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Press Release | Feb. 7, 2013

United Arab Emirates and U.S. Central Command host counter-WMD exercise

By None , U.S. Central Command

ABU DHABI, UAE (February 6, 2013) — The United Arab Emirates and United States are co-hosting a multilateral Proliferation Security Initiative exercise with operational expert group members and other international PSI partners from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Named LEADING EDGE, the goal of this exercise is to provide an opportunity for nations to focus on critical elements of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)-interdiction process. The exercise will include forums and workshops to discuss improvement of WMD interdiction Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) and consult on related challenges.

Through Field Training Exercises for interoperability development, some participating countries will execute a demonstration of regional/international resolve to prevent WMD and WMD-related materials proliferation using military-to military engagements, and familiarization with coalition equipment, aircrafts and ships.

Approximately 450 people from more than 29 nations will participate in Exercise LEADING EDGE, which has been conducted twice before in October 2006 and January 2010.

“It is very appropriate that the Proliferation Security Initiative exercise is being held here, as UAE is a crossroads for the world,” said the Honorable Michael H. Corbin, U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, who welcomed the participants during the opening ceremony.

“We also recognize the UAE for its longtime global leadership in proliferation security and for conducting numerous Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferation material interdictions,” said Maj. Gen. Robert G. Catalanotti, Exercise Director U.S. Central Command.  “On behalf of the U.S. Government, I extend our appreciation to all 102 endorsing nations, and we encourage non-endorsing nations to join the Proliferation Security Initiative community.”

PSI was initiated in 2003 as a global cooperative effort that aims to stop trafficking in Weapons of Mass Destruction, their delivery systems and related materials.  Since establishment, more than 100 countries have endorsed the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles.

Poland will host the next event, taking place on the 10th anniversary of PSI, in May 2013.

The public is encouraged to follow the exercise through images posted on: