South Africa’s Special Task Force (STF), which is arguably the country’s most elite unit in the SA Police Service, (SAPS) is competing with law enforcement agencies from around the world in a battle for bragging rights to become the world’s most elite unit at the UAE SWAT Challenge.
The group of highly skilled SAPS STF operatives will show off their weapons, combat and teamwork skills as they take part in the friendly exhibition aimed at sharing knowledge and tactical skills.
The SAPS team is hopeful to improve after finishing 9th overall in the UAE SWAT Challenge last year.
The contest includes more than 80 teams from over 40 countries.
The SAPS published a video clip of the STF team in action in Dubai, as they went about navigating the obstacle course.
“Our elite Special Task Force Unit is competing at the fifth edition 2024 UAE SWAT Challenge currently under way in Dubai. The SAPS Special Task Force Unit is one of 87 elite Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams participating from 48 countries,” the SAPS said on its X post.
Another video of the entire run was featured and indicated that the SA team completed the course quicker than its 2023 time.
The SAPS Special Task Force unit is taking part in this year’s #UAESWATchallenge. Our Task Force is among the top 10 most elite units in the world. Last year they obtained 9th position. They are the number 1 SWAT team in Africa! They respond to high risk incidents only in SA. pic.twitter.com/xzQdDWBHfO— Athlenda Mathe (@AthlendaM) February 4, 2024
The team was seen competing in an assault challenge, which included rescue, sniper shooting, medium and close-range shooting targets.
SAPS spokesperson Athlende Mathe said of the STF team:
“Our Task Force is among the top 10 most elite units in the world. Last year they obtained 9th position. They are the number 1 SWAT team in Africa! They respond to high risk incidents only in SA,” Mathe said on X.
According to the UAE SWAT Challenge website, the top three teams will spilt $260,000, (about R5 million).
Besides competing in the obstacle course event, teams will have to participate in the officer rescue missions, tower events, and assault competitions to accumulate points.
Police routinely do not reveal the identify of STF members for safety reasons.