His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has said that celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces comes as we stand on solid ground, and look towards the future with hope and confidence. "You have proven your competence, capability and determination to achieve victory in the just battles against aggression, evil and terrorism, reaffirming to the world the integrity of our approach over the past decades in developing and equipping our armed forces to the highest international standards," he said.
Speaking to the military and strategic journal, 'Nation Shield', on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed addressed the sons and daughters of the UAE, telling them, "You are the pillar of this force and the basis of its development, and our deepest faith is in you after God. Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, you pave the way for a brighter future of security and stability, and of a development protected by power and unity. On this day which brings back a cherished memory for every one of us, I congratulate all of you, reaffirming the unlimited support of our leadership and its appreciation for the heroic role you play in defending our nation and standing up against the threats to Arab security.
Below is His Highness Sheikh Mohamed's statement in full
Dear brothers and sisters of the Armed Forces
As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces, we stand on solid ground and look towards the future with hope and confidence. You have proven your competence, capability and determination to achieve victory in the just battles against aggression, evil and terrorism, reaffirming to the world the integrity of our approach over the past decades in developing and equipping our armed forces to the highest international standards.
You, sons and daughters of the UAE, are the pillar of this force and the basis of its development, and our deepest faith is in you after God. Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, you pave the way for a brighter future of security and stability, and of a development protected by power and unity. On this day which brings back a cherished memory for every one of us, I congratulate all of you, reaffirming the unlimited support of our leadership and its appreciation for the heroic role you play in defending our nation and standing up against the threats to Arab security.
Dear brothers and sisters of the Armed Forces, the shield of our nation and source of its pride
The events taking place around us now testify to the fact that the decision to unify the armed forces on May 6th, 1976, was one of the wisest decisions in the history of the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, it is the most important decision after the establishment of our union, because it has allowed us to build a modern, strong military that is in line with our national development process, prevents threats and binds all Emiratis together through the sacred bond of defending our homeland. Our armed forces have set a solid example of nationalism that also inspires sacrifice and selflessness from other parts of Emirati society.
The building of our armed forces, which started on the first day of its unification, was founded on the belief that only power can defend gains, create peace and deter aggressors, and that weakness leads to chaos and attracts aggressors. We have built our armed forces on a solid set of principles and established a military that is a source of pride for every Emirati.
The first principle has been a recognition of the high importance of the national human resources as the key pillar of any modern military and the catalyst of its success. No matter how advanced military technology becomes, it must be accompanied by well-trained human resources that believe in their role and in the noble task they shoulder, and have the capability, confidence and will to fight and make sacrifices.
The second basis on which we have built our military is equipping it with the latest technology from leading global manufacturers of armaments for land, sea and air forces. We have focused on technology and equipment that guarantees superiority for our military and makes it able to move efficiently within and outside our borders, and participate actively in joint exercises alongside the most modern forces.
The third principle has been developing a national defence industry that is capable of supplying our military with a substantial amount of its requirements while supporting local investment and industrial development. The UAE has come a long way in this endeavour and remains committed to the further development of its national defence industry.
The fourth principle has been the strengthening of the academic basis of our armed forces by building more national military academies and schools, and at the same time providing scholarships for our personnel to be trained at the world’s best military academies.
The fifth principle is training our personnel according to the latest international standards and expanding joint exercises with sisterly and friendly countries, thus giving our military exposure to varied expertise so that it remains at the highest levels of preparedness and efficiency.
The sixth element is the approach taken to expanding our armed forces. That is, boosting its human resources by introducing National Service, which has proven to be an important and timely strategic step. The introduction of National Service has helped build new channels of communication and understanding between our society and the military, and transferred the traditions of commitment, order and work, which characterise military life, to civilian life. It has also demonstrated to the world that Emirati youth, who did not hesitate to join National Service, understand the responsibility of defending their country, and that the UAE, in addition to being a symbol of happiness, prosperity and sustainable development, is also a symbol of responsible youth that are prepared to endanger their own lives for their country and their national duties.
Dear brothers and sisters, the pride of the UAE
The approach that the United Arab Emirates has adopted over the past decades in developing, modernising and enhancing its military reflects our leadership’s foresight, strategic vision, sound understanding of the future, and proper reading of the movements and interrelation of regional and international events.
This is even more evident today with the turbulence witnessed in the Arab and Middle East regions. It is under these circumstances, fraught with danger and threats to the national security of regional countries and to Arab security in general, that the role of our brave Armed Forces has grown, the development of our military has been vindicated, and the hard efforts made over long years have become more evident. I refer here to the heroic role that our military has played in defending the UAE’s higher national interests and the goals of its foreign policy, lending a helping hand to our brothers, defending Arab security against attempts to interfere in its domestic affairs and combating the forces of extremism and terrorism and foiling their evil plans and designs.
On this auspicious national occasion, I would like to send a message of appreciation and gratefulness to my children and brothers who are taking part in Operation Restoring Hope alongside Arab Coalition Forces to restore the legitimacy and preserve the Arab identity of Yemen.
I am proud of the sacrifices of our military and the bravery they have shown in times of challenge and adversity. Their heroism speaks for itself and will always be inscribed in UAE and Arab history.
On the 40th anniversary of the Unification of our brave Armed Forces, we pray for the blessed souls of our martyrs who have added a new chapter of glory to our history and granted us, with their ultimate sacrifice, a more stable and secure life. We send a message of the deepest appreciation and gratitude to our martyrs’ families, who raised their children on the values of patriotism, bravery and heroism, and have set the greatest example of sacrifice, patience and faith. We will always stand by them for the ultimate sacrifice of their children who have set a patriotic example for future generations. Their noble sacrifice in the battles of honour and justice is a medal of honour for all of us, and places a huge responsibility on us to keep our Armed Forces strong and capable of working under all circumstances within our homeland and abroad, which we are working to achieve with full determination.
Brothers and sisters, protectors of our nation and the symbol of its pride and honour
Societies that lack the ability to defend themselves and the will to make sacrifices for their interests and sovereignty are fragile societies that cannot live with dignity in an age fraught with dangers, threats and aggression. Over the past years, UAE society has proven itself to be solid, coherent, prepared to make sacrifices, and capable of understanding what it takes to prevent threats to the nation. All of this has been manifested in the support it has shown to its Armed Forces in the tasks they have undertaken in recent years, from assisting in foiling the conspiracy against the sisterly Kingdom of Bahrain in 2011, to taking part in the international coalition against terrorism, and to participating in the Arab Coalition to restore legitimacy in brotherly Yemen. The UAE people have also expressed their public pride in our nation’s martyrs and solidarity with their families, reinforcing their faith in the future of our nation and its stability and unity, whatever the challenges or threats may be.
The crises and turbulence witnessed in the Arab and Middle East regions involve dangers and direct challenges to our national security. The same is true of the transformations and changes taking place around the world, including the policies of super powers towards our region. All of these factors make self-reliance on our own defence capabilities a first priority and goal. The UAE leadership has been vigilant to this from an early stage and has prepared for it. Therefore, the message that our Armed Forces sends through its participation along with sisterly and friendly countries in the coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, the North Thunder exercises, international and Islamic coalitions against terrorism, and the effective handling of regional threats, is that it has the will and capability to defend the interests of the UAE and to effectively take part in maintaining stability and peace on regional and global levels. From this perspective, we shall continue to develop and modernise our Armed Forces during the coming years so that it remains a strong force that is able to prevent all threats and dangers.
On this glorious day that marks the 40th anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces, I congratulate President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, as well as the entire Emirati people who have always shown unity, solidarity and support for the UAE flag to remain flying high with honour and pride.
We pray for the mercy of the souls of our founding fathers who made the historic decision of unifying the Armed Forces, and have thereby built a strong military that is worthy of pride for the sacrifices of our brave children. I greet our honourable officers and soldiers, the shield of our nation, wishing our beloved nation further progress, prosperity and unity, and our Armed Forces ever greater glory and strength.