Military history of the United Arab Emirates

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The military history of the United Arab Emirates began when the Trucial Oman Scouts, long the symbol of public order on the coast and commanded by British officers, were turned over to the United Arab Emirates as its defense forces in 1971.

Although small in number, the UAE armed forces are equipped with some of the most modern weapon systems, purchased from a variety of outside countries. Most UAE troops are citizens of other Arab countries and Pakistan. Officers, however, are almost all UAE nationals. Most are graduates of the United Kingdom's Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, with others having attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Royal Military College, Duntroon and St. Cyr, the military academy of France. France opened the Abu Dhabi Base in May 2009.

The UAE's armed forces have engaged in numerous wars since inception. During the Persian Gulf War, UAE troops, reportedly numbering several hundred, participated in the conflict as part of the GCC Peninsula Shield force that advanced into the city of Kuwait. United States aircraft bombed Iraqi positions from the UAE, and United States ships operated out of UAE ports. The UAE Air Force also carried out strikes against Iraqi forces. A total of six UAE combat deaths were reported as a result of the fighting. Presently, the UAE is also part of the War in Afghanistan (2001-present).