Launch of Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province

1 / 3
Saudi armed forces and security sectors teamed up with land, maritime and air forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for the tenth Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill on Saturday. (SPA)
2 / 3
3 / 3
Updated 23 February 2019

Launch of Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province

  • The two-week drill was launched in the presence of commander for the exercise, Gen. Abdullah bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, and commanders of participating Gulf forces
  • Al-Qahtani welcomed all participants and thanked them for their efforts in the planning and preparation of the drill

JEDDAH: Saudi armed forces and security sectors teamed up with land, maritime and air forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for the tenth Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill on Saturday.
The two-week drill was launched in the presence of commander for the exercise, Gen. Abdullah bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, and commanders of participating Gulf forces.
Al-Qahtani welcomed all participants and thanked them for their efforts in the planning and preparation of the drill.
He said that the exercises aimed to promote cooperation and exchange experience between the Saudi and GCC countries forces to improve the level of training for all forces.
The exercise sought to develop skills and use the available resources to develop concepts and promote joint work, he added. The drill was part of a series of joint military drills between the GCC countries at various levels.
He said that the Joint Al-Jazeera Shield Drill was one of the largest exercises in the region and part of a comprehensive strategic vision by the Saudi Defense Ministry, which aims to constantly gain experience, promote security and military readiness under different circumstances to preserve security and stability in the Arab Gulf and the world.
Spokesman for the drill, Brig. Gen. Abdullah Hussein Al-Subaihi, said that it included four phases.
The first phase is the arrival of the forces via land, maritime and air entry points. The academic training phase, including conferences for all participating forces from all GCC countries, was also launched on Saturday.
The second phase is the command center drill; this exercise will train commanders to manage military operations and use simulators in virtual military operations.
The third phase consists of field training with live ammunition, and the fourth includes the closing ceremony and departure of forces.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 26 min 47 sec ago

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.