Riyadh: A major joint military exercise with 24 countries to ensure effective partner-response to emerging threats, as well as to support stability and security in the region, got under way in Jubail, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
Termed Gulf Shield-1, the event integrates live fire, coastal defence and combat search-and-rescue drills, as well as naval warfare exercises and extensive flying operations. The exercises will continue until April 16.
“The drill constitutes two segments: traditional warfare and hybrid warfare,” Brigadier General Abdullah Subaei, spokesman for Gulf Shield-1, was quoted by the International Communication Centre (ICC) as saying. “The event is also meant to demonstrate our ability to take joint military action, [and] the region’s readiness to support Arab unity and its capacity to deter any threats.”
Brigadier General Subaei said the region faces many threats, including terrorism and extremism, adding: “This exercise demonstrates that we have the cooperation of friendly nations, and the experience and expertise to deal with these threats.”
Clarifying the objective of the exercise further, the spokesman said it was intended to strengthen military and security cooperation, update defence mechanisms, keep abreast of rapidly evolving challenges and risks, and guarantee the region’s readiness to shift its stance from defence to offense in the face of any major threat.
A stable Gulf region will also generate investment opportunities and contribute to attracting foreign investment, the spokesman added.
Organised by the Saudi Ministry of Defence, Gulf Shield-1 is considered the largest in the region in terms of the number of participating nations, troops and equipment used.