The Hostage Rescue team is an elite FBI unit, founded in 1982 as part of the Critical Intervention Resources Group. Its purpose was originally to serve as a domestic paramilitary police unit, to offer a tactical option in hostage and terrorist situations. It originally was comprised of 50 agents, although this has increased to 91. The members of the HRT are among the most highly trained and exquisitely equipped combat personnel in the world, although they have rarely, if ever been called upon to fulfil their original mandate of rescuing hostages. It usually functions as a "super-SWAT" team in sensitive or dangerous situations.
The personnel of the HRT are selected on a strictly volunteer basis from the ranks of the FBI. After a four-month initial training period, they spend their time either in the Quantico headquarters or in training within the rest of the United States.