Lieutenant General Mutlaq bin Salem Al-Azima, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, has been appointed as Acting Commander of the Saudi Joint Forces, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Al-Azima obtained a bachelor’s degree in Military Science with a specialization in Armored Vehicles at King Abdul Aziz Military College. He did a master’s in Military Science from the Armed Forces Command and Staff College. Al-Azima also did a fellowship at the College of War of Nasser Higher Military Academy.
He began his career in the command of a shield faction and then served as the commander of the supply and maintenance faction, until taking over as Assistant Intelligence Officer in the fourth brigade of the Royal Saudi Land Forces during the Kuwait liberation war. He then served as Assistant Commander of the brigade and then Commander of the brigade battalion.
Al-Azima became Commander of the Peninsula Shield forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which were able to foil an Iranian plot to trigger riots in Bahrain. Then he took over the command of the southern region and supervised the “South Shield” plan. He also managed the “Decisive Storm” and the “Restoration of Hope” military operations. Al-Azima was then appointed as commander of the Eastern Region and given the task of preparing plans and supervising military exercises.
In view of his vast military experience, Al-Azima was appointed Military Adviser in the Office of Minister of Defense to advise on a wide array of strategic, military, and planning aspects.
The Saudi Arabian Armed Forces (also known as the Royal Saudi Armed Forces) consist of the Saudi Arabian Army, the Royal Saudi Navy, the Royal Saudi Air Force, the Royal Saudi Air Defense, and the Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force.
The King of Saudi Arabia is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior.
The five Armed Forces are among eight military forces of Saudi Arabia, with the others including the Saudi Arabian National Guard (under the administrative control of the Ministry of National Guard), the Saudi Royal Guard Regiment and the Saudi Arabian Border Guards. In addition, there is also the General Intelligence Presidency which is the main intelligence service.
The Saudi Armed Forces are one of the best-funded in the world. Saudi Arabia has the world’s third largest defense budget after the United States and China.