Composure in a Crisis
Military leadership is an art form that requires taking responsibility and facing challenges. Great leaders are graced with unique qualities such as vision, intelligence and bravery. Brig. Gen. Jassim Ahmed Al Mohanadi, commander of National Defense and Crisis Management Center in Qatar, is one such leader.
Brig. Gen. Mohanadi began his military career as an armor officer, a graduate of the Royal Jordanian National Defense College and the Nasser Academy for Military Science in Egypt. His professionalism enabled him to direct multinational military exercises such as Eagle Resolve and Ferocious Falcon, in addition to his participation in Egypt’s Bright Star exercise.
The general takes great pride in Qatar securing the XV Asiad Championship, held at Khalifa International Stadium in December 2006. Doha was the first city in the region to host the Olympics-style games, and called upon the talents of Brig. Gen. Mohanadi.
“The Asiad championship is considered to be one of the largest sports events in the region and the first hosted by an Arab country. It was attended by tens of thousands of fans from all over the world,” he said. “Our center was in charge of providing security to all facilities, securing routes, devising an emergency plan and easing heavy traffic. Thank God all our efforts and plans resulted in total success. We never had any security breach or incident.”
For the past two years, Brig. Gen. Mohanadi played a special role in the management of Ferocious Falcon 4, gaining the appreciation of the 27 participating countries in this important military exercise held in 2015. It dealt with issues such as protection of sports stadiums, maritime piracy, plane crashes, natural disasters, chemical spills and threats to critical infrastructure.
The general believes that international partnerships are essential to combating security challenges in the region. That’s why Falcon attracted forces from partners such as Kuwait and Pakistan. Equally important was participation by other government agencies such as the Ministry of Interior, Lekhwiya (Qatari Internal Security Forces) and the Secret Service.
“The region needs these types of military exercises to unify our military doctrine and share experiences with the wide range of participants. Some of the participating nations have vast experience in responding to natural disasters due to their geographic locations or experienced real world crises that solidify our knowledge,” the general said.
“There is no nation that can work alone to manage current threats. We all need the services of experts and advisors from our allies. International participation is essential to overcome the security threats that face the region. It is very important to involve all influential nations in these exercises so all participants can benefit by their involvement in planning and execution.”
Brig. Gen. Mohanadi’s role wasn’t limited to coordinating Qatari military units and those of neighboring and friendly forces and allies. His responsibilities also included engaging the local population to reassure them that military traffic, Soldiers’ maneuvers and continuous explosions were no cause for alarm.
He requested that local citizens cooperate with the security forces to ensure the success of the exercise, involving them indirectly in the defense of the homeland.
Ferocious Falcon 4 won the appreciation of Qatar’s Minister of Defense Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Ali Al Atiyya; Maj. Gen. Ghanem bin Shaheen Al Ghanem, who serves as chief of staff of the Armed Forces and commander of the exercise; and Maj. Gen. Abdullah Jamaan Al Hamad, assistant minister of defense for military cooperation, coordination and follow-up.
The exercise concluded with a seminar attended by senior leadership and His Royal Highness Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar. Attendees discussed procedures for dealing with disasters, crisis management, rescues, counterterrorism, maritime piracy, joint maneuvers and other scenarios.
Field officers and leadership are concerned about collateral loss, whether it be personnel or hardware. A successful leader is one who achieves his goals with limited losses. Brig. Gen. Mohanadi was proud to lead such a large exercise without incurring any losses among the joint participating forces.
Planning and preparation for this exercise were achieved with an attention to detail that proved its worth through cooperation among the joint forces and the ability of the support units to handle missions with precision.