An official website of the United States Government Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

SPEAR enhances the security of U.S. diplomatic posts in high-threat, high-risk environments by training specially chosen law enforcement officers from host nations to better respond to emergencies at U.S. diplomatic facilities. These quick response forces can respond within minutes to emergencies and threats, and provide additional security support for a U.S. mission overseas.SPEAR members receive specific training to provide them the skills they need to become a quick response force. They also receive equipment loans and training to assist with movement security. SPEAR teams also participate in multinational joint readiness exercises and training exercises managed by U.S. security assets at diplomatic facilities.

SPEAR was established in 2014. It is managed and funded by the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Office of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA). SPEAR funding varies based on the training courses selected for countries participating in SPEAR. In 2019, ATA invested approximately $33.7 million in the program.

Since its conception, SPEAR has trained more than 400 police officers in participating high-threat countries. This number continually increases as new countries are identified and participate in SPEAR.


SPEAR Partner Nations
Benin Mali
Burkina Faso Mauritania
Central African Republic Niger
Chad Nigeria (in Abuja and Lagos)
Democratic Republic of Congo South Sudan
Iraq Tunisia


SPEAR also offers classroom training and an exercise in Algeria, Benin, Burundi, and Sudan. This initiative helps these countries prepare a response to a U.S. embassy in a crisis.

About ATA

Established by Congress in 1983, the Department of State’s ATA program is the U.S. government’s premier counterterrorism training and equipment provider for specialized police units in friendly foreign nations.

For more information, please contact Diplomatic Security Public Affairs at

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future