Arab News, Monday, Apr 16, 2018 | Rajab 29, 1439
King Salman, Arab leaders attend Gulf Shield parade
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, and heads of
state and senior representatives from 25 countries, on Monday, attended the
closing ceremony of the Joint Gulf Shield-1 military drills.
King Salman presided over the closing ceremony of the drills, which he said
highlighted a “unified alliance” between over 24 countries to combat military
“The event is... meant to demonstrate our ability to take joint military action,
the region’s readiness to support Arab unity and its capacity to deter any
threats,” military spokesman Abdullah Subaei was quoted as saying in a Saudi
information ministry statement.
“This exercise demonstrates that we have the cooperation of friendly nations,
our experience and expertise to deal with those threats.
The parades included special forces units, with advanced military vehicles and
missile systems and involved combat search-and-rescue drills as well as naval
warfare and air operations. Aircraft of the participating air forces carried out
various maneuvers that reflected the skills and efficiencies of the pilots.
Several modern aircraft were showcased, including the MRTT, which can carry up
to 111 tons of fuel, the highest capacity of all tanker aircraft. It also
included auxiliary military aircraft, fighters and attack aircraft featuring
auxiliary power systems, as well as the airborne early warning and control
system (AWACS), which is an airborne radar picket system designed to detect
aircraft, ships and vehicles at long range.
Aircraft flew in shield formation, in acknowledgement of the overall exercise’s
The show also featured a K-3, a floating fuel station in the sky, allowing
aircraft to stay longer in the air in order to achieve their targets and the
C-130 transport plane, which is used for quick and flexible cargo transport,
troop transfers and aid drops.
A variety of helicopters were also on display, including three high-powered
rapid response Apache helicopters, with the capacity to strike from a
multiplicity of distances and primarily used to destroy tanks and armored
Cougar aircraft, which are utilized for search and rescue operations and the
Super-Puma aircraft, used to carry out combat operations against naval targets
and to pass information to fleet control centers, also featured. Assembled
dignitaries also reviewed a formation of Black Hawk aircraft, which are used to
Finally, Typhoon and F-15S aircraft engaged in mock combat maneuvers.
The Joint Gulf Shield-1 military maneuvers reflect the importance of military
cooperation and coordination, with friendly countries, in raising the level of
combat readiness and ensuring regional security.