitude.

What is the hardest part?
We all have to work with our self-discipline. Some periods the work can be very monotonous and you must still deliver your best. The same goes for periods when pressure is high in a stressful environment.

What are your plans?
This is a long-term commitment for me. I want to learn new things and evolve myself, so I plan in one or three-year cycles. I want to stay at Vesper, at another place of service and a different position. For me, it is important to maintain self-discipline and structure.

Team leader prepares the team for a mission.    

In brief, the workday of a Close Protection Operator – as told by the team leader

A smooth and successful deployment consists of 90 percent preparations and clear routines. That makes everything easy, no matter what changes we will have to face.

Every mission is planned at least 24 hours ahead. We check everything and update our information and intelligence. We go through dress code, suitable image, equipment, routes and tactics for every task. Every permit needed must be in place and the latest information from the location retrieved. Also, we talk through and visualise the mission and tasks within the team. A good night’s sleep and exercise is key to being alert and prepared.

At the deployment it is crystal clear who oversees what. Everyone has their role and tasks. Everything is planned; each team member’s mental preparations, medical care preparedness and who is most suitable for which location and position. You stick to your role but must be flexible to adjust to major changes as well as smaller alterations.

Each assignment is followed by a short debrief and then the circle goes on as we go through success factors, challenges and evolvement. The same happens every night, going through the whole day and planning for upcoming missions. You can never relax or get into a routine behaviour.

Key qualities for a Close Protection Operator

Self-discipline, flexibility and capacity to adjust.
Good self-perception, personal maturity, humbleness and a great portion of willingness to change and improve.
Be perseverant, enjoy exercise, training, practice and preparations.
Must be a fan of team work.
Experience from Police or Military work, preferably in high-risk environments and in different cultures.