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Germany’s GSG-9 Wins Original S.W.A.T. Challenge

April 06, 2006  | 

For the second year in a row, Germany’s special forces unit, GSG-9, won the overall championship at the Original S.W.A.T. Footwear Co. World Challenge (OSWC) Coming in a close second were San Antonio (Texas) SWAT, followed by Lexington (Ky.) SWAT in third.

The OSWC was held at Camp Robinson, on the outskirts of Little Rock, Ark., March 26-27. The Original S.W.A.T. Footwear Company is title sponsor of the elite SWAT competition. The competition is an invitation-only, international world championship designed to test the mental toughness, physical fitness, and weapons skills of the world’s top SWAT teams. It is recognition of a team’s excellence just to be invited to participate.

This year, the German team found it much tougher, winning four out of eight individual competitions for 24 points. Last year, they made a clean sweep, taking first in every competition. San Antonio SWAT has always been GSG-9’s main competition, and this year they were ready, winning one challenge and finishing with a total score of 29. Lexington came in at 35 points, and Dallas SWAT, stars of their own show on A&E, finished fourth with 46 points.

The competition consists of eight grueling, live-fire events. Their descriptive names hint at the unique stresses of each task: Sniper Challenge, Masked Entry, Three-Gun Challenge, Zodiac Attack, Original SWAT Range Run, Carbine Car Assault, Pistol Shoot-Off, and LEOPARD Challenge. All events are performed head-to-head, unique in SWAT competitions. Six officers comprise a team. Each competes wearing handguns, full tactical gear (helmets, body armor, and LBE utility belts), shoulder-fired weapon, and in some situations specialized equipment such as gas masks or SCBA.

The shooting requirements are precise with only one round provided for each target and severe time penalties for each miss. The events are scored objectively, based on targets hit and time, with the fastest total time winning. The action is fast-paced and demanding, with teams performing like professional athletes to accomplish their missions. The overall winning team of the OSWC is crowned World Champion.

Filmed for Outdoor Life Network, the OSWC will appear on OLN later this year, along with Original SWAT Footwear’s Emmy-award winning television commercial. The commercial stars the Shelby County (Tenn.) SWAT team, who also were participants at this year’s challenge. Check the Original SWAT Website or your local listings for times and dates in your area.

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