Military of Kuwait
|Military of Kuwait
1961 - present
|His Highness, the Emir, Commander-in-chief||Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah|
|900,745 (2010 est.), age 15–49|
|857,292 (2010 est.), age 15–49|
|22,000 (2005 est.)|
|Active personnel||15,500  (ranked 88th)|
|Reserve personnel||31,000 |
|Budget||$4.7 billion (2008)|
|Foreign suppliers||United States
The Military of Kuwait consists principally of the Kuwaiti Army, Kuwaiti Navy & Coast Guard, Kuwaiti Air Force, the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard Brigade, the Kuwaiti National Guard, the Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade and the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior. Each armed force part of the ministry of defense has its own Commander who reports to the Chief of Staff of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces; the latter reports to the Kuwaiti Minister of Defense who is also designated by government protocol as Deputy Prime Minister. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior also compromises several military commanders, designated by government protocol as assistant ministers undersecretaries; each reporting to the Kuwaiti Minister of Interior who is also designated by government protocol as Deputy Prime Minister. The Kuwaiti National Guard is an independent corps from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces with its own independent commander, who reports directly to the Kuwaiti Minister of Defense. The Kuwaiti Emiri Guard is an independent brigade with its own independent commander and is part of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. Similarly to the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard, the Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade is an independent brigade with its own independent commander and is part of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.
According to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, in 2007 the Kuwaiti army had around 11,000 personnel, the air force 2,500, the Navy 10 patrol and coastal craft, and there were 23,000 reservists for all services. There were 6,600 paramilitary Kuwaiti National Guard forces. It was considered that, although Kuwaiti’s armed forces remained small, training and military readiness were taken seriously, and were effective at the brigade and squadron level.:40
The operational doctrine is aimed at ensuring the armed forces can withstand an attack for 48 to 72 hours, protecting key areas, until international reinforcements come to Kuwait’s aid.
- 1 Description
- 2 Organization
- 3 History (1756- current)
- 3.1 "Al-Kout" (Fortress near the Water) 1756-1900
- 3.2 Kuwaiti Army and Ministry of Interior created by reorganisation (1953)
- 3.3 Forming of the Kuwaiti Air Force (1953)
- 3.4 Demolition of Kuwaiti City defensive wall, and formation of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces
- 3.5 Operation Vantage (1961)
- 3.6 Establishment of the General Chief of Staff Headquarters (1963)
- 3.7 Six Day War (1967) & War of Attrition (1967-1970)
- 3.8 Double-fronted wars: 1973 Sanita border skirmish and October War
- 3.9 Creation of the Kuwaiti Navy (1978)
- 3.10 Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)
- 3.11 First joint Kuwaiti-Saudi air drills (1983)
- 3.12 Creation of the Kuwaiti Army (1988)
- 3.13 Iraqi invasion and aftermath (1990)
- 3.14 October 1994 crisis with Iraq
- 3.15 Operation Desert Strike (1996)
- 3.16 Operation Desert Fox (1998)
- 3.17 50th anniversary of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces (1999)
- 4 Current
- 5 Order of battle
- 6 Relationship with the United States Armed Forces
- 7 Notes
- 8 References and links
As a small nation with a limited citizen population, the Kuwaitis have often had serious problems maintaining a formidable military that can serve as even a partial deterrent to the country’s larger neighbors.:33 Until the 1990 invasion, Kuwait preferred to address national security threats through diplomacy and efforts to play off rival powers against each other. According to a U.S. military publication "It did not take the route of attempting to transform itself into a small but well-armed and mobilized society (such as Israel or Cuba) that could exact a costly price on any potential invader.":33 Also, a strong military was a potential threat to the leadership.:34 However, in the early forming; it was always a problem to man the armed forces without stateless (non-citizen) Bedouin and foreign Arab soldiers, including Palestinians. Male conscription was introduced from 1978 until the 1990s. By the time of the 1990 invasion Kuwait's military was about 12,000 strong.:34
Kuwaiti Defense Forces also include the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior which also performs military duties. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior is in charge of internal (criminal, immigration, drug trafficking and other internal departments), border and coastal security, each with its own commander reporting to the Kuwaiti Minister of Interior, who is also designated by government protocol as Deputy Prime Minister. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior closely coordinates operations with the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, the Kuwaiti National Guard and the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard. Unlike most countries that have different ranks amongst the respective armed forces; in Kuwait; all military ranks across Kuwaiti Defense Forces follow the same rank insignia and chevron with no separation amongst the various forces. The Kuwaiti Defense Forces rank insignia is based on the British Army rank insignia; all under alike, in defense of the Crown.
Both the Kuwaiti Minister of Defense and the Kuwaiti Minister of Interior are officially designated by protocol as Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Ministers, and report to the Prime Minister (as of 2014[update] Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah). The Prime Minister then reports to the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Military(as of 2014[update] Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Crown Prince of Kuwait), who finally reports to the Supreme Commander of the Military of Kuwait (as of 2014[update] Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir and Ruler of Kuwait).
The Kuwaiti Army is the primary land force of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. The Kuwaiti Army was established in 1949 and is the oldest armed wing amongst the armed forces of Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Army was part of the Kuwaiti Public Security Force in 1938 and part of the Defense and Security Forces in desert and metropolitan areas from 1928 to 1938. The Kuwaiti Army supersedes the Politics of Kuwait in seniority and is older than the Government of Kuwait, the Constitution of Kuwait and the National Assembly of Kuwait.
The Kuwaiti Navy & Coast Guard is the sea-based component of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. The headquarters and sole naval base is Ras al-Qulayah Naval Base, located in the south of Kuwait, approximately 35 miles (56 km) south of Kuwait City.
The Kuwait Air Force is the air arm of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. The Air Force headquarters is at Al Mubarak Air Base, with the remaining forces stationed at Air Defence Brigade, Ali Al Salem Air Base and Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base. The Kuwaiti Air Force supersedes the Politics of Kuwait in seniority and is older than the Government of Kuwait, the Constitution of Kuwait and the National Assembly of Kuwait.
The Kuwaiti Emiri Guard Brigade is an independent brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.
The Kuwaiti 25th Commando Brigade is an independent brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.
The Kuwaiti National Guard; considered an institution; is an independent corps from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and is an internal and border security force.
The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior is an independent corps from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and is an internal, coastal and border security force.
History (1756- current)
"Al-Kout" (Fortress near the Water) 1756-1900
The Kuwait National Guard, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior and the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard trace their original roots to the Kuwaiti cavalrymen and infantrymen that used to protect the lands of today's Kuwait (Arabic: origin word -" Al-Kout"- meaning Fortress near the water) from invading tribes seeking to camp near the water to evade the harsh desert living conditions. Ever since the proclamation of the first Ruler Sheikh Sabah I bin Jaber in 1756; the "Al-Kout"( small fortress) and its lands were always subject to the raids of regional tribes.
since 1756, the cavalrymen and infantrymen of " Al-Kout" formed the Defense and Security Forces in metropolitan and desert areas, charged with protecting outposts outside the wall of Kuwait, which was built in 1920, after the Battle of Hamdh. It was five miles long along the desert border of Kuwait, ending at the sea front. It consisted of five main gates, a number of observation posts and several round towers.
The 1928, Battle of Al-Regga, fought against Ikhwan militants from Saudi-Arabia, is considered the last military battle in Kuwait's early history; for the first time, vehicles were used for the first time in Kuwaiti warfare. In the fighting, Sheikh Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah was killed; Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ordered that Defense and Security Forces in Al-Jahra outside the wall of Kuwait fall under the command of Sheikh Abdullah Jaber Al-Abdullah II Al-Sabah, the Commander General of Defense and Security Forces from 1928-1938. The Defense and Security Forces in metropilitan and desert areas later formed the Kuwaiti Army within the Kuwaiti Public Security Force. The Kuwaiti Army was later expanded to the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and formed by divide the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior while separating from the Kuwaiti Public Security Force.
In 1938, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah established the Kuwaiti Public Security Department located in the middle of Safat in Kuwait City; later known as the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior. The Kuwaiti Public Security was headed by Sheikh Ali Al-Khalifa Al-Sabah in 1939 with acting deputy Field Marshal Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah.
In 1948, a border force and security force was formed within the Kuwaiti Public Security Department formed from members of the Defense and Security Forces entrusted with guarding the wall of Kuwait. In 1953, the Kuwaiti border force and security force came to be known as the Kuwaiti Army and split from the Kuwaiti Public Security Department, forming the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior. The Kuwaiti Army was headed by Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who had recently returned from military training in the United Kingdom and reported to Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah.
Kuwaiti Army and Ministry of Interior created by reorganisation (1953)
In 1950 Sheikh Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah ordered the capabilities of the Armed Forces to be developed to deal with foreign external threats. Accordingly, Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah was appointed Commander General of the Kuwaiti Public Security Force, the newly designated Kuwaiti Army and the Armed Forces. In 1953 the Defense Security Forces and Frontier Forces were separated from the Kuwaiti Public Security Department and designated as the Kuwaiti Army. Members of the Defense Security and Frontier Forces who did not join the new Army were later merged with Police Forces to form the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior.
Forming of the Kuwaiti Air Force (1953)
In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah established the first Kuwaiti Flying Club. The Flying Club was part of the Civilian Aviation Directorate and graduated the first batch of Kuwaiti Pilots in 1954 who later attended advanced training in the United Kingdom.
In 1954, Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was appointed Deputy Head Commander of the Kuwaiti Army, reporting to Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah. During that same year, Sheikh Saleh Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah returned from the United Kingdom and was assigned as commanding officer of the Kuwait AlJiwan Camp. Also in 1954 eight Auster aircraft entered into service with the Kuwaiti Flying Club for purposes of preliminary training.
In 1956, the Kuwait Army officially moved to the AlJiwan Camp and Artillery in the Kuwaiti Army was introduced for the first time. Also during the same year, a new training center was established for the Kuwaiti Army.
Demolition of Kuwaiti City defensive wall, and formation of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces
In 1957, the wall of Kuwait was torn down for the expansion of Kuwait City, and the Kuwaiti Public Security Force was reshaped and split into two entities. The Kuwaiti Army which was part of the Kuwaiti Public Security Force became an independent unit, and police forces operating under the Kuwaiti Public Security Force formed the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior. The Kuwaiti Army came to be known as the first stand alone and only principal Armed Forces Wing of the later Kuwaiti Armed Forces. In the same year the Kuwaiti Army signed on the procurement of the Centurion tank, and the newly formed Kuwaiti Air Force entered two de Havilland DH.104 Dove monoplanes into service.
In 1958 Kuwaiti officers were sent to the Military Academies in Egypt and Iraq to train, and the Kuwaiti Army was put on its first alert phase following the coup of Abdul Karim Qasim. In 1959 the Kuwaiti Army set up its first mechanized combat brigade, the Kuwait 6th Mechanized Brigade; known later as the Kuwait 6th Liberation Mechanized Brigade following the liberation of Kuwait during the Gulf War .
Operation Vantage (1961)
After 62 years as a British protectorate, Kuwait declared independence in 1961. Iraq immediately claimed that Kuwait was actually an Iraqi province, and threatened to invade to implement the claim. Britain flew troops into the newly-independent country to forestall Iraq, an operation called Operation Vantage.
In 1961, Marshal Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah, the Commander General of the Armed Forces, was absent and Brigadier General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah stepped in to take part in Operation Vantage along with the Kuwaiti Armed Forces including the already active Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade as the Armed Forces were put on their second alert phase. Also during the same year, the Kuwaiti Flying Club was separated from the Civilian Aviation Directorate and the Kuwaiti Air Force was officially enacted. Also in 1961, the Universal Carrier was retired from the Kuwaiti Army
Over the following years Kuwait built a small military force including an army, navy, air force, and national guard.
In 1962 the Kuwaiti Army enacted the Kuwait 35th Shaheed (Martyr) Armored Brigade and the Kuwait 15th Mubarak Armored Brigade which were considered the second and third functioning mechanized brigades in service. During that same year, the Kuwaiti Army held the first military parade in recognition of the independence of Kuwait, and the BAC Jet Provost entered into service with the Kuwaiti Air Force.
Establishment of the General Chief of Staff Headquarters (1963)
In 1963, an organizational Amiri Decree was issued, enacting officially the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense along with the cancellation of the Head Command of the Kuwaiti Public Security Department and the establishment of the General Chief of Staff Headquarters of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. Similarly, an Amiri Decree was issued to appoint Major General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the first unprecedented position of Chief of Staff of the newly formed Kuwaiti Armed Forces. During the same year, the subsonic British Hawker Hunter jet aircraft and the de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou transport aircraft entered into service with the Kuwaiti Air Force
In 1965 Brigadier General Sheikh Saleh Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah was appointed as the first Deputy Chief of Staff of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.
Six Day War (1967) & War of Attrition (1967-1970)
In 1966, the headquarters of the Kuwaiti Military Hospital was opened. In 1967, the Chief of Staff Major General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah appointed his deputy Brigadier General Sheikh Saleh Mohammed Al-Sabah as acting commander of a hand-picked brigade from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, mainly the Kuwaiti Army. In 1967 several Arab nations were at war with Israel in the Six Day War. Kuwait did not openly participate, but a contingent from the army took part in fighting in the central sector; Kuwaiti participation was too small to have any significant impact. The assembled Yarmouk Brigade participated on the Egyptian Front, the first Kuwaiti military unit to fight outside the territory of Kuwait.
On June 6, 1967 the Kuwaiti National Guard was established. On July 1, the War of Attrition against Israel commenced while the Yarmouk brigade was engaged on the Egyptian Front. In 1968, Kuwaiti military authorities established the Kuwaiti Military Academy.
In 1969, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces placed the English Electric Lightning supersonic jet fighter aircraft and the Bell 206 and Bell 204/205 (mainly the 205) helicopters into service with the Kuwaiti Air Force.
In 1970, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces suffered seventeen fatalities in fighting against Israeli forces in Egypt. One man was killed in April and sixteen more were killed in June. During the same year, the Kuwaiti Air Force placed BAC Strikemaster light attack jets into service and the following year took delivery of Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
In 1972, the Kuwaiti Army introduced the Vickers MBT main battle tank series, and the Kuwaiti Armed Forces trained Egyptian pilots and technicians through the Kuwaiti Air Force on the English Electric Lightning.
Double-fronted wars: 1973 Sanita border skirmish and October War
In 1973, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces entered into their third alert phase with the beginning of the Kuwait-Iraq 1973 Sanita border skirmish which led to a significant change in the operational capabilities of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. During the same year, in 1973, the leadership of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces found itself battling at two uneven fronts. While components of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces were readying to fight against Iraq following the skirmish on the Kuwaiti border, Kuwait sent a token force to participate on the West Bank of the Jordan River alongside the Iraqi Armed Forces on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts during the 1973 October War against Israel (also known as the Yom Kippur war), being especially heavily engaged on the Syrian front. As in 1967, Kuwaiti participation was too small to have any significant impact. During 1973, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces officially enacted the Kuwaiti Naval Armed Service; mainly the Kuwaiti Navy.
In 1973, the Chief of Staff, Major General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, led a double fronted war with and against the same Arab belligerent for the defense of Kuwait. Sheikh Mubarak led a third of Kuwaiti Armed Forces brigades engaged on both Syrian and Egyptian fronts during the war against Israel with the Iraqi Armed Forces while simultaneously leading and engaging the other two-thirds of the Kuwaiti brigades on the Kuwaiti borders during the 1973 Sanita War against the Iraqi Armed Forces.
As the 1973 October War was drawing to an end, members of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces engaged on the Syrian and Egyptian fronts returned to Kuwait to find their military leadership and counterpart successful in halting the crisis caused by Iraq. One year later in 1974 and as a result of unpredictable conflicting crises, defense authorities enacted a new plan to expand the Kuwaiti Armed Forces even further. During the same year, Kuwaiti Armed Forces introduced the Aérospatiale Gazelle and Puma series helicopters to the Kuwaiti Air Force
In 1975, Kuwaiti defense authorities enacted the establishment of the first Kuwaiti naval base. During the same year, Kuwaiti Armed Forces signed on the delivery of the MIM-23 Hawk surface to air missile system and merged the Air Defense component to the Kuwaiti Air Force. The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou was retired from service.
In 1976, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces took delivery of Dassault Mirage F1s to be operated by the Kuwaiti Air Force. During the same year, the Kuwaiti Air Force retired the Bell 206 and Bell 204/205 from service.
In 1977, Defense Authorities enacted the Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, officially opened in 1979, and Ali Al Salem Air Base, officially opened in 1980. During the year of 1977, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces retired several equipment operated by the Air Force and Army and gained one new operating equipment. The English Electric Lightning and Hawker Hunter were retired by the Air Force and Douglas A-4 Skyhawks were introduced; while the Vickers MBT was retired by the Army.
In 1978, the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard was created and designated as the sea-based component of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. During the same period, the Kuwaiti Army entered into service the M113 armored personnel carrier, the 9K52 Luna-M short range artillery rocket system and the M109 howitzer.
Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)
In 1980, the Iran-Iraq War sbroke out and the Kuwaiti Armed Forces entered into their fourth alert phase. During the same year, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces signed on the procurement of naval warships for the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard.
First joint Kuwaiti-Saudi air drills (1983)
In 1984, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces enter the short range tactical surface to air missile system 9K33 Osa in service to be operated by the Kuwaiti Air Force. During the same year, the ordered naval warships arrived and were directly commissioned by the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard.
Creation of the Kuwaiti Army (1988)
In 1988, the Kuwaiti Army was formed and designated as the land component of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. The Kuwaiti Armed Forces were removed from their alert phase with the ending of the Iran-Iraq War. The eight-year fourth alert phase was the longest in the Armed Forces' history. With the ending of the Iran-Iraq War, the Kuwaiti Army adopted the BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle.
Iraqi invasion and aftermath (1990)
On 2 August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait. The million-strong Iraqi army brushed aside disorganized resistance by the 20,000-strong Kuwaiti Armed Forces with heavy casualties; by the end of the day, Kuwait had been fully conquered.:26–27 There were some instances of especially heroic resistance, particularly by combat aircraft pilots. Kuwaiti Forces, principally the Kuwait 35th Shaheed (Martyr) Armored Brigade of the Kuwait Army, engaged in the Battle of the Bridges near Al Jahra under Colonel Salem Masoud Al-Sorour, and the Kuwaiti Emiri Guards were engaged in the Battle of Dasman Palace where the emir's half-brother Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was killed. Kuwaiti sources have given extremely heroic reports of this engagement; others have expressed doubt:36.
Iraqi forces seized all the heavy military equipment of the Kuwaiti military and used it against the coalition forces. This included the entire navy, which was sunk by coalition forces. Tanks and armoured personnel carriers were also seized, and also destroyed. While the Iraqis were required to return seized equipment after their defeat, most of it was damaged beyond repair. Only the air force escaped complete destruction, as many of its aircraft had escaped to Saudi Arabia.
Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991)
In the same year Kuwait was part of a U.S.-led military coalition formed in response to the invasion which expelled Iraq from Kuwait in what became known as the Gulf War. Operation Desert Storm was launched by the coalition. Douglas A-4 Skyhawks of the Kuwaiti Air Force destroyed several Iraqi Naval ships trying to infiltrate into Bubiyan Island. The Kuwaiti Armed Forces commissioned and entered into service the M-84 battle tank during the attack on Iraqi forces in Saudi Arabia.
U.S. President George H.W. Bush condemned the invasion, and led efforts to drive out the Iraqi forces. Authorized by the United Nations Security Council, an American-led coalition of 34 nations fought the First Persian Gulf War to reinstate the Kuwaiti Emir. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a U.S.-led United Nations (UN) coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that completely removed Iraqi forces from Kuwait in four days. After liberation, the UN, under Security Council Resolution 687, demarcated the Iraq-Kuwait boundary on the basis of the 1932 and the 1963 agreements between the two states. In November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait, which had been further spelled out in Security Council Resolutions 773 (1992) and 833 (1993).
A Palestinian exodus from Kuwait took place during and after the Gulf War. During the Gulf War, more than 200,000 Palestinians voluntarily fled Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait due to harassment and intimidation by Iraqi security forces, in addition to getting fired from work by Iraqi authority figures in Kuwait. After the Gulf War, the Kuwaiti authorities forcibly pressured nearly 200,000 Palestinians to leave Kuwait in 1991. Kuwait's policy, which led to this exodus, was a response to alignment of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the PLO with the dictator Saddam Hussein, who had earlier invaded Kuwait. The Palestinians who fled Kuwait were Jordanian citizens.
After the liberation, Kuwait became a close military partner of the United States, Britain and France. During the Iraq War the Military of Kuwait played an important role supporting the logistical operations of the United States Armed Forces engaged in military operations in Iraq.
Kuwait entered into a ten-year defense cooperation agreement with the United States in September 1991, then later the United Kingdom and France as well. The defense cooperation with the United States, the United Kingdom and France is done at the training level in the foreign country and at the joint military exercise level on Kuwaiti soil. Sailors of the Kuwaiti Navy undergo training and drill in France with the French Navy while Kuwaiti marines undergo training and drill in the United States with units of the United States Marine Corps,specialized elite units of the United States Navy and specialized elite units of the French Army and the Commandos Marine. Units of the Kuwaiti Army undergo training and conduct military drills in Kuwait with the United States Army, the British Army and the French Army to include also the elite regiments of the French Foreign Legion. Specialized units of the Kuwaiti Army train with elite specialized units of the United States Army, United States Navy, British Army, French Army and the Royal Jordanian Army. Personnel of the Kuwaiti Air Force are primarily trained by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force. Recently, pilots of the Kuwaiti Air Force have undergone training with the Italian Air Force; however, the United States Air Force is the primary lead for training, drills and reference.
The agreement with the United States also includes port access, military equipment storage, and joint training and exercises. The agreement did not officially provide for the stationing of United States service personnel in Kuwait, as the 1,500 US personnel remaining after the Gulf War were scheduled to leave within a few months.
In 1992, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces initiated joint structuring of its various Armed Forces. In the same year, F/A-18 Hornet aircraft were delivered and entered official service with the Kuwaiti Air Force.
October 1994 crisis with Iraq
In 1994, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces entered their fifth alert phase with the beginning of the Iraq disarmament crisis in October, and the Kuwaiti Air Force signed on the delivery of Starburst missile systems.
In 1996, the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank and the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle entered Kuwaiti service. During the same year, the Mubarak al-Abdullah Joint Command and Staff College (Arabic: كلية مبارك العبدالله للقيادة و الأركان المشتركة - دولة الكويت), named in memory of Lieutenant General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (1934-1987), opened.
Operation Desert Strike (1996)
Following Operation Desert Strike in 1996, Kuwait agreed to a United States Battalion Task Force to be permanently stationed in Kuwait. These US Army Intrinsic Action (later called Operation Desert Spring on 1 October 1999) rotations and US Marine Corps EAGER MACE rotations conducted combined training with the Kuwaiti Land Forces and other coalition partners. In addition, US Special Operations Forces conducted Iris Gold rotations to train and assist other Kuwaiti military units.
Operation Desert Fox (1998)
In 1998, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces made an organizational change in command between the Chief of Staff and his various assistants through the chains of command. During the same year, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces enter into their sixth alert phase with the December 1998 bombing of Iraq (code-named Operation Desert Fox) between the United States, the United Kingdom and Iraq.
50th anniversary of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces (1999)
In 1999, the 50th Anniversary of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, newly ordered armored Naval warships were received and directly commissioned by the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard.
Major non-NATO Ally of the US and Global War on Terrorism (2004-present)
After the War on Terror began with military campaigns following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Kuwait was declared one of fifteen major non-NATO allies of the United States by US President George W Bush.
Order of battle
According to Jane's World's Air Forces the operational doctrine of the Kuwaiti Air Force is to provide air support to ground forces as part of a coalition, rather than alone. It is made up of 2,500 people organized into two fighter/ground attack squadrons, two fixed-wing transport squadrons, two helicopter squadrons, a utility squadron and a training/attack helicopter squadron. Although comparatively small in size, it is well-equipped and trained, with Kuwaiti pilots averaging 210 flying hours per year. It does not constitute any offensive threat, but can support ground forces in defensive operations.
The Kuwaiti army consists of 11,000 active duty personnel organized into three armored brigades, two mechanized infantry brigades, a mechanized reconnaissance brigade, an artillery brigade, a combat engineering brigade, a reserve brigade, an Amiri guard brigade, a commando battalion, air defense command and a special forces unit. Its main bases are in Kuwait City (HQ), Al Jabah and Mina Abdullah. The brigades are small by western standards, roughly the equivalent of small regiments or large battalions. They are "cadre forces", kept up to 80 percent of full strength, with the balance made up of reserves in case of war.
Although the threat from Iraq was replaced by the threat of terrorist attacks, the army’s force structure has remained largely static since 2000.
Relationship with the United States Armed Forces
An analysis of the U.S.-Kuwaiti strategic relationship after the Iraqi invasion was published in 2007 by the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute.
The situation as of 2014[update] is that the United States of America had at least 50,000 troops stationed in Kuwait as part of a defence agreement. The largest part is the US Army Central Command (ARCENT), part of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM).
Active US Forces facilities:
- Ali Al Salem Air Base
- Camp Arifjan
- Camp Buehring
- Camp Fox
- Camp Patriot
- Camp Spearhead
- Camp Virginia
- Camp Wolf
- Kuwait International Airport
- Kuwait Naval Base
- Kuwait Navy Base
- Udairi Range
Inactive US Forces facilities:
- Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base
- Camp Doha
- Camp Moreell
- Camp Navistar
- Camp New York
- Camp Victory
- Failaka Island
- Mina Al Ahmadi
The United States has provided military and defence technical assistance to Kuwait from both Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and commercial sources, with all transactions made by direct cash sale. The US Office of Military Cooperation in Kuwait is attached to the American Embassy and manages the FMS program. US military sales to Kuwait total US$5.5 billion since 2004. Principal US military systems purchased by the Kuwait Defence Forces as of 2014[update] are the Patriot missile system, F-18 Hornet fighters, and the M1A2 Main Battle Tank.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Military of Kuwait.|
- CIA World Factbook
- Summary of Kuwait military power Summary of Kuwaiti military
- Kuwaiti Military at Global security
- Anscombe, Frederick F. (1997). The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. New York City: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-10839-3. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- Slot, B. J. (2005). Mubarak Al-Sabah : Founder of Modern Kuwait 1896-1915. London: Arabian Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9544792-4-4. Retrieved 23 September 2010.