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Saudi Arabia Establishes ‘Air Warfare’ Center in the East

Saudi Arabia Establishes ‘Air Warfare’ Center in the East

Monday, 18 March, 2019 - 08:30
Royal Saudi Air Force takes part in the Red Flag Exercise 2019. SPA
Jeddah - Asma al-Ghabri
Saudi Arabia is planning to establish an air warfare center in the Eastern Province, according to Commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force Lt. Gen. Prince Turki Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz.

During a visit to Nellis Air Base in Nevada, US, Prince Turki said the Center will be equipped with qualified staff and a sophisticated system.

Al-Arabiya TV channel quoted the Commander as saying that the new air base will be similar to that in Nellis.

Prince Turki met the forces involved in the 12-day Red Flag 2019 exercise, which kicked off in Nevada last week with the participation of the Royal Saudi Air Force that he said is will to send crew to study and receive training abroad, and hold joint maneuvers in the Kingdom and overseas.

Meanwhile, a military expert, Maj. Gen. Mohammad al-Qubayban, told Asharq al-Awsat that the center will play a major role in facing many challenges and provide strong support to improve the combat capabilities of the Saudi armed forces as part of the comprehensive development of the Ministry of Defense.

He added that such a center aims to qualify the military leaders to work in a complex joint operations environment, and develop highly trained air crews.

He noted that several requirements, such as having military fighters and early warning systems, as well as helicopters and refueling techniques, must be met before establishing such centers.

Fighting Houthi insurgents in Yemen helped Saudi forces become more qualified in dealing with militias possessing ballistic missiles, according to the expert.

For his part, military analyst Brigadier Hassan al-Shehri stressed that the establishment of an advanced center contributes to the country's measures in facing potential threats, given the rapid developments in the region.

He pointed out that Riyadh must prepare its air and defense forces against all dangers.

Shehri asserted that Saudi Arabia has a strategy to develop its defenses, and that this strategic center will modify the country’s concept of defensive strategy, which deserves to have the best of forces, because “we have the best human capabilities."

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