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01 December 2023

North Thunder: UAE troops arrive in Saudi for biggest military exercise in region

Vanguards of the UAE Armed Forces arrive in Saudi Arabia (Wam)

By Wam

Vanguards of the UAE Armed Forces on Tuesday arrived in Saudi Arabia to participate in the military exercise dubbed ‘North Thunder’ at the King Khalid Military City in Hafar Al-Batin City in North of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has teamed up with 20 other Arab, Islamic and friendly nations to launch the biggest military exercise ever staged in the region. The Peninsula Shield Force is also involved in the exercise.

Participating countries in the manoeuvre are: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Senegal, Sudan, The Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Malaysia, Mauritania and Mauritius.

The exercise constitutes the largest-of-its-kind in terms of the diverse, advanced military equipment and machineries which reflect the qualitative and quantitative spectrum of ground, air and naval forces of the participating countries.

The three-week exercise aims to consolidate military interoperability co-operation between Gulf, Arab and Islamic countries and upgrade combat readiness and efficiency.

Pakistan sends troops to participate in military exercises

Pakistan has sent its troops to participate in military exercises (North Thunder) in Saudi Arabia.

According to Foreign Office spokesperson Pakistani forces would be part of a multinational military exercises.

"Given their close fraternal ties, Pakistan and Saudi-Arabia have cooperated in the field of defence for the past many decades," he told the media persons.

"This includes military exercises and intense training cooperation in various domains. Both countries have training exchanges in which trainers are sent to Saudi Arabia for multiple training areas and Saudi Armed Forces personnel also receive training in Pakistan.

"It is in this backdrop that Pakistan is participating in a multi-national exercise," the spokesperson added.

Qatari forces head to Saudi

Land and Air forces of the Qatari Armed Forces, including a mechanised infantry battalion, left Doha on Monday for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to participate in the 'Northern Thunder' manoeuvers, which will be carried out at the King Khalid Military City in Hafr Al-Batin, northern Kingdom.

The military exercise is the largest of its kind in terms of the number of participating countries. Twenty Arab, Islamic and friendly countries, in addition to the Peninsula Shield forces, are taking part.

According to the Qatar News Agency, QNA, the three-week massive manoeuvers aim at promoting military cooperation between the GCC, Arab and Islamic countries, developing competencies, raising combat readiness, and training participating forces on using modern military mechanisms.

In a statement before leaving for Saudi Arabia this morning, the Qatari Force's Commander, Major Rashid Saleh Al Hajri, emphasised the importance of the manoeuvers and the need for cooperation between the brotherly and friendly countries, adding that this exercise addresses any challenge facing the region.

Al Hajri said that the Qatari participation will be in different sectors in the field exercises, command centers exercises and tactical exercises. Land and Air forces of the Qatari Armed Forces will participate in the drills, he added.

He said he was hoping that the exercise will be a good sign towards ongoing cooperation with brotherly and friendly countries to achieve peace and security in the region.

Jordanian forces arrive in Saudi

A number of Jordanian Armed Forces arrived last night in Saudi Arabia to join the Saudi army and the armed forces of a number of Arab and Muslim countries in a major joint military exercise.

According to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the drill, dubbed ‘Northern Thunder’ will run from February 14 until March 6 and aims to stage joint operation planning and boost the combat preparedness of participating armies in a fashion that communicates regional circumstances. Jordanian participation in the drill comes as part of the Jordan Armed Forces' routine training plans which seek to exchange military expertise with other armies.

Earlier report:

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to witness during the next few hours, the arrival of troops participating in the largest and most important military manoeuvre in the history of the region code-named ‘Ra'ad Al Shamal’.

According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the maneuver will be carried out at the King Khalid Military City in Hafr Al Batin, northern Kingdom. It is the largest of its kind in terms of number of participating countries - 20 Arab, Islamic and friendly countries, in addition to the Peninsula shield forces.

These countries include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Senegal, Sudan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoros, Djibouti, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Egypt, Mauritania, and Mauritius.