The Daily Mail has an excellent group of photographs concerning an elite Scotland Yard unit that was set up before the Paris attacks, but has increased its tempo of training to counter such attacks as in Paris. Britain has this thing known as SFOs, or Specialist Firearms Officer, and these guys have “CT-SFO” on their vests, which means “Counter Terrorist Specialist Firearms Officer”. Essentially SFOs are the only members of British Law Enforcement that can carry firearms on the job.
Regardless, what we see here is probably the first operational use of the Sig Saur 5.56x45mm MCX that has reached the mainstream media. The unit also has SIG 516 rifles, which can be differentiated from the MCX with the telescoping wire buttstock without the traditional buffer tube. In these pictures you can see the 516s with Magpul buttstocks installed. I’m curious as to why a unit would have both types of carbines instead of just one. I would think the logistical nightmare would be compounded even more so with two different logistics trains. In addition, I also don’t really see why the Brits would want the MCX if they already have the 516. Traditionally wire telescoping butt stocks are great for Paratroopers who need that weapon as short as possible, but cops aren’t exactly jumping out of airplanes so the 516 would be just fine for them.
I thought American news outlets made gross firearms errors, but it seems British news outlets might just be worse. Apart from labeling every MCX as a 516, they list the Glock 17s with a range of 150 meters, goggles withstanding rounds and an encrypted firearms radio channel?
The marksmen were also toting their new lightweight, semi-automatic SIG 516 rifle.
The 130-strong unit has been developing new tactics with UK special forces, including abseiling from helicopters and tackling rampaging gunmen.
They have been trained to shoot for the head instead of the usual target, the chest.
They came out of the shadows in the wake of the massacre of 129 people in Paris on Friday.
The heightened terror threat was confirmed last night when another friendly – between Germany and the Netherlands – was called off very late because of a ‘concrete’ bomb threat.
No risks were taken because three of the seven Paris suicide bombers had targeted a fixture at the Stade de France between France and Germany.
Last night’s match began with English and French fans uniting to sing France’s national anthem, La Marseillaise.
One expert described the counter-terrorism officers at Wembley as ‘effectively SAS officers in police uniform’.
Amid some of the tightest security ever seen at a sporting fixture, they took up key positions around the ground.
Many of the officers chose to cover their faces because they sometimes work undercover.
Their new weapon was selected to boost the power of police to respond to armed threats with increased accuracy while allowing them to move in confined spaces.