KASOTC 2014: The Warrior Competition, “The King’s Challenge”

KASOTC 2014: The Warrior Competition, “The King’s Challenge”


ABOVE: US team ready to go for Precision Rifle.

“We have to understand that it is called “international” terrorism, however, we as Special Forces, special operations units all over the world are not yet international. The bad guys always work together, have always been coordinating, and have always been international. The good guys never have been. Progress has been made in intelligence–sharing, thus, we have to work together in order to defeat the bad guys’ will. Soldiers know better than anybody whether their training is good or not. Soldiers will always know if the instructor coming in their country is showing him 100 percent of what that person knows, or just showing him a bit. Our philosophy in Jordan is to share everything we have with our brothers and counterparts around the Middle East and beyond. At the end of the day if your partners are strong, you are strong.” – King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan

Brigadier General Aref Alzaben, the General Director King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC), welcomed the teams and their support groups to the 6th Annual Warrior Competition at KASOTC and began a five day competition that all would remember in a spirit of brotherhood and camaraderie. SADJ has attended several of the competitions and watched them get better every year. This year, there were 38 teams from 18 countries. KASOTC has always been a special project of the King – he’s a special operations trained fighter himself. From all accounts, he wasn’t cut any slack in any of that training or operations, and won’t allow it for any of the Jordanian forces.

The preferred rifle for most teams was an M4 variant in 5.56x45mm with a variety of optics. Some of the teams preparing for the Precision Rifle course were Chinese, U.S., Jordanian, Palestinian, and Kuwaiti. One member would switch to a sniper rifle for some of the long runs.

KASOTC is one of the most advanced training facilities in the world, and many countries send their special operations groups for training there. This author has been involved at various times with their training and is always impressed with the commitment of the staff and support.

The Warrior Competition is also one of the King’s special interests. He attends and reviews the teams, and watches some of the competitions with great interest. It’s easy to envision this competition growing in size and stature in the community.

“If you’re that good, why aren’t you here?”

One afternoon after the competition while we relaxed at the cantina and pro shop, we watched the Malaysian team run around the football field (soccer to Americans) with their team members on their backs. Five times, then they switched so the man on the bottom was being carried, and five more trips around. Then, calisthenics… and more running. The Snow Leopards were doing similar workouts. This was all after a hard day of competition. Overheard on a cell phone conversation to one of the guys back home, “Yeah, well if you’re that good, why aren’t you here?” We all had a chuckle over that, because it was obvious someone back across the pond was waxing poetic about how strong a competitor they were, and just got schooled. They need to watch those exhausted Malaysian teams cowboy up and put the hammer down…

One of the most inspiring things about this competition is the spirit that is shared by the teams that are there. It’s not unusual to see an exhausted team running in to a new competition and see the other teams from countries cheering them on –even though that team might be from a country that has a negative relationship to the others. It’s all about the Warrior. These competitors push themselves to the absolute limits at all times. It’s evident on their faces.

The opening ceremony is on the parade grounds. The airplane used to train for hostage rescue and assault is in the background.

Shooting skills are a heavy part of the scoring, from handgun to carbine, from rifle to machine gun. As most soldiers know, you’ve got to be in top shape to get to where you can use that weapon, and the competitions are set up to challenge all of a soldier’s skills.

We look forward to attending each year, and hope to bring more coverage of a special “Weapons Master” event that has been discussed. It should be noted here that there are vendors and sponsors at the competition. The tables are set up outdoors under cover by the Pro shop, and while it’s not a “Show” there are certainly opportunities to meet with the end users who are competing from many countries. Revision and many others are regulars.

Competitions at the Warrior Competition 2014

1- Last Easy Day

2- Carbine Candy

3- Trail of Tears

4- Urban Assault

5- Commando Selection

6- 3-Gun Gauntlet

7- Shock-n-Awe

8- Molan Labe

9- High Angle Drive By

10- King’s Challenge

11- Top Gun

Most competitors in the Precision Rifle competition used the M4 carbine, many of the Colt manufactured as in this case. Sighting was simple and fast, with a variety of tactical optics used. Precision Rifle required a 1/4 kilometer run uphill, engaging targets at 300 meters, clear the weapons, then run downhill for the under-100 meter target range with a variety of engagement ranges.
After finishing at the 300 meter Precision Rifle range, competitors have to run downhill to the 100 meter range and engage targets.
It’s a grueling course, with the High Angle tower waiting at the other end.
Members of the PLA special operations team relax.
Kuwait team prepares for the 300 meter precision rifle course.
Jordanian team prepares for the carbine course.