Established in the early 1980s, the Unité Spéciale de la Garde Nationale, or USGN, is the Tunisian National Guard’s elite counter-terrorism paramilitary tactical unit. It is the best known of the different special units existing in Tunisia’s armed forces and law enforcement agencies. The USGN is trained to rescue citizens and allies who are held by hostile forces, foreign or domestic, terrorist or criminal.
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The USGN’s purpose is to serve as the Tunisian government’s premier counter-terrorism unit, offering a tactical resolution option in hostage and high-risk law enforcement situations. Based in Hammamet, the unit is responsible for counter-terrorism operations at government and diplomatic buildings, on aircraft and in maritime situations. In the event of a major operation, the USGN would be reinforced by the Commandos Unit of the Garde Nationale, or UCGN.
For the last three years, the USGN has been responsible for most of the major successes against terrorists in Tunisia. Very well trained and equipped, the USGN has evolved over the years following the model of SEAL teams, with parachutes, combat divers, snipers, etc. In fact, the USGN has developed close military ties with other units that allow them to get world-class training. As with many elite units, USGN training emphasizes psychological as well as physical toughness, namely the ability to keep going despite hardships.
The selection process is very difficult, and only volunteers are accepted. According to Glock’s sources, only 10 percent of trainees pass the selection course and will make it to the end of the training process.
As can be expected with an elite unit, a diverse group of weapons is used. The most widely used rifle is the Colt M4 Commando with different accessories, including Aimpoint CompM4 sights and SureFire flashlights. Among submachine guns and heavier weapons you will find HK MP5s and U.S. Ordnance M60E4 machine guns.
The USGN’s primary handguns are the 9×19 Glock 17 and Glock 34. According to a USGN senior officer, “Although we have other gear and equipment, like assault rifles, breaching shotguns, sniper rifles and grenade launchers, I like my Glock pistol the most. It’s part of me. It’s very close to me. I know every single piece of it. When I pull the trigger during training, I can feel every movement of the pistol—the trigger going backwards, the safeties disengaging, with the firing pin safety going up to clear the firing pin channel, the drop safety going down to clear the engagement and the firing pin going forward to hit the primer of the bullet. I can feel all of this.”
He added, “The Glock has a fair trigger travel, a fair trigger-pull weight, and the gun is very well balanced when you grip it. Also, the ‘cup-and-ball’ sights are very clear. You just have to line them up and squeeze the trigger.”
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Glock pistols are made to be durable enough to withstand the harsh abuse Tunisian operators can dish out during training scenarios and real-life deployments. This durability, and the pistols’ well-engineered design, also means that they can be relied upon to always function properly. Glock pistols’ simplicity and ease of use made the transition training for USGN officers both safe and uncomplicated. In all, USGN warriors stand ready to serve and defend.
For more information, please visit US.Glock.com.
This article was published in the GLOCK AUTOPISTOLS 2016 magazine. To see the rest of the issue, please visit Personaldefenseworld.com.