Executive Protection Personnel – Panoptic Solutions | Russ Price


Executive Protection is all about people. The right people, in the right place, at the right time doing the right job for our clients. Panoptic Solutions prides itself on employing, contracting and engaging the right people. We are fortunate to have a team consisting of former military, law enforcement, emergency services and corporate security professionals. Our Executive Protection Personnel, including Operatives and Agents, come from diverse backgrounds and bring with them diverse skills and experiences.

Former stunt actor, Russell Price, is no different. As well as being one of Panoptic Solutions’ go to Australian Bodyguards and Team Leaders, Russ has worked alongside some of the greatest martial arts actors in the world, like Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Aside from his work as a stunt actor, he has an impressive resume with 10 years in the British Royal Marines, 40 years in the martial arts space and 23 years working within the security industry internationally. Not to mention, he has a 6-dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate and was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2015.

Russ recently sat down with Troy on the Wheels Up podcast to discuss how his previous experiences have shaped his work in the security industry while giving you some practical tips to look out for when travelling.

Executive Protection Personnel  – Highlights Talking to Russ Price

1. How martial arts can help shape a career in security.
2. Acting with Jet Li in one of the coolest fight scenes you’ll see in a movie.
3. Working with Jackie Chan.
4. Why prominent people like Jean-Claude Van Damme need executive protection personnel and close protection services.
5. How to stay alert when travelling.
6. Working with the U.S Secret Services and the European Dignitary Protection Unit.
7. ​Challenges faced when emigrating from the U.K to Australia in the security world.
8. Camp Black – the reboot for brain and body retreat.
9. Ebook – The Seven Golden Secrets.

Don’t forget to go to our previous article and podcast on Business Travellers Essential Pre-Departure Travel & Security Checklist – where you can download a FREE Travellers checklist and be kept up to date with relevant travel and security information.

Acting with Military Precision

Ex-serviceman, Troy Claydon, tells Jonathan Jackson about the correlation between Airforce disciplines and how his business Panoptic Solutions is meeting the security needs of vulnerable businesses and individuals.

The harsh, military environment has been a breeding ground for many entrepreneurs. As Bill Murphy Jnr says in an article for Inc. Magazine, “veterans bring amazing advantages to the entrepreneurial game – things like discipline, perspective, leadership ability, and the learned skill of seeing problems as opportunities – to say nothing of having accomplished ambitious goals with the weight of a gigantic bureaucracy on their backs.” Troy Claydon is no exception and has built an exceptional business on the back of his military precision and training. Claydon spent 14 years with the Royal Australian Airforce as an Airfield Defence Guard (RAAF Security and Ground Forces).

“During my military service, I completed the Australian Army’s Military Police Close Personal Protection Course (Military Body Guard training) and was deployed Operationally to Dili, East Timor with our unit,” Claydon says. This experience provided near-perfect grounding for a tilt at business.

However, if there is one more lesson the military teaches it is to be thorough in preparation.

Claydon had been thinking about starting his own business during his time in the Airforce. But before he made any attempt, he would make sure that he had all his ducks in a row.

This meant a further four years as a Private Security Operator working in Iraq, providing personal protection and ultimately operational oversight to construction project managers, journalists, DOD personnel, and communications project personnel. He then spent a further six years as an on-road Paramedic with the Queensland Ambulance Service. This, combined with his training in South Africa at the internationally renowned RONIN, gave him the skillset and military precision he required to start his own business.

“RONIN was my first real exposure to realistic and relevant medical training for working within a hostile environment. This training ended up being an invaluable skill, which I took back to Iraq. From that point on, I was much more confident in situations requiring medical treatments.”

Panoptic was founded in 2012 after Claydon identified a shortfall in the security services for professional companies.

“After completing RONIN and working in the Middle East, I saw a great advantage to having two capabilities integrate together,” Claydon says. “I wanted Panoptic to be more than just a security company, but rather a business that could also offer health solutions.”

The word Panoptic means all-encompassing. It was a well-thought-out name for a business that traverses the world and offers a complete form of protection that includes physical safety, health and security, all done with military precision.

In its short existence, it has become trusted by some of the most influential organizations and individuals in the world to prepare contingency plans for potentially high-risk situations.

“In the early days, I was still working on the road as a Paramedic, attempting to build a business and deliver professional services to our clients,” Claydon says. “Initially, I was augmenting security teams by myself. However, as the combination of security and medical support was recognized as an advantage, I was able to bring on more personnel. I was also taking small jobs providing medical support to events.

I started with a single 4×4 vehicle that I outfitted with advanced medical equipment including a defibrillator, ECG Monitor, oxygen, and trauma stores. Our event medical capability has now grown to provide support on a national basis with multiple vehicles and contractors. The personal protection, travel health, safety, and security capability has also grown to include a core group of managers with contractors both domestically and internationally. I knew that the product we had was a great one and it was all about getting in front of the key decision-makers to inform them of what we are able to offer.”

That combination of security and medical support is what makes Panoptic unique.

“When clients contract the services of a bodyguard or a protection detail, there is an automatic assumption that the bodyguard will ward off any harm. But this is not always the case. There is always a chance that some harm may come to the principal no matter how much planning or protection is in place. This may not be the cause of an attack, it may be from a motor accident i.e. Princess Diana, it may be from a simple fall at a public event, (think Madonna’s recent fall off stage) or it may be while conducting physical exercise and exerting oneself i.e. chest pain.

Having a bodyguard or close protection operator who has three black belts or is an expert marksman is all well and good, however, this won’t help when there is a critical medical incident. Furthermore, the care we provide extends not only to the principal but also to their family members including children. We have had a need to treat family members with Asthma and one who was having an allergic reaction.

First aid training only goes so far and when working overseas or in remote regions advanced health care is not always available within a suitable timeframe. Having a highly trained Executive Protection Paramedic provides real-time instant medical response while ensuring safety and security. At the end of the day, we provide a holistic approach to safety and security and peace of mind for clients.”

The business grew through a combination of word of mouth and a small amount of marketing. So much so that Panoptic has been employed to look after families and businesses in relation to events as large as the London Olympics.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to work with a multinational team made up of US and UK security professionals for an HNW family over multiple locations across England. Panoptic Solutions was not the lead contractor on this, but rather augmented the team with both security and medical support. I believe that it was the security team who was required to adapt more than the actual family. We had to become familiar with routes, venues and train the drivers who were allocated to us. The entire team worked in unison and provided a seamless delivery to the principal.”

Working in foreign environments isn’t easy. Each region has its own complexities, including cultural and language barriers, as well as legal differences. The Panoptic team researches each environment it goes into to ensure that their preparation is watertight and with military precision.

This attention to detail has attracted clients including Fortune 500 companies, top executives and High Net Worth Individuals, who feel they are in reliable hands. This is testimony to the way Claydon has built the business and is a reflection of his own thorough approach to life and business.

Claydon now has his sights set on South East Asia expansion as well as being the go-to security service for high net worth individuals and corporate organizations.

“I am interested in steady and sustainable growth where we can provide full-time employment for a large team of professionals over multiple locations,” Claydon says.

Meanwhile, Claydon wants to expand Panoptic to the point where he can drawback and have his management team run the daily operations, with Troy providing the strategic leadership.

No doubt, this will be done with military precision.

Introducing Wheels Up Podcast Co-Host Steve Albritton

We’re excited to introduce the new co-host, Steven Albritton, to our Wheels Up Podcast listeners.

Steve Albritton served with the Marines and a state police force in the USA before taking on a role as a security manager for a high net worth individual and family.

Since leaving that role, Steve has established OPStructure, an industry consultancy that is taking on project work but also focuses on executive protection recruitment and team building.

Steve is the principal owner of OPStructure, based out of Florida. He has vast experience in the security world, not only in the USA but internationally. Executive protection is a very different ball game in the USA, so it will be great to get Steve’s view on particular topics and past experiences working within and outside of the USA.

Panoptic Solution’s, Troy Claydon and OpStructure’s Steve Albritton will be bringing you key professionals at the top of their game in specific industries. Together, they will discuss vital safety and security issues. Furthermore, they will be able to provide expert commentary on all matters relating to safety and security from both sides of the world.

Highlights Within This Wheels Up Podcast Episode:

1. Politics moulding the security industry

2. OPStructure overview

3. Mention of ASIS international

3. Challenges faced by smaller executive protection companies

4. Update on Panoptic Solutions

5. What to expect from the Wheels Up Podcast as a team moving forward

Go to Itunes, stitcher or whichever podcast platform you’re using and give us a rating. If you like what we do we would love to see 5 stars! If you have any ideas for the show, leave them in the comments section or send us an email at info@panopticsolutions.com. Tell us what you like or what you don’t like. Want us to interview a particular guest? Then let us know.