SWAT Competition Continues In Tulsa

Thursday, June 18th 2009, 5:34 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The United States Shooting Academy is hosting the National SWAT Championships.  The three day event is not a competition for the faint of heart. 

There are 18 teams with 180 competitors from as far away as Europe taking part.  It's designed to test physical fitness, team organization, and weapons proficiency.

06/15/2009  Related Story: SWAT Teams Competing In Tulsa

"We try to make it so that it's a lot of fun and a lot of interaction, but it really has a training basis, a performance basis," said National SWAT Championship's Dr. Jack O'Connor.

The training of participants was immediately put to the test during Thursday's first team competition.

The officers will be put through a number of scenarios over the next few days.  One is designed to test their agility, as well simulate a scenario in which an officer has been shot.

Several Oklahoma teams, including Muskogee SWAT, are trying to hold their own against some of the best in the world.

"This would be a huge upset.  I don't want to say no, but I'm going to say slim," said Muskogee SWAT Officer Ty Pickering.

Besides the competition, SWAT teams say they are using the event as an opportunity to improve.  Officers say they're paying close attention to the tactics and training employed by other teams.

"We're learning from some of the best teams in the world.  We're challenging ourselves under stress, challenging our equipment, our training.  It's a good test," said John Latouf with the Nuclear Response Team.

The United States Shooting Academy says the championship is the type of event it had hoped to attract when it first opened in 2005.