Most recently, the United Arab Emirates celebrated its 37th Air Force and Air Defence Unification Day Unity Day. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the Armed Forces celebration of the 37th anniversary of the Air Force and Air Defence Unification Day, and inaugurated the Liwa Airbase at Madinat Zayed in the Western Region.
His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s commitment
Shaikh Mohammad reaffirmed the determination and strategic vision of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to continue backing and enhancing the abilities of the forces to be in their top possible form and capability.
Integrated up-gradation policies initiatives
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces mentioned the diversified but integrated efforts to develop the armed forces and upgrade their operational, tactical and strategic capabilities to deal with the emerging regional and global geo-political and geo-strategic concerns and abreast with the newest defence and military industries. He stressed the need to have thorough professional and fully motivated trained human resource to deal with various dangers and future challenges. Shaikh Mohammad also unveiled the memorial plaque to officially launch the Liwa Air Base in the Western Region. He further expressed proudly the different achievements of the UAE armed forces and the high level of readiness and performance during the recent times.
Role of the visionary and wise leadership and armed forces of the UAE
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces said that the wise leadership continues to develop the capabilities of the armed forces to provide utmost protection of the country’s security and stability. He was of the opinion that the opening of Liwa Airbase would contribute to improving the capabilities of the country’s Air Force as part of an all-encompassing defence strategy that is based on the country’s security interests and achievements. He paid tribute to the first generation which he said had not spare efforts to modernize the country’s military capabilities.
Importance of Air Force and Air Defence systems for UAE
The geographic location of the United Arab Emirates demands a sufficient, modern and motivated Air Force and Air Defence in the country. After the World War II air force played very important role in the strategic and tactical expansion and protection of so many countries. After 1971, the UAE wise leadership initiated many meaningful policies to modernize its armed forces and develop a reliable and productive Air Force and Air Defence systems in the country. The emerging geo-political and geo-strategic problems in the GCC and the world, the importance of the Air Force and Air Defence is obvious and must. UAE better aerial surveillance, modern Air Force and Air Defence Systems makes it the ideal role model in the GCC to follow which guarantees its territorial sovereignty. It also protects its strategic assets from any aggressors and terrorists.
With the arrival of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Liwa Airbase Different ceremonial activities were performed including playing of the national anthem and military parade of all the all Air Force and Air Defence units as well as female military officers. The participation of the UAE female military officers were highly appreciated as female citizens/military officers are doing great job in the armed forces and having the honour of defending the nation.
Parachute jump ad flyover of the aircrafts
Afterwards, a parachute jump was carried out at the Liwa Airbase by a team of Armed Forces parachutists carrying flags of the UAE, the Armed Forces, and the Air Force and Air Defence. A splendid joint flyover was performed by the UAE Air Force and Air Defence aircraft which reflected the pilots’ extraordinary skills in flying and maneuvering.
An astounding aerobatic show was also held for the first time by Al Fusran “The Knights” UAE National Aerobatic Team. The team comprised of a selected group of Air Force and Air Defence pilots. Al Fusran team was founded in early 2008 and consists of 7 pilots and 7 Italian Aermacch MB339 aircrafts, the number 7 symbolises the seven Emirates. The aerobatic display team is on track to achieve operational status, following the completion of training activities being conducted in Italy. The aerobatic show reflected a great professionalism and highly developed skills as well as accuracy, control and strong will.
A award ceremony was also held and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces honoured the retired commanders of the UAE Air Force and Air Defence. The late Captain Majed Ahmed Mohammed Al Naqbi died recently while on a training mission was also honored.
His Highness then toured and inspected the Air Force and Air Defence exhibition, which displayed old equipment and machinery along with other equipment made essential part of the armed forces of the UAE.
United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF)
The UAEAF is the air force of the United Arab Emirates. Its formation was established in 1968 and since then saw a continual reorganization and expansion in terms of both capability and aircraft numbers. Brotherly country Pakistan played very important role in the initial training of the UAE Air Force personnel in the 70s and 80s. Mirage IIIs was the backbone of the UAEAF in those days.
Currently the United Arab Emirates Air Force has around 4,000 personnel and operates approximately 450 fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Apart from men making the backbone of the UAEAF pilot’s branch, women have started training as pilots. Currently there are five main air bases operational, split between the Western and Central Air Command. The Special Operations Command is also existent having its own airbase and operating a wide range of helicopters.
In the 2010 the UAE Air Force and Air Defence hosted a red-carpet VIP screening of Desert Falcons, a documentary, featuring the UAE’s participation in Red Flag the world’s most challenging aerial combat training exercise. Held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, more than seven hundred Air Force guests attended the screening at Emirates Palace. UAE has the Desert Falcons which are the most technologically advanced F16s in the world, and they are owned exclusively by the UAE Air Force.