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    From there to now, our Kuwaiti partnership

    A U.S. Army Bradley, 1st Bn., 35th Armored Reg., participates in exercise, Al Tahreer 21

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Daryl Bradford | A U.S. Army Bradley tank driver from 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd...... read more read more

    KUWAIT

    03.01.2021

    Story by Staff Sgt. Daryl Bradford 

    Task Force Spartan

    The year was 1990, and Kuwait had just been invaded by the Iraqi regime lead by Saddam Hussein. It was a move that was met with international condemnation and eventually the combined power of coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States in 1991.

    This however was not the beginning of the U.S.-Kuwait partnership that firmly stands today, but was a catalyst to strengthening existing ties.
    The U.S. first opened a consulate in Kuwait in 1951, elevating it to embassy status 10 years later when the Gulf Country gained independence.

    Even before the events of the early 90s, the strategic partnership between the two countries was growing. In 1987, the beginning of a maritime protection regime was created and ensured that 11 Kuwaiti tankers could freely navigate through the Persian Gulf by reflagging them with U.S. markings.

    The strategic partnership continued to grow after Iraq’s invasion; Kuwait provided support and up to 60 percent of its territory for U.S. and coalition use. Then, moving further into the future but not quite to the present, Kuwait assisted with the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011.

    “We have enjoyed an enduring partnership with the Kuwait Land Forces — rooted in a shared vision for security between our two nations,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, the commanding general of Task Force Spartan. “To see and understand how this mil-to-mil partnership has evolved since the days of Operation Desert Storm makes me proud to be standing here along with Brig. Gen. Mohammad, watching our two militaries work side by side to increase our interoperability and work toward the common goal of stability in the region.”

    Currently, the U.S. and Kuwait have a formal Defense Cooperation Agreement, housing approximately 13,500 U.S. forces at bases in Kuwait. The partnership between the nations consists of troop-to-troop participation and active government-to-government sales, consisting of constant trade of a substantial investment.

    Most recently, in celebration of the 30 years since Operation Desert Storm and the Kuwaiti Liberation from the Iraqi occupation, the U.S. and the KLF took part in a joint exercise called Al Tahreer, or The Liberation. The concept of the exercise is to combine several different military functions into a bilateral event, creating a scenario that improves partner capabilities and interoperability between the different forces.

    Many other military-to-military exercises take place throughout the year between the U.S. military and the KLF; however, this one is special, signifying a lasting partnership to the KLF commander.

    “Our partnership is based on a very solid foundation made of 30 years of cooperation between our forces,” said the Kuwaiti Land Force’s Commander, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Al Dharifi. “I am always proud of the great partnership between the U.S. Army forces and Kuwaiti Land Forces. It gives me pleasure to see our soldiers shoulder to shoulder in the field, learning from each other, and gaining experience and expertise.”

    These last 30 years have shaped a relationship between Kuwait and the U.S. that is constantly adapting to the changing world around it, especially in the wake of COVID-19. Even so, it remains a constant that both sides are committed to continuing to work together and strengthen ties in the region.

    “As I look to the future, I’m excited as we recover from COVID that our future leaders of Task Force Spartan will continue to foster and grow this relationship,” said Hamilton. “As a valued partner in the region, we are truly stronger and better together.”

    These words are a testament that exercises like Al Tahreer will continue in the future, building bonds, building military expertise, and building a lasting friendship.

    “Our partnership extends the boundaries of friendship and brotherhood,” said Mohammad. “Our strategic relationship always aims to benefit our soldiers. I hope in the future to see more successes and a fruitful future between our countries and militaries.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.01.2021
    Date Posted: 03.01.2021 00:18
    Story ID: 390166
    Location: KW

    Web Views: 229
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN