On 20 May, His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan inaugurated the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre (KASOTC) in Amman, new state-of-the-art regional centre for counter-terrorism and special operations training.  The centre was set up at the King’s initiative and will provide up-to-date training facilities applying latest digital technology, concepts, techniques and tactical skills.During the ceremony, Jordanian and US special forces performed demonstrations of freeing a hijacked mock airliner and infiltration into a multi-storey building to free hostages.They also staged a counter-terrorism drill in which a military convoy was targeted by a roadside bomb.Military representatives from the US (headed by General Patraeus) and countries around the world were present including Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gulf states.The centre, partially funded by the US government, is expected to receive trainees from Arab, African and American forces in the near future, with the US, Kuwaiti and Bahraini armies among the first to make use of the facility, said officials from the centre.”Everyone involved has helped to produce an impressive world-class training centre…” Petraeus told the gathered dignataries.  Petraeus also said the facility will also help boost regional security.”We can’t achieve our shared goals and protect ourselves from our common threats without strong cooperation with each other,” he said.Located in the hills of Yajouz on the eastern outskirts of Amman, the fully-instrumented KASOTC site replicates a real-life urban environment and supports four simultaneous training operations. The site includes:

  • 56 training buildings
  • Mock A300 aircraft fuselage
  • Centralized and integrated Range Operations Center to monitor and control all audio, video, special effects and target technology
  • 350 inside/12 outside networked day/night thermal cameras with 360° coverage to capture exercises for After Action Review (AAR)
    • Immediately following a training exercise, an AAR is presented to review compostive video and audio segments that allow users to learn real-time to modify/correct/improve performance.
  • Sound-effect speakers that project hundreds of realistic sounds, including:
    •  Shouts, animal noises, crying and gunfire
  • Integrated targetry
  • Special effects, such as:
    • Rooftop explosion with debris
    • Concussion wave cannon
    • Automatic weapons simulator
    • Simulated smells
    • Fog generator
    • Improvised explosive device (IED) kit

Adnan Abbadi, a commander at the centre, told reporters that the facility will serve as a training ground for forces from around the world, “regardless of race or religion”.“This centre, with its strategic location, is the King’s idea to unify regional efforts to counter terrorism. It will be a military training base for the Arab world and the region,” he said.According to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff General Khaled Sarayreh, the centre poses as a model of cooperation and partnership between Jordan and the US to combat terrorism in all its forms.“The root causes of terrorism are a mix of special agendas of many extremist organisations, operating in environments characterised by oppression, despair, frustration, poverty, unemployment, hunger….,” said the general, adding that the best way to fight terrorism is to “develop comprehensive strategies focusing on the employment of political, economic, social, technical and intelligence efforts, information sharing and the large scale-use of technology, besides military efforts”.Gary Heral, director of KASOTC, said the centre is one of a kind in the world.“This is the world’s premier counter-terrorism operations centre, or special operations centre. It is 25 square kilometres and has everything from single room dwellings to five-storey apartment buildings. There is no special operation training that you cannot do here.”He added that the centre provides a unique opportunity for national armies to train in several combat situations.”You have to be trained for a wide variety of situations that might come up. You can’t just train for what happened yesterday – you have to train for what happened yesterday, what happened last week and what may happen a month from now,” he added.After the opening ceremony, attended by royal family members, the prime minister and top civic and military officials, King Abdullah took a tour of military fair exhibiting weapons, devices and equipment used by various special forces units.Instrumentation for the site was supplied and installed by General Dynamics Information Technology.  Additional site photos below from GDIT website.

KASOTC 300m range


KASOTC Aircraft Trainer



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