In yet another effort to improve combat readiness of its Armed Forces, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the Iron Union 5 military exercise with U.S. partners at the Al Hamra Training Center. Maj. Gen. Saleh al-Amiri, commander of UAE ground forces, lauded such joint exercises as a way to raise the performance and efficiency of the Armed Forces to defend the Arabian Gulf nations from potential threats.
Such exercises also provide opportunities for the UAE to build better relationships and overcome cultural and language barriers with the armed forces of friendly countries such as the United States.
Iron Union 5 ran for two weeks in September 2017, beginning with classroom instruction meant to reduce possible points of friction between forces from the UAE and the U.S. Third Army. Training focused on three collective tasks: Conducting a quick attack, conducting a hasty defense and breaching battlefield obstacles.
According to U.S. Capt. Phil Baki, a company commander at the exercise, breaching the obstacles was the most challenging part of the training event.
“A breach requires a lot of timing and coordination between all the elements. If a single thing is off, it could cause a failure to the mission,” the captain said. “The breach is challenging enough on its own, but throw in the language barrier and working across two different radio platforms, and it adds a whole different element.”
The climax of the exercise was a live-fire demonstration involving the coordinated use of mechanized ground forces, fighter jets and helicopters.
Sources: Asharq al-Awsat, Nation Shield, U.S. Army