TAMPA, Florida-- The mayor taken hostage, a shoot-out with terrorists, and a dramatic rescue. It was all part ofa multi-national demonstration in downtown Tampa Wednesday afternoon by Special Operations forces.
But organizers were hoping not just those in Tampa were watching --they also wanted our enemies around the world to see as well.
"Doing this for the public is a very powerful thing because it lets our common enemies know that if they mess with one of us they are going to have to answer to all of us, and so I'm sure they are going to be out there watching these same things as the public has today," said one of the Americans Special Ops participating in the event.
The demonstration, which lasted roughly 30 minutes, included one team being dropped off on a barge from a Black Hawk helicopter.It also featured a Chinook helicopter, flying just feet from the water, deploying a small boat and special ops team before flying off. Then there was the dramatic rescue of a hostage in a mock village. The hostage turned out to be Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who later told reporters he's glad these men are protecting us.
"Obviously, to get the chance to fire a 50 caliber was pretty cool, the ultimate boy toy, but it was a lot of fun. More importantly, I got to be with these guys and I got to watch what they do first hand," Buckhorn said of the experience.
A total of 10 different nations participated in Wednesday's demonstration.
About 8,000 people from 90 different countries are in Tampa for what's called the International Special Operation Forces Week and an industry trade show.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also made an appearance at the event Wednesday night.