Manama : Haras Al Mamlaka 1, a counter-terrorism exercise held jointly by Bahrain with the United Kingdom, France and the United States to reinforce joint military and security work concluded yesterday at Seef Mall with His Highness Major Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa announcing readiness to continue such efforts.
“As the Commander of the Exercise, the technical aspect wasn’t a major concern to me, but coordination was my focus. By the grace of God coordination and communication were smooth between the forces and this was essential,” said Shaikh Khalid, Commander of the Royal Guards Special Force and Commander of the Joint Counter-terrorism Exercise “Haras Al Mamlaka 1”
Shaikh Khalid further said that if the Counter-terrorism Centre would be approved, “it would be a continuation of the joint exercise between all sectors”.
“There would be two annual exercises, one large at commercial malls, schools or hospitals and the second one would be smaller.”
The exercise, attended by His Highness Brigadier Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa Commander of the Royal Guard, started on Tuesday evening and concluded on Wednesday morning with the participation of forces from the Bahrain Defence Force, the Ministry of Interior and the National Guard.
HH Brigadier Shaikh Nasser said that the achievements of the first of its kind Exercise were remarkable. “The training took around six months to assemble forces and unify concepts, and this contributed to carrying the Exercise with professionalism.”
HH revealed that the idea of the Exercise was inspired by the directives of HM the King. “We are facing all forms of terrorism, so it is essential to unify concepts, communication, commanding and control methods in Bahrain Defence Force, the Ministry of Interior and the National Guard. This is part of our duty, as long as we have the capability and energy.”
He said that the reports of the observers who arrived from various countries would be sought to reinforce competency that was shown in the Haras Al Mamlaka 1.
HH Major Shaikh Khalid hailed the support of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa the Supreme Commander and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.
“Kingdom of Bahrain strives to benefit from the expertise of those countries, such as the US, UK and France and set legislation and legal procedures that meet international standards and human rights in managing counter-terrorism,” said Shaikh Khalid.
Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the Bahrain Defence Force, Major-General Ghanim Ibrahim Al Fadhala highlighted that the Exercise affirmed ongoing coordination and cooperation between military and security authorities. He added that the Exercise stimulated reality as it was at a mall with people and shops. “It was an excellent opportunity for the forces to cooperation and implement the skills they learned through training.”
The Chief of the Public Security, Major-General Tariq Al Hassan congratulated all those involved in the Exercise. He said that many countries were affected and there is a need for the forces to be ready and capable of working in harsh environments. He added that the exercise focused on large commercial malls that need a huge number of forces to control the situation.
National Guard’s Staff Director Major-General Shaikh Abdulaziz bin Saud Al Khalifa congratulated HH Brigadier Shaikh Nasser and HH Major Shaikh Khalid for the major achievement that draws a clear counter-terrorism strategy.