Royal Saudi Air Force contingent arrives in Tunisia for joint drills

The Royal Saudi Air Forces arrive in Tunisia with their air, technical and support crews, to participate in a joint military drill. (SPA)
Updated 06 October 2018

Royal Saudi Air Force contingent arrives in Tunisia for joint drills

  • The joint exercises, the first of their kind with the Tunisian Air Force, will last for two weeks

JEDDAH: The last aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) has arrived in Tunisia with their air, technical and support crews to participate in military exercises with the country’s air force.

RSAF aircraft were received by Brig. Gen. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Sahyan, the military attache of the Saudi Embassy in Tunisia, Col. Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Shahrani, the commander of the exercise, and a number of Saudi and Tunisian officers.

Col. Al-Sahyan said that the arrival of aircraft marks the launching of the exercises with the Tunisian air forces. He said that the targets set for the exercise, including promoting cooperation and achieving common objectives to strengthen relations, are supported by both leaderships.

He noted that the Saudi armed forces receive the full support and care of King Salman and his crown prince to provide them with the best systems and capacities to increase their efficiency and improve their readiness.

Al-Shahrani said that aircraft and their air, technical and support crews were ready to start the drills. The training will include several military exercises that will help to improve the combat readiness of the air forces with the exchange of expertise in the field of technical support in maintenance, airlift and operational preparation. They will also be trained in mastering the implementation of air operations in an environment different from that of the Kingdom.

Pilot Maj. Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Harthi said that the fighter aircraft arrived successfully and on time, as planned.

The exercises are part of the annual Ministry of Defense training plans for the armed forces. They help to strengthen relations and cooperation between the Royal Saudi Air Force and the Tunisian Air Force, refine the skills of air crews, offer a chance to exchange experiences in the fields of technical supply and support, improve combat skills to enhance joint performance, and train air crews to carry out operations in different environments.

The maneuvers aim to highlight the capabilities, professionalism and readiness of the Saudi air forces.

The joint exercises, the first of their kind with the Tunisian Air Force, will last for two weeks and will lead to improvements in coordination and planning at strategic, operational and tactical levels.


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

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