Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques patronizes conclusion of Common Gulf Shield Exercise 1
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Supreme Commander of All Armed Forces patronized on Monday the conclusion of Common Gulf Shield Exercise 1 in presence of leaders and senior officials of 25 sisterly and friendly countries participating in the one month exercise, the largest of its kind in the region in terms of the number of troops and military equipment.
Prior to the ceremony, the King received the leaders and senior officials of these countries in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense.
The ceremony started with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran.
Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Fayyadh bin Hamid Al-Rwaili delivered a speech in which he expressed in his own name and on behalf of the participating forces in "the Common Gulf Shield Exercise 1" their pride at the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the conclusion of Common Gulf Shield Exercise 1 and the supervision and following up of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense.
Chief of General Staff noted that the Common Gulf Shield Exercise 1 is an extension of previous joint exercises such as the North Thunder Exercise.
He clarified that the strategic environment has become more complicated after the emergence of terrorism, a danger facing the world with the existence of states, regimes and political parties and sectarian sects sponsoring and supporting its leaders and members. Realizing the threat of terrorism, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has exerted several efforts to face these challenges by establishing Military Coalition to restore Legitimacy in Yemen, Islamic Military Coalition to confront terrorism, Center of intellectual War, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) as well as supporting UN humanitarian organizations.
Then, the monarch and the attendees were briefed on a description of the landmarks and directions of the drill's site, including the coastal village field, modern village, Al-Khair I island, fishers harbor, industrial facility, Al-Khair II island and border guard center.
Then, the final maneuver started upon a signal made by the King.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Control Commission of the exercise Major General Saad bin Mohammed Olayyan Al-Shahrani gave an account on the operational exercise activities in which armed forces of 25 friendly countries took part by the side of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The hypothetical operations included launching a counterattack on ballistic missiles platforms inside the enemy's boundaries, chasing naval speed boats off shore and in the economic waters, hitting infiltrators into Al-Khair I and Al-Khair II islands, and defending the country's border through a joint naval, army and air force.
Then the exercise included live artillery maneuvers, repulsing an infiltrating enemy boats and exploding them using border guard helicopters, preventing external support from salvaging the besieged infiltrators, using the Apache fighters to hit targets in Al-Khair II island, supporting the coastal defense forces and destroying the hostile targets, and using the Super Puma to attack the enemy at Al-Khair I island and bar them from fleeing back.
Army forces' tanks and high-skilled Fox vehicles also took part in the drill.
Then, the Commander of the Common Gulf Shield Exercise 1, parade Brig. Gen. Hassan bin Saleh Al-Shehri requested the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to start the military parade.
The parade began with formations of symbolic units of participating forces from 25 friendly countries, following the flag of Saudi Arabia.
The military parade included Special Forces units, advanced military vehicles and missile systems that paraded before the King and the leaders of participating countries.
Squadrons of aircraft from participating forces made an air show that provided variety of configurations, including those used by attacking aircraft and other multi-task, showed the overall skill and efficiency of the pilots involved.
The aircraft formed in the sky a shield representing the countries participating, in the exercise.
The show also witnessed parade of several modern aircraft and their missions, including the MRT aircraft, which has the ability to fuel airborne aircraft, at all altitudes, the AWACS, an airborne control system for round-the-clock surveillance, used for offensive and defensive operations and the RJ surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
The K3, a floating fuel station in the sky, helps aircraft stay longer in the air to achieve their missions, over the enemy airspace, while the C-130 transport plane missions include cargo and quick and flexible air support.
A variety of helicopters made up of three high-speed, reactive Apache helicopters, that can attack from multiple distances or from the depth of the battle and primarily used to destroy tanks and armored vehicles, have been also paraded.
Cougar aircraft used for search and assistance operations, with high potential able to rescue air or ground crews from the enemy territories, were also among displayed warfare paraded gadgets.
Super-Puma aircraft to carry out combat operations against naval targets, support forces of countries in their combat operations, at sea, to pass information to fleet control centers displayed a formation of Black Hawk aircraft transporting personnel within the area of operations, offered a live air maneuver and a direct clash between Typhoon and F-15S.
Then all participating fighter planes paraded before the VIP compartment to greet and coincidently announce the end of the air show, and the Common Gulf Shield Exercise I.
At the end of the ceremony, the Saudi national anthem was played.
A commemorative photo session was held.
A luncheon banquet was held in honor of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his guests.
The ceremony was attended by a number of princes, ministers, senior officials and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Kingdom.