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The Emirati, also known as the Emirian people are the inhabitants of the Arab nations mainly the United Arab Emirates which has the largest concentrations of these people. During a visit to Dubai, I carried out a brief research about this community, I happened to interview a few occupants of this nation and my main interest was to find out about their military system and its roles to the society.
The military of this nation dates back to the year 1971 when it was formed out of those who used to be members of the Trucial Oman Scouts. They were then given the name Union Defence Force when UAE was formed. This unit consisted of two thousand five hundred military personals. In 1976, the UDF military forces were unified into one military force, and by the year 1975, there were already up to 3250 military personals with sophisticated equipment.
I found out that the entire military does have a common role which is protecting the entire nations of the United Arab Emirates. However, the military is subdivided into different units with each group being assigned its role in accordance with their training and specialization. Hence, the UAE military is divided into four main blocks namely; the navy, the air force, the marines and the army. The military was split into these units due to the fact that the entire work of defence has several requirements which require different functions and training practices.
This force is the smallest unit in the area and is made up of about 2500 personnel. Their main function is to protect the nations against aquatic invasion. The marines also ensure that the enemies or potential attacks through the water are avoided. Patrols are carried out using twelve patrol boats which have the necessary military equipment (UAE adds-dash-8 Q300s for Maritime Patrol 2009).
In addition, they also have eight missile boats as additional security equipment. The French shipbuilder, CMN is working closely with the UAE marines to construct blue water corvettes to assist in improved patrols. Other responsibilities include ensuring that unauthorized water vessels such as ships and boats from foreign countries do not approach their waters as this could be a potential danger. Twenty four hour monitoring of the coasts and their boundaries into the sea is also very important. In case danger approaches from within the waters, the marines’ personnel act according to the given orders and return the situation to normalcy (The Walter Lantz Cartune encyclopaedia 2011).
The navy serves as the sea guards of the nation. It prepares the naval forces which may be required during wars. Maintenance of the naval aviation which covers all aviation activities on land and air is also an important role of the navy. UAE navy carry out the maintenance of the air transport of the naval department and its weapons as well as the techniques involved in such operations.
They develop their own military aircraft, weapons, methods of operations and organizations for the purpose of effective naval combat. During training the navy trainees are equipped with manuals that clearly state the missions of all their operations and the orders that they are expected to stick by during the operations (Defence update.com).
The air force
This military organ protects the UAE against aerial attacks. The UAE air force originated from that which existed during the time when the Emirates were still being ruled by the British. It then established and changed its roles after independence. They protect the nations by effective control and exploitation of the air and space. Freedom of action is achieved through aerial superiority where the air force controls what moves through the UAE air and space. This boosts security as any potential danger or dangerous intrusion is counteracted before it can cause harm.
Another very important role executed by the UAEAF is the control of information that passes through or into the nation. They can detect any attacks from any point of the world and make necessary actions to prevent damage. The air force can station their forces anywhere in the world which is very important in counteracting unprotected responsiveness.
UAEAF monitors the air on a 24 hour basis to ensure that no strange aircraft flies into or across their air lines. They carry out frequent air surveys and examinations to keep off aerial attacks from enemies. The fact that they control the kind of information that flows through the entire UAE is very important in detecting unprecedented attacks. They have powerful satellite equipment and computer systems used to regulate and or prevent malicious information from entering the country (UAE Air Force & Air Defence 2008).
In general, all the responses I gathered were converging to a similar conclusion about the role of the army. The main role of the army is to protect the interests of the UAE and the nations themselves. It is responsible for protecting both the internal and external interests of the nation. They keep peace between the Emirati nation and the countries with which it is at war. It also tries to resolve problems between neighbouring warring countries.
Securing the peace of the homeland is a key factor and is achieved by deploying their personnel into foreign missions to protect the country. UAE army protects the citizens from any sort of attack that is land based (Defence update 2011).
Challenges faced during the interview
The entire interview process was not as smooth as I expected. I encountered several challenges that dragged the process back and even led to difficulties. Firstly, most of the people I interviewed did not have enough knowledge about the items I needed rendering their responses inaccurate.
Some respondents were unfriendly for fear that my research was ill intentioned. They therefore tried to shy away or were hostile. Other respondents commercialized the process and were not willing to offer any responses unless paid huge sums of money.
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I was reported to a local police station as most people in that area thought I could cause security threats. Also, very few occupants here speak English, they mostly speak Arabic and communication is very difficult. The translators may also provide inaccurate translations thereby distorting the information thus; translated information is basically dependent on the translator’s understanding.
To ensure that I am addressing the right people, I could have cooperated with the educated locals or simply acquired the information directly from them. In dealing with hostility, it is important to use the appropriate approach such as asking literate locals to inform the respondents about the details of my research and reassure them that I mean no harm.
It is also important to have a government permit to stay off trouble for illegal operations. If the government had been informed early enough, my research work would have been officially legalized and I would not have been reported to the police by the locals. It would also have been effective had I studied a little Arabic that is enough to help me extract information and understand responses for the purpose of first hand and accurate information gathering.
Defence update. UAE to upgrade 135 BMP-3 Armored infantry vehicles, 2011. Web.
The Walter Lantz Cartune encyclopaedia. The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopaedia: 1030, 2011.Web.
”UAE adds-dash-8 Q300s for Maritime Patrol.” UAE adds. Defence industry daily, 2009. Web.
“UAE Air Force & Air Defence”. Force Report. Air Force Monthly Mag., 2008. Web.