10 Jan The DSCA approves military training in Saudi Arabia
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has authorised a significant military training deal between Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The proposed Blanket Order Training programme encompasses a wide range of existing training types both within and outside of the country to enhance the Kingdom’s defence capabilities.
The wide range of topics covered in the proposal includes flight training, technical and specialised training, professional military education and understanding the laws of armed conflicts, human rights, and command and control.
The deal, which is estimated at US$1.b, aims to strengthen defence systems, boost interoperability with U.S. forces and foster a more proficient Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).
Training will be implemented by the U.S. government or contractors for special requirements and will require approximately 339 American trainers in Saudi Arabia for at least one year to work towards maintaining a military balance in the region.
The relationship between both nations is not a formal military alliance, however, each party has a shared interest in regional security and deterring foreign or regional threats.
Historically, the U.S. has provided Saudi Arabia with a range of defence materials, such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system.
With an interest in supporting Saudi Arabia’s defence capabilities and maintaining regional stability, the State Department stated that the proposal would bolster security in a region that is vital for economic progress in the Middle East.