FRIDAY FOTO (June 24, 2011)
Sniper Survival Suit
A two-man sniper team from the Dominican Republic in camouflage clothing known as ghillie (or gilly) suits prepare for the stalking event at Fuerzas Comando 2011, a special operations skills competition in Ilopango, El Salvador.
Competitors from 19 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean took part in the eight-day exercise that ended June 23. In its eighth year, the competition, which is sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, tests the skills and training of special operations troops and police in physical fitness, marksmanship, aquatic skills and tactical capabilities like stalking a target undetected or mounting an assault on a room that might have hostages.
Among the events the six-man teams faced this year: a timed 18.8-kilometer forced march up an inactive volcano while carrying 30-pound rucksacks and rifles, launching and landing a rubber raft loaded with equipment in heavy surf, swimming in strong ocean currents while towing equipment, running an obstacle course and rifle and handgun shooting exercises that tested shooters’ capabilities under psychological and physical stress.
While the elite troops and police were struggling through the demanding tactical competition, commanders and policy makers participated in a senior leader seminar. Staff members from each participating country operated as a combined staff to coordinate administrative, logistical, medical and communications support.
In addition to testing commando skills, the goal of Fuerzas Comando is to foster military-to-military relationships in the region to promote trust, cooperation and information exchanges — at both the soldier and officer level — about tactics, techniques and equipment for combating terrorism and transnational crime.
Teams participating in this year’s event were from Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and the United States.
Host El Salvador won the competition. Ecuador was second and Brazil finished in third place.
To see a Defense Department photo slideshow of the event, click here.
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Entry filed under: Counter Insurgency, Latin America, National Security and Defense, Photos, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: Brazil, Central America, Colombia, commando, Counter Insurgency, counter terrorism, Defense, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fuerzas Comando, Latin America, sniper, Southern Command, Special Forces, Special Operations.