On the 34th anniversary Armed Forces Unification Day, the President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan spoke proudly about the high standards of its armed forces based on faith, belonging, loyalty, sacrifice and pride. He stressed that UAE’s Founding fathers were the instrumental to shape the doctrine of the armed forces of the UAE. He further elaborates that doctrine is based on the determination, courage and fight against all odds and aggressors to defend the national sovereignty and achieve victory. The President further explained that this doctrine also focuses on the rule and dedication of law and the respect for others and their rights and ensuring national sovereignty, pride and dignity at any cost. It is true that the mission of the Armed Forces remains the same, to defend the federation and the UAE.
He narrated about the human values associated with the UAE armed forces and whole heartedly participation of the UAE armed forces in many international peacekeeping efforts and mission around the globe. He summarized the noble assignments of the UAE armed forces at any regional or international stage. They are simply bravo, thorough professional highly efficient. It is the matter of humanitarian mission or peacekeeping efforts or providing protection and security as well as providing assistance and relief without discrimination because of religion, race or gender the armed forces of UAE always there to stand first and perform well.
Sheikh Khalifa tells about the unprecedented voyages of UAE armed forces begin in 1976 built on high philosophy of unity, strong will and aspirations and hopes of the people of UAE and is considered as a quantum leap for the Federal march towards a workable federation. The decision triggered the armed forces’ march towards progress. The President praises the high skills, best training and latest weaponry and equipment of the UAE armed forces. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the UAE ranks fourth in total arms purchases between 2005 to 2009, with spending of US$6.5 billion i.e. Dh23.9bn which shows the urge of UAE armed forces modernization. The Armed Forces are now made up of 51,000 personnel; 44,000 in the Army, 2,500 in the Navy and 4,500 in the Air Force, Before 1976, the UAE had about 3,000 regular military personnel.
He says that we feel so proud and encouraged with our troops’ capacity and rapid absorption of advanced defence technologies and modern logistics systems. He terms achievements of the UAE Armed Forces remarkable which acts like an icon and serve as an incentive for the rest of the nation. He proudly shares the high level of readiness of the armed forces for all its developments and changes.
It seems that he is satisfied with the armed forces role in civilian fields and different developmental programs. He acknowledges the supportive role of the armed forces in civil matters and national work integrity with having distinctive distribution of roles. The historic change was the ultimate in the push at the time towards integrating the country’s establishments and government departments.
He hopes that that this useful integration and convergence will continue to provide immense benefits to UAE citizens and protect the best interests of our country, and we are confident that UAE nationals, whatever their responsibilities, are the protectors of the nation’s march”
To him, the unification of the UAE Armed Forces celebration has great national importance. It highlights UAE commitment to dialogue and peaceful ways. It also outlines the different means to resolve all important issues and respects the international laws and principles. It stands for peaceful conflict resolution and pursue of legitimate ways to defend of the land.
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum affirmed that the structure of the UAE unique federation would have not been completed without a common defence policy under the command of a united national army. To him, it was not an easy task as in most contemporary unitary models the job of unification of several armies into one army was the toughest mission. The tasks were impossible and costs were heavy but UAE founding fathers and visionary leadership successfully overcame this hardship with their immaculate connections.
They very hard for the unification of armed forces and slowly but gradually succeeded to build a strong army that became the real protector and shield of the nation and true defender of its national sovereignty, independence and its gains and deter all adventurers and plotters. To UAE the 6th of May 1976 will remain a bright day in our national life, and will be cherished in our history, consciousness and national memory. He terms unification of armed forces day as an epic the building and complete transformation of the armed forces from small, scattered and primitively armed units into a national army having a common defence doctrine, one command, and one flag.
He advises the armed forces officers and personnel to maintain their firm faith, high morale and good attributes to serve better and to turn do their training and develop their individual capacities and sharpen their knowledge to keep abreast of the modern age.
The Armed Forces uphold the UAE’s foreign policy, which rejects any aggression and violence and strives for good neighbourly relations. Throughout its history, armed forces have been playing a major role in humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping operations. Unification of armed forces strengthened the Federation, and helped to develop and upgrade the armed forces in terms of its size, training, supplies, organisation and weaponry. Undoubtedly the 34th anniversary is a chance to remember the wise step taken by Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan with his brothers, Their Highnesses, Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, to unify the armed forces for a sublime goal: to defend the UAE and its national achievements. It is reality that the unification of the UAE armed forces was also a giant leap that helped the nation strengthen its regional and international presence. It also unleashes a comprehensive process to bring in state-of-the-art weaponry and acquire the most modern military field skills. Since 1991, women have also played a role in the defence of the nation, when the Khawla Bint al Azwar Military School was founded to prepare young women for careers in the military. Long Live Armed Forces of UAE.