Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces, witnessed the UAE Armed Forces celebration of the Golden Anniversary of the Air Force and Air Defense, which was held at Sweihan Airbase in Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony was attended by Major General Staff Pilot Ibrahim Nasser Mohammed Al Alawi (photo), Commander of the Air Force and Air Defense, and many senior Armed Forces officers, Emirates News Agency WAM reported.
In his speech, Major General Al Alawi said: “On this day, while celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the Air Force and Air Defense, we recall, with pride, honor and appreciation, the founding leader, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who helped establish the Air Force and Air Defense and developed them to become the nation’s deterrent, to protect the country’s airspace and guarantee the safety of its land.”
“What encourages us further is that our celebration coincides with the Year of Zayed, when the UAE is celebrating the centennial anniversary of the birth of Sheikh Zayed and is highlighting his leading role in establishing the federation and the pillars that have enabled it to develop and advance in all areas,” he added.
Al Alawi praised the performance of the Air Force in many operations, which include ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ and ‘Operation Restoring Hope’ in Yemen, as well as the international coalition against Daesh.
“The appreciation and praise for the Air Force and Air Defense from many countries confirm that we are walking on the right path, which was created by the directives of our wise leadership and will enable our Air Force to be the pillar of the Armed Forces and enhance our internal security and stability while maintaining the security and stability of the region and the entire world,” he explained.
“We always remember, with gratitude and appreciation, the martyrs of the Air Force and all the martyrs of our Armed Forces, who gave their lives for the nation, defended the UAE, and helped to preserve security and peace in the region and around the world while raising our flag in the fields of righteousness and duty,” he added.
A documentary film was shown about the history of the Air Force and Air Defense since their establishment and their current stature as one of the world’s most advanced and well-equipped national air forces. This was followed by air shows conducted by Air Force and Air Defense aircraft in the skies above the event.
The ceremony also included an exhibition of the military aircraft and equipment used by the Air Force and Air Defense. Lt. General Al Rumaithi honored the previous commanders of the Air Force, to appreciate their role in serving the nation.