How long before this becomes a reality TV event? Josh Eels tags along with Team America for the New York Times:
The men of Team America were missing an assault rifle. “Everybody pulled a rifle, right, guys?” Eric asked. A 38-year-old ex-Navy lieutenant, he had blond hair to his shoulders and a few days’ worth of deployment stubble.
“We’re supposed to have eight,” Brian said. He and Eric worked SWAT together in Virginia and sometimes hunted together, too.
Brandon, 33, had six 9-millimeter Glock pistols stuffed in his pockets. He surveyed the room: “Two . . . four . . . six. . . . “
Carey, a sniper, tried to stifle a laugh. “Good thing they don’t have a counting event.”
It was a spring Saturday at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (Kasotc) in Jordan.
The members of Team America were in their barracks after a morning at the range, cleaning their guns so the desert sand wouldn’t jam the actions. Kasotc — it rhymes with aquatic — sits in the blasted-out canyon of a rock quarry on Yajouz Road about 15 miles north of Amman. It’s a state-of-the-art counterterrorism-training base, with 6,000 acres ringed by sentry towers and razor wire. The sound of gunfire echoed off the limestone cliffs, spooking the sheep on nearby bluffs.
Team America were at Kasotc for the fifth-annual Warrior Competition in which 32 teams from 17 countries and the Palestinian territories would compete against one another on mock missions. Organizers have referred to it as “the Olympics of counterterrorism”: over the next four days, the teams would raid buildings, storm hijacked jets, rescue hostages and shoot targets with live ammunition, all while being scored for speed and accuracy. It was a stage-managed showcase for the 21st-century soldier — not the humble G.I., but the post-9/11 warrior, the superman in the shadows, keeping the world safe from murky threats…
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