Protecting U.S. and allied forces against unmanned aerial system attacks continues to be a top priority in the U.S. Central Command theater of operations. In response, U.S. Air Forces Central and partner nations are continuing an ongoing series of integration missions through the summer of 2021. On July 29, U.S. and Royal Saudi aircraft participated in a combined training operation to evaluate their ability to collaboratively track and destroy a simulated invading UAS within regional airspace.
“Protecting U.S., Coalition and partner nation forces by countering the UAS threat remains a critical concern across the region. Our Saudi Arabian partners share that concern, and together we’re building on previous training to develop an effective, collaborative capability to protect our common interests,” said Col. Matt Dietz, U.S. AFCENT Director of Operations. U.S. AFCENT works closely with partner nations to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace.
Ninth Air Force (United States Air Forces Central Command) (9 AF/USAFCENT) is a Numbered Air Force of the United States Air Force headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. It is the Air Force Service Component of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), a joint Department of Defense combatant command responsible for U.S. security interests in 27 nations that stretch from the Horn of Africa through the Persian Gulf region, into Central Asia.
Activated as 9th Air Force on 8 April 1942, the command fought in World War II both in the Western Desert Campaign in Egypt and Libya and as the tactical fighter component of the United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF), engaging enemy forces in France, the Low Countries and in Nazi Germany. During the Cold War, it was one of two Numbered Air Forces of Tactical Air Command. It has fought in the 1991 Gulf War, War in Afghanistan (OEF-A, 2001–present), the Iraq War (OIF, 2003–2010), as well as various engagements within USCENTCOM.