From right, Col. Waleed Abdulla AlShehhi, chief of UAE’s communication section, and Lt. Col. Awad Ghareeb AlNuaimi, chief of training in UAE’s armament section, speak to leaders from the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command. They were part of a UAE delegation that visited JMC on Fort Bliss in early September to learn more about assessment and procurement. | Photo By Jonathan Koester
As military officers with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) looked for ways to improve procurement processes and building interoperability with their partners, they attended a Joint Warfighting Assessment (JWA) in Germany led by the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command (JMC).
After observing how the JMC incorporates Soldier feedback during live testing to modernize the Army, the UAE requested a visit to the command so they could learn more, and perhaps stand up their own assessment and modernization organization.
A land forces delegation from the UAE visited JMC headquarters on Fort Bliss, Texas, the first week in September to begin that process. UAE hosts Iron Union exercises with the U.S. four times a year and is working toward making sure their systems are interoperable with their allies, said Maj. Matthew W. St. Pierre, chief of plans at JMC.
“The UAE started to realize that in their procurement process, they were missing opportunities to make sure the systems they procure integrate correctly with coalition partners,” St. Pierre said. “They are trying to build interoperability, and they realized after watching JWA 18 in Germany that they want to emulate an organization like JMC.”
Lt. Col. Awad Ghareeb AlNuaimi, chief of training in UAE’s armament section, said he was impressed by JMC’s efforts to make systems joint and interoperable, while thinking about future needs. UAE’s armament section currently handles procurement. During the visit, AlNuaimi learned about JMC’s recent assessment of the newest positioning and navigation systems. He said developing a good navigation system that allies can use together is an important goal for the UAE.
“We need to build our evaluation procedures,” AlNuaimi said. “We use the procedure provided by the company that produces each system. We need independent procedures, like the JMC uses. That is our goal.”
The UAE is located across the Persian Gulf from Iran, and is a strategic partner with the U.S. The visit allowed the UAE delegation to understand how the JMC plans and conducts Soldier-led assessments, with civilian engineers, civilian computer programmers and others working alongside military assessors.
JMC plans and executes worldwide multi-echelon, joint and multinational live experiments in support of the Army’s modernization strategy. These live experiments assess and ensure the Army’s capability in Multi-Domain Operations. In addition to an annual JWA – the Army’s premier modernization and interoperability exercise – JMC assesses potential Army equipment year-round in smaller exercises.
The next JWA is scheduled for April and May 2020 in Germany and Poland, during which JMC will assess more than 50 concepts and capabilities to provide Soldiers with the best tools for future conflicts.