Lt. Gen. Mutlaq bin Salem Al-Azima, deputy chief of the general staff, has been appointed as acting commander of the joint forces.
Al-Azima obtained a bachelor’s degree in military science with a specialization in armored vehicles at King Abdul Aziz Military College. He did a master’s in military science from the Armed Forces Command and Staff College. Al-Azima also did a fellowship at the College of War of Nasser Higher Military Academy.
He began his career in the command of a shield faction and then served as the commander of the supply and maintenance faction, until taking over as assistant intelligence officer in the fourth brigade of the Royal Saudi Land Forces during the Kuwait liberation war. He then served as assistant commander of the brigade and then commander of the brigade battalion.
Al-Azima became commander of the Peninsula Shield forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which were able to foil an Iranian plot to trigger riots in Bahrain. Then he took over the command of the southern region and supervised the “South Shield” plan. He also managed the “Decisive Storm” and the “Restoration of Hope” military operations. Al-Azima was then appointed as commander of the Eastern Region and given the task of preparing plans and supervising military exercises.
In view of his vast military experience, Al-Azima was appointed military adviser in the office of minister of defense to advise on a wide array of strategic, military, and planning aspects.