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By Julian Nettlefold

09 May 12. BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold visited the state-of-the-art King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre (KASOTC) during SOFEX. KASOTC is the most comprehensive Special Forces training facility anywhere in the Middle East and is managed by U.S. Company ViaGlobal LLC.

The tour included the extensive range facilities used for the recent 4th Annual Warrior Competition, where 32 sniper teams from around the world competed for the best of the best international team.

At the tactical level, the Warrior Competition builds esprit de corps among SOF & Police forces partnered against terrorism; facilitates sharing of best-practices, technology, and hardware; and strengthens international coalitions. The competition breeds cohesion within SOF & Police units, provides a yardstick for unit performance, and exposes strengths and weaknesses in unit and individual skill sets. As range safety observers and evaluators, the KASOTC instructional cadre use competition events as training opportunities, helping the best get better. Goals of the competition include:

• The exchange of SOF and CT tactics, techniques, and procedures.
• Networking with international SOF and CT members.
• Testing new equipment and practices.
• Engaging in a challenging combat oriented competition with international peers.
• The opportunity to visit the KASOTC, the world’s premier Special Operations training center.

Germany were this year’s champions.

At the heart of KASOTC is a sophisticated, integrated control system connected to the training areas by fiber optic cable. This fiber optic local area network (LAN) allows complete monitoring and control of all the audio, video, special effects and target technology from the range operations control center. The system captures every second of a training exercise through the use of indoor and outdoor, day–night capable cameras and microphones located throughout the KASOTC complex. All video, audio and data inputs are tied together via the fiber optic backbone and LAN to the control room located in the Range Operations Control Center (ROC). The ROC controls and monitors: Range Operations Control Center (ROC)

Urban Area

The Urban Area contains a wide range of urban and village facilities (56) to simulate realistic neighborhoods, to include: embassy, residential areas, commercial and industrial facilities, and government buildings; a public square; villas, apartment complexes, and servants quarters; community center, garage, gas station, and shops; light industrial areas; office complexes; and water reservoirs.

The Urban Area simulates a variety of typical urban environments, enabling live fire training, scoring, and safety. In addition, the entire area is outfitted with concussion wave cannons, machine gun simulators, speakers, battlefield smell and smoke simulators and hundreds of day/night cameras and microphones to capture all the training.

A300 aircraft model

KASOTC houses a full-scale A300 aircraft model and control tower with
a helicopter landing pad. The A300 also includes some B777 aircraft features and takes full advantage of the battlefield effects controlled by the Range Operations Control Center. This includes initiating targets to stand up from their seats, introduction of smells/sounds of the battlefield and video/audio capture of all training inside and out.

KASOTC’s capabilities are continually being evolved and improved. A new capability involves storing and training of dogs used for specialist duties.

“We have found that dogs suffer from a lot of stress if they are continually with their handler for long periods. They can come to KASOTC to rest and revitalise in clam surroundings. We are building a new facility to accommodate this.” Dave Kowlaski, a senior instructor at KASOTC said.

The facility is in constant use all year round and has its own fleet of v

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