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KASOTC 2018 ~ King Abdullah II SOF Group

During the Opening Ceremony at the 10th Annual Warrior Competition at KASOTC (King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center), Jordan’s elite Special Operations Forces undertook a series of dynamic demonstrations with the second of these being by the new KAII SOFG.

In 2017, following the creation of the Quick Reaction Force Brigade (QRFB) in 2016, the Joint Special Operations Command of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was restructured and the King Abdullah II Special Operation Forces Group was formed. We will look at the QRFB in a later feature, with images taken this May at Marka during a dynamic demonstration which the KAII SOFG also took part in.

A KAII SOFG assault team on an Al-Jawad carrier race toward a hijacked aircraft [© Bob Morrison]

Prior to 2017 the Jordanian Special Operations Command included the 101st Special Forces Group, the 71st Counter-Terrorist Battalion, the 28th Royal Ranger Brigade and the Prince Hashim II 5th Aviation Brigade but, after the Rangers were absorbed into the QRFB and the helicopter squadrons from the aviation brigade were transferred to the Royal Jordanian Air Force under the 2017 restructuring, the 101st SFG and 71st CTB were re-designated. Under the new structure the 101st has become Special Unit I and the 71st has become Special Unit 2; it is believed that in theory SU I undertakes the more conventional SpecOps counter-insurgency roles and SU II undertakes counter-terrorist missions, but in practice both units are trained to undertake either.

Another SOFG assault team on a Chevrolet Suburban SUV speed forward [© Bob Morrison]

The dynamic display seen here made use of the KASOTC Airbus A-300 training airframe and involved what we understand was a composite formation drawn from both SU I and SU II teams. The bulk of the SpecOps personnel wore the Jordanian Special Operations camouflage pattern introduced in late 2015, which we first photographed at KASOTC in 2016, but a few wore Crye MultiCam UBACS and combat trousers; the two patterns have very similar colour palettes and are fully compatible.

The vehicles used in the hijacked aircraft take-down scenario were matt black Chevrolet Suburban SUVs with running boards and grab bars, and JLVM Al-Jawad armoured personnel carriers with assault ladders. Primary weapons carried were Heckler & Koch 5.56mm HK416 assault rifles with Trijicon ACOG and RMR sights.

Two teams take the mid and rear emergency doors as others assault the main steps [© Bob Morrison]

Note the military working dog handler and his canine bringing up the rear [© Bob Morrison]

As the assault teams go in other operators working in pairs form an outer cordon [© Bob Morrison]

The first overpowered hijacker is removed from the Airbus [© Bob Morrison]

The teams stand guard over captured hijackers until a prisoner transit vehicle is brought forward [© Bob Morrison]

The prisoners are speedily removed – at this point the incident scene would be handed back to the police commander [© Bob Morrison]

The teams mount up to leave the incident scene a little over three minutes after arriving [© Bob Morrison]

Teams appear to consist of eight operators working in buddy pairs [© Bob Morrison]

The two closest operators wear MultiCam uniform but the third wears Jordanian SpecOps camo pattern [© Bob Morrison]

Uniforms here are SpecOps camo but load carriage vests are MultiCam [© Bob Morrison]

The Al-Jawad – these are early models – is locally produced by Jordan Light Vehicle Manufacturing [© Bob Morrison]

The SOF Group can also call on the services of MD-530F light helicopters – this one took off just before the display [© Bob Morrison]

Jordanian Special Operations personnel are not only well-trained and well-equipped but also held in high regard both regionally and worldwide [© Bob Morrison]

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