Friday,22 June, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1390, (19 - 25 April 2018)
Friday,22 June, 2018
Issue 1390, (19 - 25 April 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Ready for action

The first Gulf Shield joint military drills, hosted by Saudi Arabia, ended on Monday, reports Ahmed Eleiba

 

#Ready for action # Ready for action # Ready for action
# # #

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi attended the closing ceremonies of the first Gulf Shield joint military drills alongside the heads of state of other participating countries.

Egypt contributed special marine forces, commandos and paratroopers, and units from the air force and military police, to the exercises which brought together military units from 23 countries in one of the largest joint military exercises ever seen in the region.

 The aim of the exercises was to assess and develop readiness to plan and execute sea and air operations to protect vital interests, combat terrorism and counter-threats to the security and stability of the Gulf and the Middle East.

In the final stage of the exercises Egyptian F-16s joined other participants’ air forces to stage sorties against hostile targets on an island and secure air control over the zone of operations while naval units destroyed hostile vessels, securing maritime routes, islands and vital facilities.

In a separate drill the “enemy” targeted an artillery and attacked a coast guard position. Coast guards defended the assigned area and deterred the attackers while ground forces, including paratrooper and commando forces units, raided coastal villages that had been infiltrated by hostile elements.

The final stage of the drill included a simulated hostile ballistic missile strike against a factory. Emergency forces cleansed the area of chemicals, provided medical first aid and evacuated victims to nearby field hospitals by air.

To mark the end of the tactical training exercises a military parade was held in which all participant countries took part.

In earlier stages of Gulf Shield 1 special marine units performed tasks that included marine landings in order to seize control of strategic coastal areas. Other groups boarded and searched suspect vessels. Paratrooper and commando units practised free parachuting from high altitudes. There were, in addition, aerial engagements with hostile targets, combat tasks staged in urban settings using live ammunition, and training in aerial evacuation following combat tasks.

Gulf Shield was not the only joint military exercise to conclude last week. Egyptian and UAE air and naval forces took part in the Khalifa-3 exercises in Egyptian territorial waters. Egypt contributed frigates, missile launches, mine breakers, supply ships and other naval units. The UAE participated with a similar array of naval hardware. The exercises focussed on safeguarding shipping lanes, confronting unconventional threats, anti-mining operations, fuelling ships at sea, and boarding and searching suspect vessels.

Egyptian and Bahraini Special Forces also took part in the Khaled Ibn Al-Walid 2018 joint military manoeuvres, staged at Bahrain’s Isa airbase. Units undertook assignments designed to facilitate the exchange of expertise and enhance the effectiveness of Special Forces.

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