SHAH ALAM: Gulf Shield 2018. The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) are taking part in the month-long Gulf Shield 2018 military exercise in Saudi Arabia. The participation of Malaysia was confirmed by Saudi Defense Ministry official Twitter @diraalawatan account today.
In a posting at 18.55pm on Mar. 24, 2018, it stated “Welcome, the tigers of Asia and its generous people”
The posting welcoming the Malaysian contingent for Gulf Shield 2018.
On Mar. 18, 2018, Saudi Press Agency reported that 23 countries were taking part in Gulf Shield military drill.
RIYADH — The Gulf Shield 1 Joint drills, organized by the Ministry of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are kicked off in the Eastern Region today in participation of military forces from 23 brotherly and friendly countries as well as the Saudi forces. The drill is scheduled to last for one month.
The drill, which is considered the largest military drill in the region in terms of diversity of expertise and quality of weapons, aims at raising the military readiness of the participating countries, modernizing the joint mechanisms and enhancing coordination and cooperation.
The Gulf Shield 1 drill is a turning point in terms of the techniques used in accordance with the most modern military systems in the world.
The Saudi Defense Ministry did not say how many Malaysian personnel are taking part in the exercise. However, if we looked back at the previous exercise in Saudi Arabia, it may well be a platoon from the 10th Para Brigade together with a small number of support personnel.
The Malaysian contingent being welcomed by their Saudi counterparts for the North Thunder exercise back in 2016
The Malaysian Defense Ministry has not annnounced our participation in the exercise. It is likely to come out now since the Saudis has confirmed our participation.
An PAC personnel taking part in the North Thunder exercise in Saudi Arabia in 2016.. Diraalwatan
When the Saudi Defense Ministry started posting about the exercise last week I had an inkling that Malaysia will be involved. The posting today confirmed my suspicion.
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Not many news available on Malaysia participating in this exercise. Nothing at all from MINDEF and TDM.
BTW off topic
– US marine corps is buying a used C-130J from Royal Air Force.
– Belgian air force generals are suspended due to scandal of hiding the real F-16 life data. The data shows the F-16 could remain in service at least 6 more years after the belgian planned 2023 retirement date.
This is the Saudi version of the ”coalition of the willing” [to use Bush Jr’s cliche]; comprising like minded countries united and determined to stand alongside the oil rich Gulf States to confront aggression from any quarter [read Iran]. How this actually translates into tangible benefits for the MAF remains to be seen. Hopefully no one will point out that we can use the opportunity to brush up on our desert training; something that has as much utility for us as high altitude mountain warfare training.
With all the “donations” saudi royals has given to malaysia, it is the least we can give back to them. From the logo, looks like even countries like bangladesh, india, turkey and qatar are joining this time round.
“How this actually translates into tangible benefits for the MAF remains to be seen. Hopefully no one will point out that we can use the opportunity to brush up on our desert training; something that has as much utility for us as high altitude mountain warfare training.”
Which is why we don’t publicise our participation.
… “Belgian air force generals are suspended due to scandal of hiding the real F-16 life data. The data shows the F-16 could remain in service at least 6 more years after the belgian planned 2023 retirement date.”
The generals may very well have lied or concealed data, but I can’t help having sympathy for them. The F-35 is always a politically explosive issue (for that matter even Australia’s Super Hornet buy was attacked politically). Between the facts that one cannot hope for unexpected good news on existing aircraft lifespans, the long lead times involved, the real possibility of contingencies that wear out existing aircraft or technical or political issues which delay their replacement, it is the responsibility of the service to have a margin of safety.
Add the fact that the air force would have kept the F-16 alongside the F-35 for years to come because the latter is expensive, still not fully mature and overkill for many missions.
The service is clearly on the wrong side of the line between lying and PR management. But it should be said that worse is done every day in armed forces which don’t operate under that level of scrutiny.
… – ”With all the “donations” saudi royals has given to malaysia, it is the least we can give back to them.”
Indeed. It has long been Saudi policy to hand out cash and soft loans as part of its foreign policy. It’s all intended to buy friends and isolate Iran – the UAE and Qatar does the same. The Saudis are desperate to form a united front against Iran and have gone to various measures; including outright cooperation with Israel. Exercises such as Gun Shield are political in nature. The Saudis are probably picking up most of the bill and if we didn’t participate; they would be displeased. Even if we weren’t benefiting from Saudi largesse; it’s long been our policy to be Saudi friendly. Not forgetting of course the very close ties we also have with the UAE.
AM – ”Which is why we don’t publicise our participation.”
My guess it’s a combination of factors. Even with various other multilateral exercises we participate in [e.g. Southern Katipo and others]; we don’t publicise it.
One of the reasons is that the PR is busy promoting events organised by MINDEF itself. And Mindef never seemed to emphasise such colloboration unless it suited the agenda set out by the political masters.