x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

UAE and Qatari forces begin war games

The exercises, dubbed ‘Peace Shield 1/2012’, are the third set of reported joint operations this year for the UAE armed forces.

DUBAI // The UAE and Qatari armed forces have started joint air, sea and land military exercises on Sunday to increase their level of preparedness, according to state news agency WAM.

The exercises, dubbed ‘Peace Shield 1/2012’, are the third set of reported joint operations this year for the UAE armed forces.

The exercises, which are part of a pre-set programme between the two countries, will involve all armed forces sections over an unspecified period.

“The exercise will focus on planning and executing joint military operations as well as the operational procedures of command and control on the ground (as well as) the enhancement of leadership skills of the command and control centre operators and military readiness of GCC personnel,” the armed forces said in a statement.

Last month, GCC joint military forces conducted air, ground and naval exercises in the region.

The Peninsula Shield Force, which consists of elements from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, conducted war-game exercises titled ‘Islands of Loyalty’.

A military spokesman said “the Peninsula Shield Force will test the harmony and coordination among ground, air and naval forces and their readiness”.

He added that the force would test its members’ ability to carry out “special, limited and major missions along coasts and islands within the territorial waters”.

The ‘Gulf 2012’ war games exercise was conducted with the French military earlier this month.

A full air, ground and naval attack with 4,500 combined Emirati and French troops was played out on Umdaddi Hill on the western coast of Abu Dhabi.

Maj Gen (Staff) Pilot Rashad Mohammed Salem Al-Saadi, the UAE military spokesperson, and Rear Admiral Marin Gillier, commander of the French Navy special forces, said the joint exercise had been the largest conducted by both militaries.

"We are getting more and more prepared and this event enabled us to better our performance on the battlefield and concentrate on joint operations areas that needed more work," Maj Gen Al Saadi had said.

amustafa@thenational.ae