Multinational armed forces exercises held in Turkey

armed forces

The first phase of the EFES 2024 multinational armed forces exercises in Turkey, concluded on May 8th, according to Asharq Al-Awsat. The war games come as Saudi Arabia moves to become a significant regional military power with a boosted 2024 defence budget.

The EFES 2024 exercises include the armed forces of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Poland, Romania, and Saudi Arabia.

The first phase was a command centre exercise between the Multinational War Center in Istanbul and Izmir’s Joint Command Training Center which began on April 25th, while phase two will include live-firing field drills at Izmir’s Doganbey exercise area, from May 9th until May 30th.

Saudi Armed Forces Education and Training Authority chief Maj. Gen. Adel Al-Balawi said his nation’s participation in the war games reflects the care and support of the kingdom’s leadership for the development of its capabilities and the enhancement of organizational, training, and armament skills.

The drills come amid an expansion of Riyadh’s military spending, with the kingdom having allocated 269 bn riyals ($72 bn) for its 2024 military budget, from 259 bn in 2023, as reported by The National.

READ: Israel’s economy in peril as military spending soars

Saudi Arabia alone now accounts for around 20% of US defence companies’ overseas sales.

Balawi added that the EFES 2024 provides an opportunity for the militaries of participating nations to exchange skills, train together for joint operations, raise their combat efficiency, and enhance military cooperation.

During phase two, the Saudi and partnered armed forces will purportedly carry out field manoeuvres on land and at sea including sea-landing operations, search and rescue missions, as-well-as responses to threats posed by drones using live ammunition.

Asharq Al-Awsat / The National

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