France's Interior Ministry says it is grouping its elite police intervention units into a single force to better fight potential terrorist attacks.

Three existing units, comprising a total of 500 people, will be united under a single command. The anti-terrorism group will be called the Intervention Force of the National Police, known by its French initials, FIPN.

The FIPN will share the high-tech equipment currently used by the three existing units and will be able to intervene throughout the country.

Though its specialty is anti-terror operations, the force will also intervene in hostage-takings and provide security at major political or sporting events. The change was announced Tuesday by Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux.