Abu Dhabi: The UAE will celebrate the 46th Anniversary of the UAE Armed Forces Unification Day on May 6, under one central command and one flag, to become the defensive shield of the country and the protector of its achievements and gains.
The date, 6th May, is a glorious day in the country’s history, as it was when the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the Rulers of the Emirates took the historic decision to unify the Armed Forces. The UAE’s leadership has always supported the UAE Armed Forces and shown their keenness to provide it with all development means, equipping it with advanced weapons and military technologies to strengthen its combat capacities.
Emiratis are the core elements of the armed forces’ modernisation process, driving the UAE to establish military institutes and colleges to train the Emirati youth to keep pace with current requirements and signed agreements with prominent civil universities to support their development. Military institutes and colleges are key elements in supplying armed forces personnel with the necessary training, such as Zayed Military College that offers quality military training, prepare future leaders, and encourage increased harmony among security and army officers and Ministry of Interior officers.
Defence National College
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued Federal Decree No. 20 for 2021 to establish the National Defence College as an entity independent of the Joint Command and Staff College, in implementation of the aspirations of the leadership to keep pace with the strategic environment and prepare the country’s leaders at all levels, and under strategic plans for the advancement of the Armed Forces.
First batch of Emirati citizens
August 30, 2014, is a historic day in the UAE’s history, which saw the first batch of Emirati citizens joining the National and Reserve Service and responding to their call of duty. The National and Reserve Service Authority is keen to strategically develop a training programme that will help strengthen the sense of patriotism of recruits and establish a new qualified generation of leaders, in line with the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Role of Women
Due to the continuous support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), Honorary Chairperson of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), and the “Mother of the UAE,” the Armed Forces have shown great interest in the role of women in serving the country, as they have proven their worthiness to belong to the military establishment and have shown great willingness and readiness to defend the country.
Female military cadres
Under this framework, the Khawla bint Al Azur Military College was established to train female military cadres to join the Armed Forces. The college has become one of the primary sources for qualified female military recruits who work in many specialisations, including administrative and military media work. The UAE believes that having a military force is one of the crucial ways to preserve peace. Therefore, developing and modernising its Armed Forces is a key priority in addressing the region’s many challenges.
Range of missions
Since the establishment of the country, the UAE Armed Forces have carried out a range of missions to rescue victims from theatres of war and disasters. Under this framework, the Armed Forces have set honourable examples of giving and sacrifice. The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX), the Dubai Airshow, the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX) and the Systems Training (SIMTEX) Conference have reinforced their global stature among the largest international events in aviation and defence, therefore, offering a unique opportunity for the development of defence and military industries in the UAE, and meeting the country’s aspirations to create a highly competitive environment and keeping pace with the best-related technologies.
Domestic defence industry
The UAE has achieved advanced stages in developing a robust domestic defence industry to meet the needs of the Armed Forces and build its strategic independence while reducing its dependence on arms suppliers from foreign countries and becoming a global weapons supplier for international markets.
Today, the UAE has become a leading supplier of military systems in the Middle East due to its product quality, competitive prices, and the after-sales services provided by national companies, confirming that the UAE has a clear vision to develop its military industries. The multi-lateral joint military exercises carried out by the UAE Armed Forces with the armed forces of friendly countries throughout the year have helped promote cooperation and collective action and the exchange of military expertise.
The Union Fortress
The Union Fortress military show organised by the UAE Armed Forces twice a year highlights its leading role in ensuring its recruits receive a high level of training to protect the country, citizens, and residents. The event highlights the capacities and readiness of the UAE Armed Forces to conduct various live exercises, hostages rescue scenarios and other types of military action. The UAE’s leadership, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, appreciates the great sacrifices of the UAE’s martyrs in the field of battles, underscored by his order to make 30th November each year the country’s “Commemoration Day”, dedicated to the country’s martyrs and their valuable sacrifices.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the UAE has harnessed the resources and capacities of the Armed Forces to address emergencies, crises, and disasters, therefore, playing a critical role in addressing the pandemic’s repercussions.