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US, UAE engage in weeklong training exercise

U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, assigned to Special Purpose Marine-Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response - Central Command, board an MV-22 Osprey during a crisis response exercise in Kuwait, Jan. 13. Photo by Jacob Yost/U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, assigned to Special Purpose Marine-Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response - Central Command, board an MV-22 Osprey during a crisis response exercise in Kuwait, Jan. 13. Photo by Jacob Yost/U.S. Marine Corps

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Forces from the United States and the United Arab Emirates forces recently completed a weeklong training engagement in the UAE.

The Pentagon reports that service members from the AE Presidential Guard and U.S. Marine Corps' Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response participated in live-fire training which included 60 mm mortar systems, snipers, and small unit tactics.

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"The relationship between the United Arab Emirates and United States armed forces has an essential role to stability and security in the region," said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Farrell Sullivan, Commanding General of Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. "This training opportunity between the UAE Presidential Guard and U.S. Forces reinforces our commitment to bilateral engagements and highlights the continued efforts between both nations to enhance interoperability and crisis response capabilities."

This is the third iteration of bilateral live-fire training involving the two countries' forces in six months.

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The United Arab Emirates was also a partner in one of the largest and most controversial arms sales in a record-setting year for U.S. foreign military sales.

In November a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to block the $23 billion deal as many as 50 F-35 warplanes and 18 armed drones.

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The State Department has approved the sale earlier that month.

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In December the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs filed a lawsuit against the State Department and then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the grounds that the sale violates the US Arms Export Control Act.

The think tank has since claimed that then-President Donald Trump signed a letter of agreement on the deal in the final hours of his presidency.

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