Warplanes: Red Flag For Arabs

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October 3, 2007: The U.S. Air Force has built a high tech air warfare training center in the Persian Gulf, without anyone really noticing. There, "Red Flag" type training has been provided for over six years. This all began in the 1990s, when the UAE (United Arab Emirates) decided to establish closer ties with the United States, especially military relationships. The UAE was particularly interested in upgrading its air force.

There are two reasons for this type of training at the UAE Air Warfare Center. The obvious one is to improve the combat skills of pilots in the UAE, and other Arab nations. But another reason, is to prepare Arab fighter pilots to defeat any Iranian aggression. Despite the decrepit state of the Iranian military (as a result of decades of embargoes), Iran is still a large nation, with large armed forces. The UAE occupies most of the western coast of the Persian Gulf, but has a population of less than three million and armed forces of only 65,000. There are 70 million Iranians, and about half a million of them are in the military. While the Iranian air force only has about 200 operational, and quite elderly, combat aircraft, sheer numbers can be intimidating. The UAE has a hundred more modern warplanes, and it uses the training assistance from the U.S. Air Force, to provide a qualitative edge. The Americans also work with UAE commanders to figure out what kind of surprises the Iranians might try to pull. Arab nations fear the Iranians, who have dominated the region for thousands of years, and have a long history of coming up with imaginative tactics, and using them aggressively and often with success.

 


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