Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

Elite police squads fired up for Dubai challenge

Armed response teams from all over the world putting their skills to the test at five-day UAE Swat Challenge

Police caught 77 traffickers last year and rescued more than 50 victims. Satish Kumar for The National
Police caught 77 traffickers last year and rescued more than 50 victims. Satish Kumar for The National

Elite police squads from all corners of the globe are laying down the law in Dubai in a unique test of their rapid response skills.

The UAE Swat (special weapons and tactics) Challenge got underway on Sunday, with 60 highly-trained teams, including from the United States, Italy, France, Argentina and Russia, on red alert at Dubai Police's Al Ruwayaa Training City.

Highly-trained officers will part in a variety of dramatic scenarios - from hostage rescues to tests of tactical acumen - during the five-day event.

While the activities will be staged in Dubai, they represent challenges the teams regularly face in the line of duty.

The emirate's own Swat officers are taking part in a competition with an international flavour and put in a strong showing on the opening day of action.

The event has been organised under the patronage of Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

The Russian competitors bring skills mastered in real-life scenarios to the hard-fought competition. Satish Kumar/ For the National
The Russian competitors bring skills mastered in real-life scenarios to the hard-fought competition. Satish Kumar/ For the National

Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah police commands are also being represented.

The event is a celebration of the life-saving skills of the dedicated officers and an opportunity for teams to share knowledge and expertise.

“This event is an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other and learn from one another,” said major general Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, assistant commander of Dubai Police's criminal investigation department.

Participating teams will take part in five competitions over as many days: tactical event, assault event, officer rescue, tower event and obstacle course.

Each event is scored by time or precision with little room for error as the competition hots up.

“While taking home a win would be nice, the true reward comes from having the chance to say our team is the best in the world,” said 42-year-old Josh Crews, manager of Alachua County team from the United States.

The South African team showcase their skills at the UAE Swat Challenge. Satish Kumar/ For the National
The South African team showcase their skills at the UAE Swat Challenge. Satish Kumar/ For the National

Daily prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 are given out to the top three teams.

A grand prize of $70,000 for first place, $30,000 for second place and $20,000 for third place will be handed out on the final day of the event.

Visitors can also get in the thick of the action until Thursday, February 14, by pushing themselves to the limit in the Swat Challenge zone.

Updated: February 10, 2019 03:41 PM

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