Aerial Warfare

NATO Team Enhances Qatar Emiri Air Force Partnership and Evaluation Skills

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NATO Team Enhances Qatar Emiri Air Force Partnership and Evaluation Skills

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NATO Team Enhances Qatar Emiri Air Force Partnership and Evaluation Skills
NATO Team Enhances Qatar Emiri Air Force Partnership and Evaluation Skills

A NATO Mobile Training Team (MTT) visited Al Udeid Air Base for two weeks in June 2024 to teach Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) officers to conduct evaluations of operational processes and, in a second step, to evaluate the level of interoperability of an Air Transport Unit under NATO standards. From June 4 to 8, in preparation of the upcoming Self Evaluation (SEL) 2 within NATO’s Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback (OCC E&F) Programme, nine NATO and national instructors introduced relevant Alliance documents to twelve Qatari trainees, certifying them to evaluate a their country’s unit against applicable NATO standards. From June 9 to 13, experts from Allied Air Command Ramstein, Joint Forces Command Naples, NATO and Azerbaijan assisted the QEAF in evaluating the level of interoperability of a C-130 Air Transport Unit in the framework of Alliance operations.

Building national capabilities enhancing Qatar’s interoperability with NATO is a top priority and directly supports the achievement of our mutually agreed Partnership goals. During the course, our Qatari students demonstrated high levels of professionalism and eagerness to quickly adopt and adhere to NATO procedures,” said Mr. Luigi Cipri, MTT team leader from Joint Forces Command Naples.

“I am very proud of my Qatari Air Force Team. It was challenging and demanding and we had to push hard to meet the required standards and capabilities of the 101 Sqn. But we got all the support needed by the NATO Team. Now we are looking forward to the last test – the NATO evaluation in November – that will certify us as fully capable to readily work with Allied forces once deployed,” said Captain Abdulla Albaker, leader of the Qatari Evaluation team summing up the SEL 2 and the MTT.

Qatari force protection crew inside the C-130 during the Qatari-led self- evaluation 2  to NATO standards. Photo courtesy Qatar Emiri Air Force.
Qatari force protection crew inside the C-130 during the Qatari-led self- evaluation 2 to NATO standards. (Photo by Qatar Emiri Air Force)

Two of the unit’s Hercules C-130 transport aircraft had been declared to the NATO pool of forces in 2022 to potentially support Alliance missions as part of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). The ICI is a partnership framework that aims to contribute to long-term global and regional security by offering non-NATO countries in the broader Middle East region the opportunity to cooperate with NATO. In 2005, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates formally joined the ICI, while Oman and Saudi Arabia participate in selected activities within the framework. The evaluation team consisting of 15 Qataris, 15 NATO and three Azerbaijani evaluators provided a challenging scenario testing the unit’s ability to conduct mission under different threat conditions – besides outside temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius.

Qatari evaluators led the so called self-evaluation (SEL) 2 within the OCC E&F Programme, which is used to develop and train Partner forces towards NATO standards. This evaluation in Qatar represented a further step further honing Qatar’s interoperability with NATO force elements. MTTs focus mainly on developing relationships, skills and knowledge, sharing information and best practice with NATO Partners. NATO MTT instructors boost interoperability and enable mutual support in time of crisis such a natural disasters. NATO’s 32 members maintain relations with more than 40 Partner Nations and international organisations who are keen to work with the Alliance. NATO Partnerships are beneficial to all involved and contribute to improved security for the broader international community.

NATO Team Enhances Qatar Emiri Air Force Partnership and Evaluation Skills
Qatari military during interoperability level testing for NATO operations. (Photo by Qatar Emiri Air Force)

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