Qatar’s Project 401 special operations training centers are an attempt by the nation to emerge as a global hub for special operations training. Significant investments are being made in the creation of two training hubs - Brouq Naval Training Camp and Al Sailiya Camp. The former which specializes in maritime special operations training, while the latter is focussed on land and airborne Special Forces (SF) training. The Brouq Naval Training Camp has been operational since 2021, while training at the Al Sailiya Camp is expected to begin by the end of this year. 

Speaking to MS&T earlier in the year, Brigadier General Ali Harib Al-Harib, Deputy Commander of Qatar Emiri Signal Corps and Director of Project 401, said that both training centers when fully operational, would offer over 400 training scenarios. The Brouq Naval Training Camp training camp which has over 30 training ranges is now fully operational. Al-Harib said the special operations training centers are aimed at offering the best training available to national and international SF and Counter-Terrorism (CT) units. One of the biggest challenges in setting up the training facilities was capturing the requirements of the Qatar Armed Forces and transforming them into the actual capabilties now available under Project 401, he said. When fully completed the Al Sailiya Camp will also provide airport hostage rescue training using an Airbus A300 passenger aircraft hull. It will also provide urban counter-terrorism training including a Metro station.  

The 130-acre Brouq Naval Training Camp comprises of world class facilities and can accommodate 200 soldiers and 50 officers. 

Turkish defense firm Modern Defence Solutions was awarded the contract to establish the Brouq training centre in 2018. One of the other training providers for Project 401 is US-based InVeris Training Solutions. 

Brigadier General Ali Harib Al-Harib, Deputy Commander of Qatar Emiri Signal Corps and Director of Project 401. Credit: DIMDEX

Facilities’ Diverse, Relevant Capabilities 

A Project 401 brochure provided an insight into the training capabilties offered at Brouq Naval Training Camp. A live closed shooting range (50m – 10m) provides marksmen basic training, live shooting with pistols and rifles, night shooting training, fixed- and moving targets, and other capabilities. The state-of-the-art, multi-purpose naval building with Helicopter Underwater Escape Training is used to provide training to escape from a helicopter in case of a water evacuation, training to safely exit from closed aircraft windows and training in use of life jackets and rescue boats. A fast roping and rappelling course is also offered with the ability to undertake training in climbing high walls, jump rope training from a helicopter, mountain descent and quick descent with tactical gear, and other mission sets. A Trust Tower is available for diving training, training to jump from high distances and training to drop equipment such as rubber boats.

The facility’s Maritime Anti-Terrorism Field affords SF and CT units training in areas such as ship entry, use of use of less lethal munitions, intelligence gathering, maritime counter-terrorism training, training on mining of ships in port, jump rope training using a real helicopter, mine clearing ship diving training, and other mission tasks. Port training courses are also provided such as speedboat driving training, inflatable boat driving training and dive training in harbors in day and night. 

Training at the Urban Combat Range includes an urban area training course which includes stairs clearing, entrance clearance, control points, shooting while on the move, strength versus strength scenarios, room disinfection operations using two, three and four men, and other missions sets. There is also an Advanced Counter-Terrorism Course. A dedicated physical training area is also provided.

The dedicated Simulation Explosives Field provides a Counter Improvised Explosive Device training course and K9 Explosive Detection Training Course. Hostage rescue and negotiation courses are also provided. A Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course also provides paramedic training. Advanced Training Information Management Systems allow the whole training area to be managed from a single location. 

 MS&T Atul thumbnail_Image 2.jpg

Turkish firm Modern Defence Solutions was awarded a contract in 2018 to develop the Brouq Naval Training Camp as part of Project 401. Credit: Modern Defence Solutions.

Strengthening Internal Forces and Partnerships

Al-Harib said that both training centers would be available for use to friendly nations and that one of the aims of the project was to have elite international special operations forces train with the Qatar Armed Forces. He added that the provision of a conducive training environment simulating real operations and battlefield scenarios, would not only improve the combat efficiency of personnel training at Project 401 but would also allow them to undertake effective planning for implementing all special operations and counter-terrorism operations to address 21st century threats.  

Qatar’s Project 401 special operations training centers are an ambitious undertaking by the Qatar Armed Forces that already boast some of the most sophisticated defence equipment in the region. Elite SF and CT units take decades of hard training and Qatar’s intent to have these forces train alongside own troops in country, will allow its own special operations units to quickly grow their own capability. 

Sales CTA Aug 2023.png