A Brighter Future in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defense Force has played an outsized role in military operations from Yemen and Somalia to Libya and now in Syria, a senior UAE official told Air Warfare Symposium attendees on Feb. 12. “The UAE is playing a major role in coalition operations and with this strong participation, it has allowed the UAE to be a more integrated partner,” said Lt. Col. Hassan Mohamed Ali Alanazi, an experienced F-16E/F Block 60 pilot and wing commander with the UAEAF. Despite these successes, the UAE seeks to move up its integration with allied forces, and work to overcome some persistent issues to further integration, such as information and intelligence sharing and working to outfit air and air defense forces with advanced weaponry fielded by other US allies. “The UAE Air Force is a very young air force, we have our own (command and control) centers but we have learned a lot,” Alanazi said. “Working by ourselves we have a small picture, and we want to change that.” Much like the US shares information with the Australians and NATO allies, he added, the UAE seeks to improve information sharing “because there are areas which are affecting us, and we need to build up trust … I hope that the future will be brighter, and that just as you help us so we will help you too.”