California county counterterrorism officers compete in skills challenge

SWAT team members from the San Mateo County, California-based Terrorism Counter-Assault Team (TCAT) traveled to the Middle East this week to test their skills in the so-called Olympics of counterterrorism.

The team traveled to Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday with other U.S. officers to compete in the sixth annual Warrior Competition. The competition is hosted by the Jordanian Armed Forces and runs through Monday, the San Francisco Examiner reports.

The event features law enforcement and military teams from various countries competing in mock terror scenarios at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center. The desert facility contains dozens of buildings used for simulating incursions into hospitals, private homes and even a full-scale Airbus A300 replica aircraft.

The simulated incidents competitors train for include raiding a facility where WMDs are being manufactured and operating in the aftermath of a WMD attack. The TCAT team is trained to operate in environments threatened by WMDs. The training involves wearing breathing apparatus and other gear to protect against biological and chemical agents.

Al Elzey, a county TCAT member, said it was an honor to have the opportunity to compete against the best counterterrorism teams in the world.

"I'll be proud of the guys if we place really well, but I'll still be proud of them just for going," Elzey said, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The competition includes teams from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, China, Canada and many other countries, the San Francisco Examiner reports.