By Debra ValineMarch 20, 2019
The United Arab Emirates now has deployable air missile defense capabilities that did not exist prior to delivery of equipment and training provided through a Security Assistance Command foreign military sales case.
Through the FMS case, UAE has purchased 13 Patriot missile systems and related training. Training is included with FMS cases as part of the total package approach that helps build partner capacity in U.S. allies and partners.
The U.S. Patriot team first deployed to UAE in April 2012 and has been on ground throughout the country ever since to provide ongoing training at the training center.
Training on the systems, conducted by the Security Assistance Training Management Organization's U.S. Patriot Security Assistance Team, provides technical advice to UAE air force personnel on the operation, maintenance and tactical employment of the Patriot weapon system.
The SAT - comprised of seven U.S. military people - provides training in march order and emplacement, launcher reload, missile selectability, preventive checks and services, and Patriot radar operations, as well as initial Patriot certification training or refresher training for UAE personnel transitioning into different roles within Patriot. The end state is the UAE Patriot elements will be self-sufficient in performing all the operational aspects of the Patriot weapon system.
"Our training allows the UAE air defense forces to contribute in a significant manner to the Gulf coalition missions throughout the Middle East," Maj. John Johnson II, Patriot SAT team leader, said. "Our training also contributes to the security of UAE and its people."
In addition, the U.S. Patriot SAT has improved the theater security cooperation between the U.S. and UAE by facilitating multinational training events between the deployed U.S. Patriot battalion and two UAE Patriot battalions.
The equipment and training not only builds partner capacity, but builds relationships as well.
"On a monthly basis, we conduct theater security cooperation events involving the UAE Patriot battalions and U.S. Patriot 1-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion out of Al Dhafra Air Base," Johnson said. "Events include seminars, key leader engagements, professional working groups and social gatherings.
"UAE Patriot units also participate in higher echelon events at the UAE Integrated Air and Missile Defense Centre to conduct command and control training with UAE and U.S. Air Force Operation Centers and with partners within the Gulf Cooperation Council."
"We (UAE) share a profound and steadfast commitment to security in our region," said Brig. Gen. Rashed Mohamed Abdulla Alshamsi, deputy commander, Air Force and Air Defense. "We look to the U.S. not only to enhance our Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities, but to help us sustain the BMD resources we now have.
"We are confident the U.S. will continue to demonstrate its commitment to our partnership and ensure our combatant commanders receive competent, professional, technical and tactical support from the TAFT teams."