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Friday, March 18, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

While battling riots at home, Bahrain miltiary joined exercise with UAE

ABU DHABI — Bahrain's military, amid bloody riots, has staged an exercise with the United Arab Emirates.


The Royal Air Force of Bahrain conducted an air defense exercise with the United Arab Emirates this month. The two militaries were said to have focused on the U.S.-origin Hawk air defense battery, manufactured by Raytheon.

"This goes hand-in-hand with the development of modern weapons technology," Bahraini commander Gen. Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said.

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The exercise took place in the UAE on March 8 and was deemed part of military cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Manama, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the exercise facilitated interoperability as well as air defense skills.

Bahrain has sought to modernize its military amid unprecedented Shi'ite unrest in the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom. Officials said the effort was focused on enhancing the Air Force, based on U.S.-origin F-16 multi-role fighters.

Manama has one of the smallest militaries in the GCC. Bahrain has been bolstered by a significant U.S. military presence, including that of the Navy's Fifth Fleet.

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