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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: A number of joint military exercises that have been taking place in Saudi Arabia this week concluded on Thursday.
Royal Saudi Land Forces and the US Marines completed their week-long Falcon Claws 3 maneuvers in the Kingdom’s northwestern region. The troops displayed “continuous effectiveness … in all aspects of the exercise, through which the excellent training was evident,” said the Ministry of Defense, which also praised officers and non-commissioned officers for the skills and abilities they demonstrated.
Meanwhile, the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) concluded a five-day joint maritime exercise at King Abdul Aziz Naval Base in Jubail.
Titled Confrontation 4, it included units from the Eastern Fleet, the Ministry of Interior represented by the Eastern Province Border Guards, the Presidency of State Security, and the Ministry of Energy represented by Saudi Aramco and Aramco Gulf Operations Company.
The aims of the exercise were to test measures for protecting shipping routes, confronting threats to oil installations and maintaining freedom of maritime navigation, and to promote unified joint action among the participating units, the ministry said.
It was also designed to enhance coordination and information exchange, and unify leadership and communications between the RSNF and the joint units, and provided training in the proper communication of reports and other information between the participating units and the operations center.
Brig. Gen. Ayed Mohammed Al-Asiri, the director of the exercise, said Confrontation 4 included a number of lectures and hypotheses, along with practical training in ways to deal with naval mines, defend vital installations and oil fields, and deal with drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.
He added that the objectives included improving the readiness of participating units to protect the security and safety of vital installations and oil fields, and to ensure freedom of navigation in regional and commercial maritime routes in the Arabian Gulf.
The RSNF also concluded its separate Astronomy 4 joint naval exercise with the Sudanese Navy at King Faisal Naval Base in the Western Fleet.
Maj. Gen. Yahya Al-Asiri, the commander of the Western Fleet and the exercise, congratulated both naval units for their success in achieving the goals that were set. He said the participants displayed high levels of professionalism and readiness, and achieved positive results in many maneuvers and tasks.
He said the five-day exercise included scenarios that tested ways to combat maritime threats, the ability of special forces to clear mines, the provision of helicopter reconnaissance and surveys, and air support. Troops also participated in exercises that featured fighting in built-up areas, storming buildings, target practice with primary and secondary weapons, and combat patrols.
The exercises “were carried out with perfection and skill in dealing with the scenarios that were carefully planned in advance and consistent with the combat capabilities of the participating units and advanced systems that enhance their combat readiness,” said Al-Asiri.
He added that the series of Astronomy joint exercises with the Sudanese Navy are designed to enhance levels of performance and cooperation, to help ensure freedom of movement along international maritime routes in the Red Sea.
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