NEWS | April 5, 2017

Terrorist attacks and active shooters: US and Gulf Cooperation Council military practical drills during exercise Eagle Resolve

By Staff Sgt. Frank O'Brien 29th Infantry Division

Military and civilian personnel from the Gulf Cooperation Council nations conducted tactical counterterrorism drills as part of exercise Eagle Resolve, March 28, 2017, near Kuwait International Airport. Kuwait, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and U.S. special operations forces conducted search and rescue training, active shooter room clearing exercises, and responded to a mock vehicle explosion.

One objective of the exercise is for the U.S. and participating nations to share tactics, techniques and procedures. Since 1999, Eagle Resolve has become the leading engagement between the U.S. and GCC nations to collectively address the regional challenges associated with asymmetric warfare in a low risk setting.

As part of the search and rescue tactic drills, two teams assaulted through a doorway after throwing smoke grenades to mask their approach. The assault teams then assembled for a quick entry and searched the warehouses using military room clearing and sweeping techniques. They were opposed by enemy shooters role played by U.S. Soldiers from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

When asked about the challenge of operating as part of a fast moving, multilingual team, one special operations Marine veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan said, “Tactics are tactics. Guys with guns are guys with guns. It’s the same everywhere you go.”

Following the assault team was the Kuwait Ministry of Interior search and rescue team equipped with a rescue litter and chainsaws to extract potential victims from the wreckage of a simulated building collapse. Kuwaiti commandos provided security for the rescue teams.

“It’s better than training by ourselves,” said a member of Kuwait’s 25th Com-mando Brigade who specializes in counter-terrorism and hostage recovery. “We can observe different experiences. We’ve trained before with American Marines in Bahrain…I think this exercise succeeded.”

His U.S. counterparts agreed.

“We’re developing relationships,” said a Marine special operator. “It’s like making an investment that is going to pay back interest across the whole (special operations force).”