Bahrain is currently hosting a sophisticated series of security exercises with participation from all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
The training drill, named Arab Gulf Security 1, is generally seen as a first step toward a more unified security force in the region.
An impressive array of law enforcement manpower and equipment is on display in Bahrain to support a variety of drills simulating security threats from extremist organizations and other adversaries. The scenarios involve invasion, rescue, and the handling of insurgents.
The head of the Saudi delegation, Major General Moaidh al-Jaban, said the Gulf forces had achieved their targeted goals in the first week and that healthy competition between the participating countries was contributing to a high level of competency and preparedness.
As the exercise moves into its second week drills will focus on emergency response, counterterrorism and border security.
“The exercise sends a message that the six GCC states support each other against any threat,” said Bahrain’s Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa (photo).
“We are now better prepared to face challenges currently unfolding in the region,” he added.
Arab Gulf Security 1 is the result of a GCC security agreement that was struck during the 16th Ministers of Interior meeting in Doha in April 2015 to reinforce joint counterterrorism capabilities.
Meanwhile, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, visited Tuesday the Royal Guards Headquarters.
Upon his arrival, HRH was received by the Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF), His Excellency Field Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the Royal Guards Commander, His Highness Brigadier Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Royal Guards Special Forces Commander, His Highness Major Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and senior officers.
During the visit, the Crown Prince praised the high standard of the BDF’s combat readiness and proficiency, as well as its unwavering commitment to duty. In this regard, His Royal Highness highlighted the honorable service of the BDF troops as part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, and the troops’ role in assisting humanitarian efforts.
He also paid tribute to the service personnel who have lost their lives fighting for the Kingdom’s security and stability, recalling their patriotic sacrifices in protecting the country and its allies.
He also presented medals awarded by His Majesty the King to members of the Royal Guards Special Operations Force (Taskforce 7) in recognition of their dedicated service during postings in Yemen.
Lieutenant Sheikh Mohamed bin Salman Al Khalifa, son of the Crown Prince accompanied him during the visit. Bahrain’s Minister of Defence Affairs Lieutenant General Yousif bin Ahmed Al Jalahma, the Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Theyab bin Saqer Al Noaimi, and a number of senior officers also attended the ceremony.