KUWAIT CITY, March 15, 2015 – Kuwaiti and U.S. military officials welcomed the 29 countries working together in Eagle Resolve, saying their participation in the exercise signifies the nations’ shared interest to improve regional security.
“The strategic importance of the Arabian Gulf region can’t be stated enough, and improving regional cooperation and security is in the shared interest of all,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Mattson, U.S. Central Command’s director of exercises and training and the U.S. exercise director, during an Eagle Resolve press conference March 15.
Since its inception in 1999, Eagle Resolve has been a venue for the United States and Arabian Gulf countries to partner with North and South American, European and Pacific partners to address their collective security concerns in a relatively low-risk environment.
The first phase of the exercise tests participants’ ability to respond to simulated scenarios as a coalition headquarters staff. The second phase will be a series of tactical demonstrations, such as a special operation force hostage rescue mission and multinational amphibious assault of a nearby island.
This is the first time Kuwait has hosted the exercise, and it's also the first year that all Gulf Cooperation Council nations – Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – have participated in Eagle Resolve. The total number of exercise participants among all 29 Eagle Resolve nations is approximately 5,500.
Kuwait’s exercise director, Army Staff Brig. Gen. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Kandari, said he’s happy to see multinational participants working together for the same cause. Particularly for nations that do not have defensive agreements with Arabian Gulf nations, Eagle Resolve is an “opportunity for us to engage together and exchange knowledge and expertise.”
When planning began more than a year ago, officials began designing a profile that incorporated inputs from the participating nations, cross-governmental agencies and realistic scenarios. Mattson said the planning process, while challenging, laid the foundation to improve the interoperability among participating forces.
“Everybody brings something different to the fight,” he said, “but it’s only effective if you know how to use it.”