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“A gateway to excellence”

The International Special Training Facility for Covert Operations:

The International Special Training facility for Covert Operations is open to Domestic & International Defence, NATO-SOF, Law-Enforcement and Allied Government Intelligence Agencies only, we do not provide services or equipment to the private sector.
Based in Hereford in the United Kingdom, our award-wining training facility is an enabling platform that allows our subject matter experts to exchange their knowledge in a safe and secure learning environment.
Our programmes are developed by operationally experienced trainers who integrate their proven knowledge and experience, by delivering best practiced Tactics & Procedures employed by small teams in today’s covert environment.
As a professional company proud of its own intellectual property and covert innovations, we continually scan the horizon for emerging technologies and develop new procedures and unconventional solutions, which are then filtered into our training programs.
This evolution is what keeps our program me s current, relevant, and operationally fit-for-purpose in today’s modern mission environments.


Quick tour inside the facility.


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Covert Video Sensor Placement Training:

The ISTF-CO Covert Video Sensor Placement training programmes are at the forefront of this specialist skill set. Our dedicated instructors have over two thousand successful deployments behind them, delivering proven methods, procedures, and techniques, coupled with our attention to tactical innovation has seen ISTF-CO to become the leading training provider of this discipline.

Deploying stay-behind recording systems removes the organic footprint on the ground, when deployed in conjunction with our remote ground sensors, the risk of compromise reduces dramatically, whilst you maintain tactical control of the location.

This reduction on manpower allows for covert and/or direct-action teams to prepare for missions while the object of interest is under the continuous watchful eye of our technologies.

Training programmes:

  • Close Range Camera Placement
  • Medium Range Camera Placement
  • Long Range Camera Placement
  • Combined Range Camera Placement
  • Technical Ground Sensor Placement



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Mimicry, Concealment & Fabrication Training:

The ISTF-CO Mimicry, Concealment & Fabrication training programmes have been designed so that they complete the cycle between creation, technical hosting of the surveillance device and finally the tactics and procedures required when deploying the finished enclosure on the ground.

Within our extensive fabrication cell, you can create everything from rocks, bricks, tree branches, household items, and an array of urban street furniture. By using digital 3D computer aided design & printing, conventional moulds & casting methods, or natural trojan techniques.

Our fabrication instructors have decades of professional prop making and special effects knowledge, they are operationally experienced supporting and enhancing covert technical deployments across the world.

Training programmes:

  • Digital 3D Printed Mimicry
  • Mimicry 1 – Foundation level fabrication
  • Mimicry 2 – Advanced level fabrication
  • Impromptu Mimicry Techniques
  • Advanced Painting & Finishing Techniques
  • Trojan Concealments & Fabrication
  • Flexible Mimicry for Cables and Coax
  • CAD Fabrication of brackets, fixtures, and fittings



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Target Reconnaissance Training:

The ISTF-CO Target Reconnaissance training programmes contain all the key elements using proven tactical procedures and precise methodology from the approach, crossing the threshold, exploitation elements of the target, all while managing ground-sign of presence.

Target Reconnaissance is an underpinning element of all intelligence gathering operations. It involves detailed mission planning, with open-source research and accurate street level reconnaissance to safely secure and set the ground in an unpredictable environment, by deploying an accurate cover plan will enable the insertion of a covert team to conduct their close, advanced & detailed exploitation activities.

There are 3 key exploitation elements associated to the Target Reconnaissance cycle, these are the collection of physical intelligence, digital intelligence, and scientific intelligence.

Training programmes:

  • Urban Target Reconnaissance [complete cycle]
  • Rural Target Reconnaissance [complete cycle]
  • Digital Target Exploitation
  • Technical Alarm Defeat
  • Detailed Target Reconnaissance [Conduct on Target]
  • Scientific Site Exploitation
  • Level 1 Covert Method of Entry
  • Level 2 Covert Method of Entry [Advanced]



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Low Visibility & Surveillance Collection Training:

The ISTF-CO Low-visibility & Surveillance Collection training programmes will equip delegates with advanced skills, required to plan and conduct covert surveillance operations in what could be, a complexed and hostile environment.

Modern surveillance is fast moving and becoming highly sophisticated. The ability to covertly monitor, control, and fix individuals of interest in multiple environments without compromise is a difficult task whether operating in your domestic setting, or as a small expeditionary force with little assets.

However, our dedicated surveillance instructors collectively have over 130 years of current, worldwide operational experience to offer.

Training programmes:

  • PROJECT CHAMELEON – Surveillance Enabled Elicitation & Recruitment Techniques [SV-EERT]
  • PROJECT MANTIS – Expeditionary Host Operators Surveillance Tactics [HOST]
  • Urban Surveillance Procedures [M.F.M]
  • Rural Surveillance Procedures [Impromptu stops]
  • Hostile Surveillance Detection & Life-line Procedures
  • Tag, Track & Locate


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Intelligence Through Imagery Training:

The ISTF-CO offer a range of ‘operator focused photography’ training programmes with the emphasis on being deployed in a complex tactical environment, not the controlled environment of a studio.

Our Intelligence Through Imagery programmes have been designed as stepping-stone skill enhancing courses that remove all the complications of mathematics, producing a series of settings and procedures, that offer straight forward, and streamlined functionality by the operator in the field.

As technology moves forward in line with current tactical environments, the Digital Single Lens Reflex [DSLR] camera is becoming redundant. ISTF-CO are the first company to develop and deliver a fit-for-purpose tactical mirrorless user’s course, aimed at the operator on the ground.

Training programmes:

  • Mirrorless Conversion & Tactical Application
  • Intelligence Through Imagery [Foundation User]
  • Intelligence Through Tactical Imagery [Advanced User]
  • Urban Observation Post [Set-up & management]
  • Rural Observation Post [Set-up & management]
  • Post-production & Image Manipulation


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Non-Attributable Technical Solutions Training:

The ISTF-CO Non-Attributable Technical Solutions [NATS] training programmes have been carefully researched and developed by our in-house technical experts.

Our approach enables us to teach you at operator level, having no prior electronics experience, how to source, and modify commercially available electronics into fit-for-purpose technical surveillance devices for audio / video collection, forwarding, alerting, and tracking.

NATS is focused on expeditionary t eams working in low-visibility roles without the traceability that often comes from equipment manufactured by specialist companies.

With hundreds of successful case s tudies, our technical solutions are operationally proven.

Training programmes:

  • Deniable Audio & Video Manufacturing [operator based]
  • Project SPiDER [Raspberry Pie Projecting]
  • Custom Battery Fabrication
  • Tag, Track & Locate [Beacon Fabrication & Deployment]


Contact Us:

Should you require further information about our training programmes or would like to discuss a tailored training project, please contact us.


Phone: +44 (0) 1686 610 662


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