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US to Provide Military Training to Saudi Arabia Under $1B Deal

The US State Department has approved Saudi Arabia’s request to provide its air force with military training to address current and future threats.

The foreign military sale of $1 billion covers the provision of flight training, technical training, and professional military education to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and other related forces.

The US will also send mobile training teams, a technical assistance field team, specialized trainers, and English language trainers to hone the capabilities of military aviators.

According to the announcement, the agreement will help improve the security of the Middle Eastern nation, which is considered a major force for stability in the region.

A total of 339 training personnel will be provided by the US government or contract vendors as part of the deal.

Improving Proficiency

In addition to flight and technical training, Washington will provide broader instruction programs to the RSAF, ranging from command and control to civilian casualty avoidance.

It will also offer courses on the laws of armed conflict and human rights in preparation for future conflicts.

According to the State Department, the agreement may also include medical support training, simulators, and other related equipment.

Once finalized, the comprehensive training is expected to increase the interoperability of the RSAF with the US.

It will also assist Saudi Arabia in “fostering a climate of security in the region through the improved proficiency” of its air force.

Possible Resumption of Arms Sales

The latest agreement was made amid reports that Washington is considering the resumption of offensive arms sales to the Middle Eastern country.

Saudi Arabia has reportedly abided by a US-brokered truce with Yemen for nearly two years, and it is now up to the US to do its “friend” a favor.

“So, the Saudis have met their end of the deal, and we are prepared to meet ours, returning these cases to regular order through appropriate congressional notification and consultation,” a US official privy to the matter told Reuters.

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