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31st Annual SWAT Round-Up International

Written by Mickey Davis, Jim Weiss

For the 31st annual SWAT Round-Up competition, 57 teams competed, including international teams from Hungary, Estonia, Jamaica, Kuwait, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, the Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, and Germany. Teams also came from all over the United States including LAPD, Boston PD, the New Mexico State Police, and agency teams from Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia. There were 32 teams from Florida.

In the spirit of camaraderie, American teams loaned foreign teams items that could not be brought into or taken out of this country due to American and state laws. In the real world, SWAT teams train for their normal tactical duties using full ballistic gear. At the SWAT Round-Up, the competition teams use lighter equipment and need less tactical depth.

A competitive team consisted of eight members. Each team event required five members for competition purposes. However, all eight members were considered competitive team members and could alternate on any given event. Each competitive team member had to be a sworn law enforcement, military, or correctional officer, as well as be a full-time member of the registered agency’s response team.

 

Event 1 – The Hostage Rescue

The Hostage Rescue consisted of four assault team members and one sniper. Spectators were not allowed to view the event. Since it was termed a “blind event,” no information was provided to any team prior to their arrival at the team leader meeting the day before the event. At the meeting, basic information about the event was provided in a sealed envelope.

All team members were required to be mission ready, with department-issued equipment necessary to complete a high-risk warrant, hostage rescue, or barricaded gunman scenario. A minimum equipment list included helmet, gas mask, ballistic body armor, handguns, subguns, magazines, and rounds for these guns and the sniper’s rifle.

When the five team members reported at their given time to the on-deck area, they were safety inspected and equipped as required to begin the event. Each assault team member loaded the required weapon systems as designated in their briefing sheet, and placed the weapon system in a safe condition. The single sniper team member utilized an optically sighted precision rifle. Ammunition could not be introduced into the rifle until specified.

Major safety violations for all events except the O-Course included: breaking the 180-degree plane, violation of the laser safety rule, early weapon presentation/draw, and any other inappropriate weapon handling.

 

Event 2 – The Pricher Scramble

The Pricher Scramble consisted of four assault team members and one sniper. This event required each team to work together to traverse various obstacles, and arrive at shooting positions from which each team member engaged a moving target. Eye and ear protection, as well as body armor, were mandatory throughout the event.

Assault team members arrived equipped with a fully operational, unaltered gas mask in a gas mask carrier. They each had an operational subgun or assault rifle with one magazine loaded with a total of four rounds of ammunition. Assault team members also had a handgun loaded with four rounds of handgun ammunition in a department-approved holster.

The sniper team member carried a securely holstered but unloaded handgun, and used an optically sighted precision rifle, with one round of ammunition, which was not introduced into the rifle until specified. The sniper team member was allowed to use any ancillary/ support equipment he deemed fit, but had to transport the rifle and additional equipment throughout the course.

The team entered a van where inside was a battering ram and a Halligan Tool, which would be carried through the event and used as needed. Upon the command “Go,” the assault team and the sniper left the van and ran to the series of obstacles, which they traversed with all of their equipment in any way they wanted.

After the obstacles, the sniper went to his firing position where he assumed a prone position and loaded his rifle. He was able to engage a downrange target only after all of his team members had donned their gas masks while in their designated box. A scorable hit on the sniper’s target had to be on the bull’s-eye. After engaging his target, the sniper made the rifle safe, and moved back to the start/finish, negotiating the obstacles in reverse.

While he was doing this, the assault team ran to cover behind the APC and put on their gas masks. Once all team members had donned their gas masks, the sniper was allowed to engage his target. The team waited in the staging area until the target was engaged, then moved to the door-breaching area.

At this point, the team door breaker used the battering ram to breach the door. Once it was successfully opened, the assault team proceeded to the firing line. The battering ram and the hooligan were left at the breaching door, where it was picked up by the team on the return trip.

At the firing line, each shooter selected an individual shoot box. Before loading a subgun or assault rifle or drawing a handgun from its holster, the team member had to lift and remove a painted cover with any hand. Once accomplished, each shooter then drew his handgun or loaded his subgun/assault rifle, and engaged six targets in his lane and his lane only. After engaging the targets, all team members traversed back through the course in reverse order, picking up the battering ram and hooligan as they passed through the door.

 

Event 3 – Officer Rescue

The Officer Rescue consisted of four assault team members and one sniper. The event required each team member to traverse a pre-positioned/pre-stretched line across a canal, engage multiple targets with multiple weapons, and rescue a downed officer. Traverse equipment was determined by the team; however, all traverse and rescue equipment was carried throughout the event.

Each team member was equipped with a fully operational, unaltered gas mask secured in a gas mask carrier. Assault team members had a fully operational subgun or assault rifle with one magazine loaded with six rounds of ammunition, and a handgun with a magazine loaded with four rounds.

The sniper team member was armed with a holstered handgun loaded with six rounds of ammunition, and utilized an optically sighted precision rifle with five rounds of rifle ammunition. Ammunition was not introduced into the rifle until specified. The sniper was allowed to use any ancillary equipment he deemed fit, but had to transport it throughout the course. No additional ammunition for the sniper or assault team was permitted. One member also carried a 40mm gas launcher and one inert round.

At “Go,” the entire team proceeded to the pre-rigged traverse line. Each team member traversed the line, and all members, including the downed officer, then climbed a concrete wall using pre-positioned ladders. Once all team members were over the wall, the sniper separated from the team and proceeded through a series of obstacles as he/she moved to four different firing positions, engaging one specified target at each one. After the sniper had knocked down all of the targets or run out of ammunition, he engaged the sniper handgun targets from the final position, then holstered the handgun and proceeded to the canal crossing.

At the time the sniper separated from the team, one member of the assault team picked up the ram from the pre-staged position near the concrete wall and carried it through the obstacles to the breaching door. Once the entire assault team was inside the designated box at the door, the grenadier loaded his/her 40mm gas launcher, and engaged a target downrange. At this point, one member of the team breached the door using the ram. Once the door was breached, the ram was put down and the assault team members moved to their assigned shooting lanes.

At the shooting box, each member removed the painted can with his shooting hand, and readied the handgun. When the third can was removed from its stand, the moving target started. Each team member could only shoot in his/her lane. After the shooters engaged the moving target, they proceeded to another position where they each engaged four targets with their subgun. Once all the targets had been engaged or shooters ran out of ammunition, they moved back through the series of obstacles, over the concrete wall, and back to the downed officer box near the canal crossing.

Once the selected downed officer arrived at the downed officer box, he lay down. The team determined the number of members needed to transport him. They carried him by any means necessary except dragging; the downed officer could not assist in any manner during any part of the rescue. The downed officer was then transported back across the traverse line and all the way to the finish line. Once all team members crossed the line, the timing stopped.

 

Event 4 – Tower Scramble

The tower scramble team consisted of three assault members and two snipers. During this event, all team members engaged various targets, climbed the tower, and rappelled down the designated side. This event also allowed one sniper and one assault team member the opportunity to engage a bonus target which, if successful, resulted in a 60-second bonus for the event. Unsuccessful engagement resulted in a 30-second penalty. The sniper taking the bonus shot was allowed to carry an additional rifle round.

Assault team members had a loaded handgun securely holstered in a department approved holster. Each assault team member carried 20 rounds of frangible ammunition, which was loaded in at least two magazines, no more than 10 rounds per magazine. One additional magazine was allowed for handguns requiring a single-stack magazine.

Snipers were armed with an unloaded, holstered handgun and an optically sighted precision rifle with four rounds of unloaded rifle ammunition. If they decided to carry ancillary/support equipment, they had to carry it throughout the course. No additional ammunition was permitted on the course. Eye and ear protection, as well as body armor, was mandatory.

Team rappelling equipment consisted of a maximum of two static kernmantle ropes. No dynamic ropes were allowed. Each team member utilized an approved harness/seat, locking/auto-locking carabiner with minimum breaking strength of 6,000 pounds, figure eight device, and gloves. All rappelling activity took place with a safety belay, each team utilizing their own belay personnel who wore protective helmets and no gloves.

Belay personnel performed a safety function, and could not assist the team in any way outside the safety mission. The two-member sniper team engaged a total of four targets placed at unknown distances, engaging each from a standing, kneeling, or prone shooting position, from the ground as well as at the top of the tower.

On “Go,” the sniper team moved to the first firing position on the ground, and engaged their face target with one round each from the standing position. Once this round has been fired, the snipers went up the tower stairs to the second firing position where each one engaged two of the four white (steel) targets located down range. Target engagement completed, they rappelled down the tower, and moved back to the first firing position on the ground where they engaged the face target with one round from the kneeling position. They then returned to the start/finish line.

A sniper electing to engage the bonus target was allowed to do so after all of the mandatory shots were fired. The bonus shot required the sniper to shoot from a modified shooting position on a face target at an unknown distance with an unknown score zone located between the eyes of the target. After completing the bonus shot, the sniper proceeded to the start/finish line.

Each member had 20 rounds to engage 12 white targets. The assault team completed a low crawl to reach their firing positions. The team member who drew the prone shooting position unholstered the handgun prior to establishing a prone shooting position, engaged the targets, and completed a magazine exchange while remaining in that position. Team members could not assist each other during the engagement sequence. The assault team members then moved back through the low crawl, and headed to the tower.

The team member taking the bonus shot was allowed to move to the bonus shot firing position once all mandatory handgun targets were hit. He shot from a modified shooting position on a steel target at an approximate distance of 50 yards (no telescopic sights were authorized). After completing the bonus shot, the assault member moved to the tower.

The assault team entered the tower through the first floor window via a cargo net, then used the stairs to reach the rappel platform. All five team members had to descend the tower using a rappel line; however, only the assault team members had to ring the bell in the bottom window on their descent. The event ended when all of the team members crossed the start/finish line.

 

Event 5 – Obstacle Course

The obstacle course required the team to overcome various individual, physically challenging obstacles through teamwork and fortitude. Each obstacle had to be completed by all team members. Any team member who moved backward through the course to assist a teammate had to repeat each obstacle from that point on to the finish. Once the entire team completed each obstacle and every team member crossed the finish line, that team’s time was recorded.

Jacob’s Ladder: Each member “wove” his/her body over one rung and under the next one without touching the ground. Rope Climb: Each member climbed the rope to the top and touched the crossbar before descending. Alternate Over/Under: This was negotiated by first going under the low cross member, then over the high one, then under the next low cross member, and then over the next high one.

Attic Entry: Entry to the “attic” floor was made up through the opening, and exiting could be accomplished from any side. Dirty Name: Team members mounted the low cross member in order to jump up to and over the next higher cross member. 12-Foot Wall: Members assisted each other up and over the top of a flat-faced wall using (or not) the attached length of rope. Gorilla Bars: Members could use only their hands to negotiate this obstacle.

Rock Crawl: Entering this obstacle in the low crawl position, team members stayed beneath the upper cover and proceeded through it, exiting at the opposite end. Incline Wall: This was negotiated by climbing up and over the bar, and then sliding down the incline wall. Pete’s Dragon (High Climb Slide): Team members ascended up the platform and slid down the pole to the ground. Worm Pit: Team members crawled through a muddy pit while remaining under the low tangle wire.

Pipe Slide: Members slid through a pipe from one end to the other. Rope Traverse: While crossing the rope, members were not allowed to touch the ground until they touched the upright vertical support at the far end. They could not be assisted by anyone not actually traversing the obstacle themselves. Sled Pull: This obstacle was a weighted sled with harness. Competitors donned the harness, and pulled the sled over the finish line.

 

Jim Weiss is a retired lieutenant from the Brook Park, Ohio Police Department and a frequent contributor to Tactical Response. Mickey Davis is a California-based writer and author.


Published in Tactical Response, Mar/Apr 2014

Rating : Not Yet Rated


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