AL ASAD, Iraq – Special Weapons and Tactics personnel from multiple cities in Anbar province, Iraq, gathered to compete in the SWAT Tactical Competition, June 29, in Rawah, Iraq.
SWAT personnel from Haditha, Rawah, Al Qaim and Anah welcomed the friendly competition which tested each team’s physical endurance, strategy and marksmanship. In the end, however, there could be only one first place winner. The final counts resulted in a mere 12-point margin and revealed the Hadithah SWAT as the day’s top competitor.
“Competition between all the SWATs is good,” said Iraqi Capt. Khalid of the Haditha SWAT. “It makes them sure about [themselves] and they get to learn and shape their skills while they gain experience.”
The SWAT Tactical Competition also gave the different provincial security forces an opportunity to see each other in action.
“This is a chance to meet the other SWATs and share,” said Iraqi Lt. Aussama of the Rawah SWAT. “Our mission in Rawah is to beat all insurgency so none is left, our missions are the same.”
SWAT units all throughout Anbar have been training to keep their country safe. Events like the SWAT Tactical Competition give them the chance not only to compete, but to learn from their teammates and counterparts.
“If they make mistakes, they can learn from them to be better in the future,” said Aussama. “We are always looking forward to the future.”
Many cities have already witnessed their provincial SWAT’s success with operations which resulted in the capture of dangerous criminals and terrorists.
“Since 2006, we have been working hard to clean up the cities,” said Iraqi Lt. Ghazi from the Al Qaim SWAT. Al Qaim was the hub of al-Qaida, but now they fear us. They know we don’t cut anyone slack. We are tough and we mean business.”
The SWAT units are here to protect the everyday Iraqi citizen from harm and to legally seek out those who would do them harm. This mission takes cooperation, training, time and a desire to protect the people.
“We are support for the Iraq police and the whole community,” said Khalid. “We help each other and learn from each other to better [provide] support.”
As important as training is to any security force, being able to apply that training to a real scenario is the test.
“We get the job done,” said Ghazi. “[Our] team is the Lion of Al Qaim, the king of the city, and we are there to assist the IP and [Iraq army] because of our level of training. If he is an insurgent, we will get him.”
“What we have is pride to be SWAT,” Ghazi continued.