Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry concludes naval drills for Red Sea countries

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The participants were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen and observers from Somalia. (SPA)
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The exercise involved several scenarios that increased combat capability during various naval operations. (SPA)
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The participants were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen and observers from Somalia. (SPA)
Updated 04 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry concludes naval drills for Red Sea countries

  • The exercise involved several scenarios that increased combat capability during various naval operations
  • Al-Ghanmi said the drill was aimed at bolstering naval security for the Red Sea countries

JEDDAH: A military drill aimed at boosting maritime security in the Red Sea ended Thursday, with a top Saudi naval officer saying it was the first exercise of its kind. Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen and Jordan were among the countries that took part in Red Wave 1.
Gen. Ali Al-Ghamdi said it was the first joint drill promoting naval security in the Red Sea region, considered one of the most important economic sea routes in the world.
He added that several units took part in the exercise, along with Typhoon fighter jets, and exercises included training on shooting naval and air targets.
The exercise was part of the effort to bolster naval security for the Red Sea countries, protect regional waters, promote military cooperation and exchange expertise among participants.
Saudi Arabia’s military Chief of Staff Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili and his counterparts from participating armed forces were also present for the drill.
Last year, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense organized a massive military exercise to support security, stability and cooperation in the region.
Attended by 23 brotherly countries, the ‘Gulf Shield-1’ drill was considered the largest in the region in terms of the number of participating countries and the techniques used in accordance with the most modern military systems in the world.
Irregular warfare, coastal defense, combat search and rescue, naval warfare exercises and extensive flying operations were conducted during the sea phase of the exercise.
Pakistan was the leading contributor to Joint Gulf Shield-1, both in terms of personnel and assets.


Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

Updated 26 March 2019
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Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

  • He said he hopes to support Saudi filmmakers through his recently launched production company
  • The festival, at Ithra, is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province

DHAHRAN: Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. talked about his experiences in Hollywood, and the challenges he has faced during his career, when he appeared on Monday night at the fifth Saudi Film Festival, which is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province.
Known for his roles in movies such as “Men of Honor”, “A Few Good Men” and “American Crime Story,” among others, he has appeared in more than 85 films during a 30-year career on screen and stage. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” alongside Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger.
Gooding Jr. arrived for the event, at the King Abdul Aziz World Center for Culture (Ithra), accompanied by Claudine De Niro, the estranged wife of actor Robert De Niro’s son, Raphael. They were greeted by renowned Saudi film producer and Hollywood businessman Mohammed Al-Turki.
Gooding Jr. spoke to the audience at Ithra for almost 60 minutes about his long career and the challenges and pitfalls he had experienced on the road to success in the film industry. He also offered some advice to anyone interested in following in his footsteps.
“No one prepares you for success,” he said. “That’s why you see a lot of actors that star in movies, then disappear. Or you see athletes that make a $100 million and then they disappear, too. They weren’t ready for it.
“You have to envision yourself standing on that stage, holding an Oscar over your head, saying, ‘This is for the Middle-East’. You have to envision the script that you will write and envision being on that stage, holding that Oscar.
“People asked me after I won that Academy Award if I ever thought I would be on that stage. I always said, ‘Not in a million years.’ But that’s a lie. You have to envision yourself on that stage, winning that award, so that when you succeed it will feel normal, not like it’s something special, so that you can do it again.”
The actor also said that he intends to support filmmakers from Saudi Arabia and other countries through his recently launched production company.
Asked if he had any projects planned in the region, and Saudi Arabia in particular, he said: “I do, actually. I have a couple of things. I don’t want to give it away but let’s just say that there is a lot of great literature that I’ve read, a lot of different books, including Arabian Nights. It’s hard to talk about the things in development because you don’t want to give it away but there is definitely something in development.”