by David Crane
The Tyler Special Operations Platform (T.S.O.P.), a.k.a. "Cargo Rack", was recently introduced at TREXPO West. Manufactured by Tyler Technologies (a division of Tyler Camera Systems), the TSOP is a potentially revolutionary piece of tactical equipment for LE SWAT operations, since it will give SWAT operators an aerial-based target-engagement capability (particularly against hostile subjects in high-rise structures) they’ve never had before, while conducting counterterrorism operations in urban environments. This is possible because the TSOP serves as a very stable outboard shooting platform for SWAT snipers/long-range interdiction specialists. An operator can even lie prone on it and shoot comfortably from the prone position.
The Tyler Special Operations Platform (TSOP)/"Cargo Rack" will also provide SWAT units with much-enhanced personnel insertion/extraction capabilities, similar to those (capabilities) currently enjoyed by military Special Operations teams.
According to Deputy Chief Mike Hillmann, LAPD Special Operations Bureau (and the primary stimulus behind the project), the Tyler Special Operations Platform (TSOP) is a "field-expedient solution for moving (LE SWAT) personnel from ground level to (as high as) the top of high-rise structures, if necessary, and fits into…
the counterterrorism operational profile for our aircraft extremely well. This applies to SWAT, bomb squad, and dive unit components. It will support an aerial shooting platform where we have potentially active shooters in high-rise structures."
Hillmann says LAPD Special Operations/SWAT can also use the TSOP for maritime security/interdiction operations, and that the TSOP is ideal for "Little Bird" (or A-Star) cover support and medium-lift helicopter personnel insertion, i.e. fast roping out of a UH-1(Huey).
Deputy Chief Hillmann went on to say that the Tyler Special Operations Platform (T.S.O.P.)/"Cargo Rack" is also "field expedient for moving (i.e. rescuing) civilians in emergency situations." During my interview with him, Hillmann noted that he especially likes how quickly and easily the TSOP attaches to the helos’ cross tubes, and how the unit can be folded up against the aircraft, while still attached (presumably for storage).
Hillmann collaberated with LAPD Air Support Division’s chief pilot, Don Reuser, on the TSOP project. Reuser was apparently responsible for a significant amount of input on it.
The LAPD Special Operations Bureau has an "aggressive training program that combines Special Operations aviation support with SWAT operations", and, according to Hillmann, the Tyler Special Operations Platform (TSOP) is intrinsic in this task. "It’s fantastic. We use it all the time."
While speaking with Deputy Chief Hillmann, I told him that I thought the TSOP would be perfect, or at least an excellent tool, for dealing with (high-speed) car chases, and bringing them to a much faster and safer conclusion. Hillmann acknowledged that the LAPD Special Operations Bureau was already considering it.
LE and military organizations/units interested in either purchasing or learning more about the Tyler Special Operations Platform (TSOP)/"Cargo Rack" should contact Craig Dyer at Tyler Technologies. You can reach Craig by phone at 818-989-4420, or toll free at 800-390-6070. Craig can be contacted via email at [email protected].
The following information on the Tyler Special Operations Platform (T.S.O.P.) comes from Tyler Technologies company literature:
"Tyler Camera Systems, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division has developed the Special Operations Platform (TSOP) cargo system for rapid S.W.A.T. insertion/extraction, dive team transport and emergency evacuation response. The Special Operations Platform (TSOP) is designed to make these and other special missions easier, more efficient, and safer.
The Tyler Special Operations Platform (TSOP) is similar in concept to equipment that is currently employed in U.S. Army Special Operations. The system consists of an externally mounted cargo platform and overhead anchor point for either fast-rope or rappel operations. In the post 9-11 era, this equipment will expand the counter-terrorism capabilities of law enforcement agencies worldwide.
The Tyler Special Operations Platform (T.S.O.P.) provides an external platform assembly located on each side of the helicopter for transporting and deploying personnel. The benches are equipped with anchor points for seatbelts or tie-in-rings to safely attach personnel wearing safety harnesses. The platforms can be quickly installed with special brackets and pip-pins (no tools necessary).
Special Operations Platform Functions:
External transport & deployment of tactical teams.
Provides overhead Fast-Rope and Rappel anchor points.
Safe Dive Team deployment and Helo-Casting operations.
Carriage of external cargo or rescue litter.
Rapid emergency evacuation from rooftops.
Quick Installation, no tools required.
Helicopter Special Operations
Currently, most law enforcement agencies transport and deploy their tactical teams by having them stand on the helicopter skids and grab handholds mounted to the side of the airframe. This can can be rather precarious and awkward. The Tyler Special Operations Platform makes this and other operations safer and more efficient.
The Tyler Special Operations Platform (TSOP)provides assault team members with a stable and safe platform. It also provides them with a tactical advantage when dealing with high-stress missions. The team can focus on the mission and potential threats rather than be preoccupied with standing on the skids and hanging onto the helicopter.
The Tyler S.O.P. was displayed on one of the new Los Angeles County Sherriff’s A-Star helicopters at the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Expo in Wichita, KS, July 2003. Tyler Camera Systems would like to thank American Eurocopter and the LASD Aero Bureau for their hospitality and support for the Tyler S.O.P.
Tyler Technologies has appointed Meeker Aviation as a worldwide distributor for the Tyler Special Operations Platform. Meeker Aviation provides the helicopter industry with state-of-the-art helicopter special operations equipment.
Additional TSOP Photographs
Please check out the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s photo section (featuring the TSOP) on their website for additional photographs of the TSOP in action. Just “click” on the ALEA logo to go to their website."