FAST teams are the enforcement arm of the DEAs Drug Flow Attack Strategy. FAST plan and conduct special enforcement operations; train, mentor, and advise foreign narcotics law enforcement units; collect and assess evidence and intelligence in support of US and bilateral investigations.
In Afghanistan, FAST operates as part of the DEA’s Afghan Campaign Plan. The initial role of the FAST teams was work closely with U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Afghan units in order to disrupt the Afghan opium trade, which helps fund the Taliban.
Since their inception during the G.W. Bush administration, FAST’s remit has expanded to include deployments to Central American countries including Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize.
The DEA is beleived to have at least 5 FAST squads, each with 10 agents. A typical FAST team comprises of 8 special agents, an intelligence specialist and a team leader. The FAST section is overseen by a former Navy SEAL, Richard Dobrich.
SPECIAL RESPONSE TEAMS
DEA officially created and standardized its Special Response Team (SRT) program in 2016 to address higher risk tactical operations in the field. DEA mandates that each major domestic office maintains an operational Special Response Team. The SRT Certification Course consists of 11 days of SRT Basic and 5 days of SRT Advanced at U.S. Army Base Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia. The SCC cadre are former operators from the DEA RRTs best and most seasoned agents. The training responsibility for the SRT was transferred to the DEA Office of Training to a newly created training unit. The SCC course trains SRT candidates in team movement, high-risk entry, tactical weapons proficiency, and principles of dynamic operations.
Some of the SRT missions consist of High-risk arrests, Vehicle assault, Specialized Surveillance, Custody of High-Profile Individuals, Dignitary and Witness Protection, Tactical Surveillance and Interdiction, Advance Breaching, Tactical Training to other police units, Urban and Rural Fugitive Searches.
In the past, DEA had other tactical teams like the Mobile Enforcement Teams (MET), Regional Enforcement Teams (RET), Highrisk Entry Apprehension Team (HEAT) and Operation Snowcap Teams (Predecessor of FAST).