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Special Ops Invade Tampa For Combat Demonstration

The Hillsborough River was taken over by helicopters, boats, military aircrafts and mock gunfire Wednesday afternoon as part of the U.S. Special Operations Command and International Special Forces combat demonstration.

The drill takes place every other year as part of the group's annual conference. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn gladly played the hostage that the military personnel had to rescue and bring to safety.

"It was a lot of fun, but this is serious business,” Buckhorn said when the demonstration was finished. “These are the best in the world and I am appreciative of what they do and am glad they asked me to participate, but more important I just love being with them.”

Special Ops Forces from 15 different nations participated in the event which lasted 30 minutes and attracted hundreds of onlookers to the Harbor Island area of downtown Tampa.

Representatives from the various nations demonstrated experience they've received while training or engaging in combat alongside Special Ops Forces over the past several decades.

They also assaulted mock enemy positions to show the public that they’re in safe hands, said one maritime Special Ops operator who couldn’t reveal his name for security purposes.

“It makes the American people feel a little bit safe I hope, I think showing them what are capabilities are and we love doing it for everybody,” he said.

Buckhorn said he had utmost respect for the men and women who risk their lives to protect their country.

“These guys are so well trained they just execute, they're professionals, they're the best in the world,” he said.

The conference, focused on evolving networks to counter emerging threats, ended Thursday.