The country’s military might was on full display in a mock exercise along Sharjah’s Al Khan Corniche on Friday as all branches of the UAE Armed Forces demonstrated air, land and sea power before thousands of awed onlookers ringing the shoreline.
Dubbed Hosn Al Ittihad (Union Fortress 2), the UAE multi-force drill was the second such exercise following the inaugural joint military event in Abu Dhabi in March staged to present UAE Armed Forces’ capabilities.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the first event and tweeted at the time of the UAE Armed Forces that they are “the fortress that renders our country impenetrable … They stand strong-willed and in complete readiness to defend the soil of our nation, to preserve its security and highest interests.”
The chief thrust of the exercise was to showcase the UAE military’s collective role in safeguarding the security of the country, its citizens and residents.
Of Sharjah’s exercise, the organising committee said the second edition of Union Fortress was designed to give spectators a first-hand glimpse of the distinctive capabilities of the armed forces in terms of its code of conduct, equipment and training to defend the UAE’s national interests and security.
Shortly before the 4.30pm start of the exercise, civilian leaders and high-ranking military commanders filed into a shaded VIP seating area.
Following months of meticulous planning, operations sprang to life with a series of fiery pyrotechnics rocking the bay and the appearance of several attack helicopters.
Choppers lowered elite special forces onto a sandy patch in the centre of the bay as part of a rapid maritime assault.
All uniformed vanguards of the forces are believed to have taken part in the public event, including the Presidential Guard ground troops, the Army, UAE Navy, UAE Air Force, Joint Aviation Command and Air Defence.
As black smoke billowed from the scene, several highly armed military tanks rolled into the mock theatre presenting the full muscle of land operations.
On the turquoise waters of the bay, large UAE Navy vessels steamed quickly into the fray while amphibious special forces, huddled in inflatable dinghies, clipped through the waves to make their way to the beach.
From the skyline over the Gulf, two pairs of F-16 jet fighters screeched overhead in a blistering flypast while spectators watched the action from a number of large projection screen TVs punctuating the corniche for a more detailed look at the military operations under way.
The exercise was brought to a close in dramatic fashion by Air Force aerobatic team Al Forsan, which flew a spiral formation over the site leaving a stream of smoke trails in the black, green and red colours of the national UAE flag.
Source: Gulf News