[Video] U.S. Special Forces Hostage Rescue Demo in Downtown Tampa

May 27 2014 - 19 Comments

This is how U.S. Special Forces would cope with a hostage rescue situation.

On May 21, the United States Special forces performed a public demonstration of their tactics used in a hostage rescue situation in Downtown Tampa as part of the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference.

In an Act of Valor-like scenario, the demo gave the public the opportunity to see a Special Operation unfold in the channel behind the Tampa Convention Center supported by 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) “Night Stalkers” MH-60s and MH-6Ms helicopters.

160th SOAR is the U.S. Army special ops force which provides support for both general purpose and special operations forces flying MH-47G Chinooks, MH-60L/K Black Hawks, A/MH-6M Little Birds choppers and, since Dec. 2013, MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones, (along with MH-X Silent Hawks involved in the Osama Bin Laden raid possibly along with some stealthy Chinooks and, maybe, some stealthy Little Birds).

The above video was produced pro-bono by Right Hand Films for the benefit of the City of Tampa in honor of Memorial Day 2014 “and as a dedication to the men and women who have lost their lives defending our country, whom we honor this memorial day.”

H/T to Al Major for the heads-up


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  • Gavin

    I never get over how weird it looks when the recording fps of the camera and the rpm of chopper blades make the blades appear to not spin… :D

  • wayne

    That was pretty cool.

  • Steve Orpin

    Civilians have no idea the training and precision it takes to do this. Not a clue. It just looks like Hollywood to them.

  • Ben Bradley

    Thanks for the feature, guys! Glad to produce this video as dedication to Memorial Day this year. – All the best to you!

  • Marco

    So being in the armed forces nowadays is all about screwing around with expensive equipment in front of young couples, families and kids… what a shame. I would feel so depressed.

    • Ed

      I guess this was a bit of a promotional effort, to get some enthusiastic new recruits. Or perhaps maintain support for their budget (not quite sure about that one).

      • Marco

        Well, I understand the risk of getting their necks broken to hunt the enemy, but risking their necks to excite some civvies on a Sunday show sounds really depressing.

        • Greg

          It does. They were probably thinking to themselves, this is not why I joined the armed forces.

        • Underemployed_KS_Military

          Marco, nothing in that demo was designed SPECIFICALLY for public consumption, except for arguably the venue which has little to do with the training. I can also promise you that all of the individuals doing this practiced it multiple times prior to ever doing it in combat, if that was ever the case. A two way way shooting range isn’t the place to hone skills for a relatively risky profession. Things like this are practiced on a very regular basis so when the time comes things can get done with as little extraneous prep work as possible. It really is interesting how much the real deal can mimic training scenarios when the training is good, almost so much so that it doesn’t seem real. So f’n what if the public got a rare look at some high speed military tactics and equipment. No one made them or you watch it and REAL training was accomplished.

          The funny thing is that you think you actually got a peek at how something like this would really go down. Good luck with that because it would be in the dark.

          Lots of Haterade being served here by fools that have no clue. Bottoms up…

      • Cody3/75

        A tiny bit of all three. Although the first two are generally done with high-speed videos to disseminate at local High Schools :P

        While the JSOC and SOCOM community do do dog and pony shows like this, they’re generally for much smaller and more select audiences (although we did on occasion have a “family day” where we showed off for loved ones, or the local communities where we were stationed). This was for, in essence, a Special Ops Trade Show or Convention (for lack of better terms). A much larger one takes place in Jordan every year.

    • Obc

      That seems to be it, Marco. Americans seem more concerned with using them for public entertainment, than military purposes.

      • Cody3/75

        Yeah, you’re right. We haven’t been fighting a war for the past 12+years or anything. Every person you see in that clip has copious amounts of time in country.

    • Flyn_Bryan

      This demonstration is performed specifically for a Special Forces Conference that has been held in Tampa, FL, multiple times in the past. The group of guys who are fast roping from the black hawk are not necessarily American. This was not part of some half-time show during a NASCAR race for a bunch of red-necks to watch.

      • Cody3/75

        In the above clip, all units are American. Although other countries do their own demonstrations at that conference every year also.

        Edit: In that YouTube vid you posted, all units are American except the part with the HMMWVs, they could have been anyone, couldn’t tell.

  • Flyn_Bryan

    Just watched more of this event on YouTube. I saw Canadian and Australian special forces also participated in the demonstration. Very impressive. It also appears this display is performed in conjunction with the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. Here is the demo from 2012

  • Marco

    Call it as you want, but begging people for money and entertaining kids, is not exactly something “military” and I can tell you not even professional.

    • Callsign Vega

      Wow, you must not like airshows either. You know, airshows that virtually every country with a military does including your beloved Russia? Marco, do you have to post some silly negative comment on every video involving the US? Get over it dude.

  • Cody3/75

    Cause they aren’t showing anybody anything of value. You can find the same thing a million places on YouTube. Even civilians these days know what basic room-clearing operations look like. They may not know the finer points but most know “hey, they are clearing that room” if you see it on TV. Same goes for fast-roping/ziplining, and the equipment (for the most part) that are used.

    The strength of these units is in each individual operator’s ability to think and experience. So long as certain pieces of equipment werent used (think NODs used in the movie about killing Bin Laden. Those were for Tier 1 units only and wholly unknown outside the SOCOM/JSOC community until that SEAL wrote his book) they could show a ton of footage of them training and it still wouldn’t give a possible enemy any clue what they’re capable of.

  • CheetahFang258

    Song name please.