If you are ever locked out of your high-rise apartment and need some help to get back inside, phone your friendly neighbourhood Vietnamese Swat team… and ensure you have a bamboo pole long enough to reach your balcony.
In a video of a tactical training exercise in Hanoi that has garnered more than one million views the Vietnam Police Special Force, or Vietnam Mobile Police (Viet. Cảnh sát cơ động), demonstrate an innovative method of entering a multi-storey building.
In the video a group of ‘gunmen’ force ‘hostages’ to the third floor of a five-storey building, one of them ‘shooting’ indiscriminately behind him. Instead of just following them up the stairs, the Vietnam Mobile Police team take the path less-traveled – scaling the building’s exterior. But rather than breaking out harnesses and ropes, all that these highly trained law enforcement officers need is a sturdy bamboo pole of the appropriate length.
As one of the specially-trained officers prepares themself against the sheer wall of the building, two others on the ground press the end of a bamboo pole against the first officer’s back. The first cop then flips gravity the bird and runs up the building as his counterparts on the ground rush forward.
While some cops are guided onto balconies with the aid of the bamboo pole, several others climb all the way to the roof – without a safety rope – using ventilation spaces as footholds. In a separate video other members of the elite group merely hold the pole at their side as they run up the outside of the building.
With ropes installed on the roof the Vietnam Mobile Police rappel down to the third-floor where they wait, hanging like fruit bats, for the appropriate time to stage a daring ‘rescue’ of the hostages… a couple of flashbangs adding to the authenticity. As the extraction team infiltrates the hostage room, others repel to the bottom and train their weapons on the building to cover the exit of the extraction team and the freed hostages.
But the drama isn’t over yet. With the hostages safely out of the building and the hostage takers neutralised, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team wearing Advanced Bomb Suits (ABSs) then carries out a controlled explosion inside the building.
Some may wonder whether the video of the Vietnam Mobile Police’s ninja-like agility is real, or simply the result of clever video editing. For those doubters Wired, which published a similar video earlier this month, provides a full explanation of the physics involved.
Bonus: The elite Vietnam Mobile Police isn’t a boys’ only club. Maintaining traditions forged on battle fields against numerous aggressors and invaders over the years, more than a few women are shown scurrying up the building with their male contemporaries. Hardly surprising though in a country where women account for 17.6 per cent of the country’s company board members – 154.3 per cent higher than all other Asian countries and 22.3 per cent higher than the USA.
Feature video Michael Steinert