Saudi Armed Forces hone combat skills during Arab Shield 1 military exercise

A variety of joint field operations were carried out to simulate the elimination of armed terrorist positions in border villages. (SPA)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Saudi Armed Forces hone combat skills during Arab Shield 1 military exercise

  • A variety of joint field operations were carried out to simulate the elimination of armed terrorist positions in border villages, the securing of international borders

JEDDAH: The Saudi Armed Forces have concluded their participation in the Arab Shield 1 maneuvers that began on Nov. 5.
The three-week exercise, which also included forces from host nation Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan, is one of a series undertaken by the Saudi military to strengthen military relations between Arab countries and improve the combat skills and readiness of their fighting forces.
Saudi troops, led by Commander of the Saudi Royal Land Forces Lt. Gen. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Mutair, took part in a number of key activities, including a seminar for senior officers at which Brig. Saeed Al-Qahtani gave a lecture about the challenges facing the Arab world from a military perspective.
A variety of joint field operations were carried out to simulate the elimination of armed terrorist positions in border villages, the securing of international borders and strategic communications using Land Forces, Special Forces and Marines, and to plan future operations and logistics support. Saudi air and naval forces, and a number of tanks, also took part in a number of specialized maneuvers.
“The participation of our armed forces in Arab Shield 1, along with some other brotherly Arab countries, comes in accordance to the directives of our wise leadership to continue and improve the military cooperation ... in order to unify the concepts and exchange experiences, which enhances our capabilities and combat readiness,” said Al-Mutair.
“The accuracy in the live shooting we saw at the end of the training reflects the good preparation in all areas of the exercise and of those in the participating forces.”
Al-Mutair thanked the Egyptian authorities for their work and the excellent preparation for the exercise and congratulated them for its success, and said he hoped to see similar collaborations in the future.
Brig. Abdullah bin Yousuf Al-Jaser, the military attache at the Kingdom’s embassy in Egypt, said that the participation of the Saudi forces in Arab Shield 1 had been effective in supporting and developing their armed capabilities and preparing military leaders to deal with challenges and fight terrorism.


Al-Ula Royal Commission launches second phase of university scholarship program

Updated 48 min 21 sec ago
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Al-Ula Royal Commission launches second phase of university scholarship program

  • High-quality education will make students ‘valuable assets’ in transformation of the region
JEDDAH: The Royal Commission for Al-Ula has launched the second phase of its overseas scholarship program, giving students the chance to study at universities in the US, UK, France and Australia.
The program is intended to broaden the horizons of Saudi students, creating more rounded graduates with wider experiences of foreign cultures and practices.
The students will also learn the languages of their host countries, which will aid them in later life depending on what path they choose, and encouraging interaction and exchanges between the Al-Ula region and the rest of the world.
Rami Al-Sakran, capabilities development manager for the commission, said the Al-Ula scholarship program was one of four strands in a community development plan.
“We have four different units, sector planning and business licensing so that covers economic development, with community engagement and human capability under the social development plan,” he told Arab News.
The second phase of the scholarship program will run for five years following the positive response to the first phase, which was launched last year. The second phase has been expanded to accommodate 300 students and is open to all genders.
Last September, 165 students were sent to the US, UK and France with Australia to focus on fields such as hospitality, tourism, agriculture, archaeology and heritage.
Many residents from the area had migrated to larger cities because of the lack of job opportunities, he said, so it was important to engage and employ locals first.
“We’ll flood the equation. We’ll see people coming in and our priority is the local community and to provide them with jobs. We want these jobs that we’ll create to be filled by the locals first.
“We’ve currently provided jobs, whether directly or indirectly, some of them temporary and others permanent. At Winter in Tantora, we have volunteers, ushers, drivers as this is seasonal but we’ve established a database and some jobs are permanent, whether they’re directly employed by our CEO or some contract.”
Al-Sakran said locals were key to the success of turning Al-Ula into a major tourist destination.
“Locals, locals, locals. Without the locals, we can’t succeed. We have a very transparent relationship, it’s a two-way street with them. We cooperate with them and communicate with them on every basis. We have a strong relationship with the governor of Al-Ula and we listen to the locals.
“Whether it was our social or economical development, as you can see Winter in Tantora has a major socio-economic impact on the area and ... the locals are working everywhere here and that’s what we want. It’s theirs. We’ll unveil it to the Kingdom ... that’s the idea, to make it a strong and significant destination for all.”