Dammam–The Saudi Royal Naval Forces started “Gulf Shield 1” maneuvers in the Arabian Gulf waters, Oman Sea, and the strategic Strait of Hurmuz, world’s most important oil route.
Formations of the Royal Saudi Navy Forces of Eastern Fleet are participating in these drills which include the King’s warships, speedboats, air navy aircraft, Marine Corps and special security naval units.
Commander of “Gulf Shield 1” Rear Admiral Majed al-Qahtani said that this is the biggest drill being conducted by the Eastern Fleet of the Saudi Royal Naval Forces.
Qahtani said that maneuvers include all naval operations including air, surface and subsurface warfare and electronic warfare as well as mine operations, deployment of Marines, special naval security units, and live ammunition shooting.
“The exercises include shooting of live ammunition as part of the efforts to improve combat readiness and protect the Kingdom’s waters and marine interests against any possible aggression,” Qahtani explained.
He pointed out that these exercises are an extension of the prepared plans and training programs to raise the combat readiness and professional performance for units of the naval forces in preparation for protecting Saudi Arabia’s marine interests against any possible aggression.
Saudi Royal Naval Forces will deploy from the Arab Gulf to Oman Sea through the Hurmuz Strait to test their military abilities and combat readiness in case of terrorist operations or any military attack from hostile foreign troops.
Saudi Military Analyst retired Col Omar al-Amiri said that such maneuvers need a wide area and open waters. He added that Gulf Shield confirms Saudi Arabia’s military ability to protect ships and secure water straits, in addition to participating in the Arab coalition operations in Yemen.
Kuwaiti Military Analyst Fahid al-Shalimi commented, saying that the kingdom has done the right thing by deploying its navy all the way to Hurmuz Strait.
Shalimi explained that the maneuvers reveal the ability of Saudi Naval Forces participating in protecting the most important energy strait.
He added that Hurmuz is an important international strait and protecting it is everyone’s responsibility.