In a rare public display, soldiers from 10 nations worked together to showcase their drills and capabilities. Their mission: to rescue Mayor Bob Buckhorn in downtown Tampa. Mayor Buckhorn, in the scenario demonstration, had been kidnapped by terrorists.
American Chinook helicopters provided aerial support whilst the tactical assault was conducted from the water. Two Special Forces teams assaulted the "terrorist village" near the Tampa Convention Center, freeing the Mayor and removing him to a safe location.
Special Operations Commander Australia, Major General 'Gus' Gilmore said the participation of 2nd Commando Regiment personnel was indicative of the close relationship between Australia’s Special Operations Command and the Special Operations Forces of many partner nations.
“It is in Australia’s national interests to continue undertaking counter-terrorist cooperation and training with regional militaries, as part of a broader, whole of government counter-terrorism effort,” he said.
“This demonstration has highlighted our ability to work closely with other nations, to combat terrorism, as ultimately the safety of Australians could rest on the effective cooperation between Australia’s Special Operations Command and our regional Special Operations Forces counterparts.”
Private Mark ‘S’, from the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment, who took part in the demonstration, was pleased with the successful integration of such a large number of nations in the exercise.
“We had four days to train together for this mission, and the bond you build with members of other Special Forces, sharing the training and conducting an exercise like this side by side, is of immense value to us,” he said.
The week-long ISOF Conference brought together leaders from 96 countries, under the theme ‘Building the Global Special Operations Force Partnership’.
“Australia shares a common goal with our neighbours of a secure and prosperous region. Army’s Special Operations Command has an interest in cooperative military approaches with our regional partners to issues such as terrorism and transnational crime,” said General Gilmore.