Qatar held a series of security drills in the spring of 2020 to ready the nation for the arrival of hundreds of thousands of World Cup football fans in 2022.
Despite the additional duties dictated by the spread COVID-19, Qatari security forces followed through with training to prepare for the country’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup. Qatar expects to accommodate 32 national teams and their fans for close to a month.
In March and April 2020, Qatari security forces completed a series of exercises: Aman 1 in Al Rayyan, Aman 2 in Dukhan, Aman 3 in the northern region, Aman 4 in the southern region, and Aman 5 in Doha.
These exercises involved the combined strength of the ministries of Defense and Interior as well as Lekhwiya, the country’s internal security force. Lekhwiya specializes in counterterrorism, providing bodyguards for the country’s dignitaries, combating human trafficking and smuggling, securing Qatar’s coastlines, and riot control.
Qatari forces also completed the joint international exercise Intrepid Sentinel 2020 in March 2020, with the participation of Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Turkey, the United States and NATO. Qatar was represented by teams from the Special Forces, the military police, the Air Force and Lekhwiya.
Intrepid Sentinel’s training was tailored to Qatar’s needs: countering terrorism, close-quarters combat, anti-riot drills, hostage rescue, shooting at moving targets, and parachuting. Scenarios included locations that will be used during the World Cup, such as Al Janoub Stadium, Hamad International Airport and Qatar Railways. Sources: Lusail, Al-Jazeera, Al Sharq