Kuwait Confronts WMD Threat

Kuwaiti and U.S. security forces conducted emergency response drills to defend against hypothetical chemical and radiological attacks from terrorists.

The Watan 1 exercise in May 2019 brought together elements from the Kuwaiti Army, National Guard, special forces, police, firefighters and civil defense organizations.

Partnering with them were members of U.S. Task Force Spartan, which conducts drills with Middle Eastern partners tailored to each country’s security needs.

Watan 1 aimed to prepare Kuwait to counter weapons of mass destruction, whether they be chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosives.

The drills stressed the importance of coordination between military and civilian organizations when handling attacks with such volatile materials. The events combined military assaults to overpower terrorists and civilian detection and cleanup operations to contain contamination from weapons of mass destruction. 

The exercise occurred under the guidance of Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior Lt. Gen. Assam Al-Neham. Lt. Gen. Assam said his boss — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah — is dedicated to creating integrated civilian-military procedures for handling crisis.

Task Force Spartan consists of five U.S. Army and U.S. Army National Guard brigades that provide specialized training at the request of partners in the Middle East.

“U.S. Soldiers assigned to Task Force Spartan are working side by side with regional partners to increase cohesion, promote security and achieve mutual goals,” Task Force Spartan Commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Corell said.

“Through strong partnerships, and with integrated military capabilities, we will be ready to act together quickly in times of crisis.”

Sources: U.S. Army, Al-Anba, Al Rai