Eagle Resolve training exercise helps establish interoperability in the Gulf

The field training portion of the U.S. Central Command's three-part Eagle Resolve exercise began Sunday, uniting the armed forces of 12 nations to promote interoperability of Gulf region defense capabilities.

Two thousand U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are participating in Eagle Resolve 13 and arrived in the region, landing throughout Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the field training exercise. Qatar is hosting the event, and its annual multilateral naval, land and air exercises finished on Friday, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Lowe of Centcom's Exercise and Training Directorate said.

The majority of the members that will be participating in Eagle Resolve 13 belong to the Gulf Cooperative Council. One thousand soldiers from the region will join U.S. troops in exercises that will modulate land, air and maritime defense scenarios. Lowe said the scenarios will include hostage situations, naval and theater ballistic missile attacks and toxic chemical spills.

The drills will be focused on integrating air and missile defenses, consequence management, critical infrastructure protection, counterterrorism, border security and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-passive defense. The goal is to promote collaboration among nations in the region to support the goal of long-term regional stability.

Eagle Resolve began in 1999 as a seminar. It has evolved significantly and each year members continue to advance their tactics, allowing each party to learn from one another and understand how each country operates.

"This is not a unilateral learning process," Lowe said. "We challenge each other. And by challenging each other, we all learn."

Lowe said significant strides have been made towards increasing preparedness in the region as a result of the exercises. Militia collaboration has improved and tactics have been created regarding who would respond first and what national agencies would carry out each mission.

The Eagle Resolve is another way for the U.S. to show its dedication to helping the region attain its goal of long-term peace and stability.

"The focus is on demonstrating our continued dedication to the region and our regional partners," Lowe said. "As we do that, we are working to build partnerships with regional partners so we can better cooperate and work together toward the goal of long-term peace and regional stability."