This feature on the Brno Rapid Response Unit of the Czech Police, aka Brno SWAT, was prompted by very high reader response to a recent recent Kit & Camo article, writes Bob Morrison.
At the IDET 2025 defence expo, which took place at the Central European Exhibition Centre in the Czech second city of Brno, the local police Rapid Response Unit, usually referred to as Brno SWAT, mounted dynamic displays in the outside arena to demonstrate their capabilities.
Well-equipped and wearing digital urban camouflage uniforms, black load-carrying vests with body armour and ballistic plates, plus latest generation Batlskin Viper ballistic combat helmets with full eyepro, these armed police officers were the city’s, and the South Moravia region’s, immediate notice responders to firearms incidents. They were also tasked with attempting to either resolve or contain any Counter-Terrorist situations in their municipality, which is 200 kilometres from the capital Prague where the national C-T unit, URNA, is based.
Czechia, as the Czech Republic (Česká Republika) has been formally known since 2016, has 14 administrative regions covering the historical territories of Bohemia in the west and Moravia in the east plus the south-western part of Silesia in the north-east. Prague, in what was once Bohemia, is the largest city and Brno, in what was Moravia, is the second largest. The police forces (Policie České Republiky) in the 14 regions are able to call upon the nearest of eight highly trained regional rapid response units if weapons or terrorism are believed involved in a developing situation. With around 400,000 residents in the second city, and well over a million inhabitants in the immediate region, the Brno SWAT team have direct responsibility for the safety of about 10% of the entire Central European nation’s population so they are kept quite busy.
In the arena display at IDET 15 an armed and dangerous ‘perpetrator’ had gone to ground inside a building and the Brno Police Response Unit (Policie Zásahová Jednotka) was called out to capture and disarm him. With a security perimeter formed and snipers on overwatch, an eight-man assault team using a Toyota HILUX pick-up truck with extendible and elevating demountable assault platform and running boards sped in, blew out a ground floor door and upper window with frame charges, entered the building through the subsequent openings, cleared all rooms and apprehended the stunned ‘perp’ … to the cheers of the watching dignitaries, exhibitors and defence expo visitors who just moments before had been watching a routine mobility display of military vehicles.
The entire display, according to the data on my images, lasted a fraction under 90 seconds and that included remounting the vehicle after having bundled the disarmed gunman inside and doing a quick circuit of the arena. This was, of course, just a rehearsed demo and an opportunity to practice drills. The squad did not face any unexpected problems or challenges but, even to someone like myself who has watched many building such take-down drills over the last couple of decades, it was a rather impressive display.
In 2015 the Brno SWAT team had a wide range of firearms at their disposal, as can be seen from the photos. Both the Czech-made 7.62x39mm Vz.58V assault rifle (which I suspect has now been replaced) fitted with EOTech Holographic Weapon Sight for close quarters battle and folding polymer stock, and the German-made 4.6x30mm H&K MP7A1 Personal Defence Weapon were used along with a breaching shotgun. Pistols worn as secondary weapon, though used as primary weapon by the assaulters who went into the building, were the ubiquitous Glock 17. See the Czech Police Pattern ~ Brno Rapid Response Unit article in the Kit & Camo section for more on the uniform worn.
[ Images © Bob Morrison unless noted ]
[ Images © Bob Morrison unless noted ]