As is now tradition at SOFEX, the Jordanian Special Operations Forces once again staged a spectacular demonstration of its capabilities. The demonstration was preceded by a 21-gun salute in honour of King Abdullah II, who took the salute from the podium in front of the pavilion packed with top-level invitees and VIP delegates.
With eyes raised to the Jordanian skies, His Majesty is flanked from the left by Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein, Lt Gen Mahmoud Freihat, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff , Jordan Armed Forces – Arab Arm and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah. To the right of the King is Prime Minister Dr Hani Fawsi Al-Mulqi.
With two muddied vehicles driving up to a set of buildings, the announcer explained that ‘insurgents’ hiding in a village have been identified by security forces. Pathfinders dropped by parachute battled the strong windy conditions, but soon Special Operations Forces (SOF) fast-roped from a pair of Black Hawk UH-60L helicopters hovering above the buildings to engage the ‘insurgents’, while SOF Cobra AH-1F helicopters and other air assets provided overhead cover.
The fierce firefight lasted only minutes, with the ‘insurgents’ either killed or captured, and a wounded SOF officer evacuated by his comrades to a waiting Black Hawk. In a further show of force, two Jordanian Air Force F-16 AM fighter jets fl ew at low level over the ‘village’ as the helicopters departed.
In the words of the announcer, the ‘insurgents’ were defeated by the superior capabilities and equipment of the friendly forces.
For the benefit of the crowd, all the helicopters once again appeared, this time in formation with the national flag and those of the Jordanian Special Forces and of SOFEX respectively carried underneath.
As the crowd started dispersing, everyone was taken by surprise by the pair of F-16s executing a fast level flypast and scattering glowing balls of fl are as they shot up into the low cloud base overhead.
This was a truly fitting opening to the 12th Special Operations Forces exhibition.