ABU DHABI, -- The UAE has celebrated the 41st Anniversary of the Army Unification Day, recalling the memories of the founding fathers notably the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who managed through their diligence and will to build the Union and unify the Armed Forces under one command, one banner, and had worked collectively to consolidate the entity.
On the occasion, the Armed Forces congratulated President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Supreme Council Members, Their Highnesses Rulers of the Emirates.
In a statement, they paid tribute to the Federal Supreme Council, led by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, on its historic resolution to unify the UAE Armed Forces on 6th May, 1976.
The importance of creating strong armed forces in a geographically volatile region was first recognised by the visionary leader and father of the nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. Immediately after the new Federation of the United Arab Emirates was formed out of seven emirates, he put forth a strategy to develop a strong army to protect the fledgling nation.
"The UAE Armed Forces today is a cohesive well-integrated force. They are equipped with some of the most modern weapon systems, purchased from a variety of countries. The officers of the armed forces were mostly graduates of the United Kingdom's Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, with others having attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Australian Royal Military College in Duntroon and St. Cyr, the Military Academy of France.
To meet the requirements of training Emirati cadets for national security within the country, the National Defence College was established in Abu Dhabi in 2013. The college has since produced highly-trained cadets, not only for the UAE, but also for other GCC countries, like Bahrain. In May 2016, the graduation ceremony at the college was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The Air Forces and Air Defence Command marked the 41st Unification Day Anniversary on Friday at Al Dhafra Club, in the presence of Staff Major General Pilot Ibrahim Nasser Mohammed Al Alawi, Commander of the Air Forces and Air Defence Command, several senior Army officers, senior officials and crowds from the Al Dhafra region.
The celebration programme included a military parade for the land forces, with performances by the military band. The audience were enthralled by the air parade.
In Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain City, the Presidential Guards organised the celebration attended by Staff Brig. Mohammed Mattar Al Khaili, Deputy Presidential Guards Commander, many senior Army officers, senior officials, and crowds. All observed a minute's silence in honour of the nation's martyrs. The event programme included the military parade.
In Sharjah, the Land Forces organised a similar celebration at the University City, attended by Staff Major General Saleh Mohammed bin Mujrin Al A'meri, Commander of the Land Forces, several senior Army officers, senior officials and the crowd. The event included a minute of silence and a military parade.
In Abu Dhabi, the Naval Forces observed the occasion at Baniyas Sports and Cultural Club in the presence of Rear Admiral Ibrahim Salim Mohammed Al Musharrakh, Commander of UAE Naval Forces, Rear Admiral Pilot Sheikh Saeed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Deputy Commander of the Naval Forces, a number of senior Army officers, senior officials, and crowd. The celebration included a military parade.
On Friday, several Army officers performed prayers in the mosques nationwide. The imams said in a sermon titled, "the Armed Forces are Nation's Shield," that the wise leadership had realised the value of force in nation-building to safeguard and ensure stability, hence the resolution to unify the Armed Forces under one command was reached.
They noted that the Armed Forces offered sacrifices to keep the integrity of the UAE at a critical moment in history, citing the participation of the UAE in the Arab Coalition Forces in Yemen to restore the legitimacy.
Source: Emirates News Agency