ABU DHABI, 21st May 2016 (WAM) – This morning the UAE Armed Forces Climbing Team will arrive back in Base Camp after reaching the 8,848 meters high summit of Everest – The World’s highest mountain.

A source said “This team of ordinary soldiers has demonstrated that through excellent training and teamwork, they were able to unite and achieve something truly extraordinary. By overcoming one of the World’s toughest challenges, they are an excellent representation of the dedication and determination of our Nation’s Armed Forces.”

Late on the evening of the 18th May, as the team was about set out on the final leg of their 4 day climb up to the summit, they read a message from the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan: ” You men have already made me very proud with what you have achieved .No matter what happens tonight you are already winners to our Nation. You should also know that I will be climbing with you in spirit, every step of the way – Good Luck.”

The following morning at 10.40 members of the team raised the flag of the UAE on the summit of Everest in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the unification of the country’s Armed Forces.

To achieve success, the team had to endure almost 17 hours and1600 meters of ascent from camp 3, resting only briefly at camp 4 in the “death zone”, dealing with temperatures down to – 30 C and climbing in restrictive oxygen masks and down suits.

This challenge was selected, as it represents the extreme sacrifices and hardships members of the Nation’s Armed Forces are prepared to endure to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the UAE’s defenses.

WAM/bashir