Bahrain’s state-owned news agency, Bahrain News Agency (BNA), reports that the Bahrain National Guard and the Pakistan Army signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) on December 14 to undertake the joint counter-terrorism (CT) exercise – designated Bader2 – in Bahrain.
BNA states that Bader2 will be held in Bahrain following the completion of Bader1 in Pakistan, an exercise that had “included practical military drills and skills aimed to boost the efficiency of the participating military officers and personnel and to achieve highest level of coordination in the fight against terrorism.”
The Commander of the Special Operations Unit in the National Guard, Shaikh Salman bin Mohammad bin Isa al-Khalifa, called for increased bilateral ties with Pakistan, especially in training and sharing expertise.
Notes & Comments:
The centerpiece of Pakistan’s CT and counterinsurgency (COIN) training strategy is the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), which was established in 2014 to provide CT and COIN training to Pakistan Army and Pakistani law-enforcement agencies to support the country’s CT/COIN campaign.
The NCTC familiarizes infantry with combat using small teams and engaging in built-up environments. The NCTC has since hosted bilateral exercises between Pakistan and Bahrain, China, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia and others. It also helped train a Nigerian Army Special Forces battalion in 2017.
Specialized CT/COIN centres are also being raised by the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Navy through the Airpower Centre of Excellence (ACE) and Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC), respectively.
The Pakistan Navy and Royal Bahrain Navy had conducted a bilateral naval exercise in 2015. Designated “Shaheen al-Jazeera”, the exercise had involved naval special operations forces (SOF) operators from both countries. Shaheen al-Jazeera was started in 1997 and had been a regularly held exercise.
Pakistan also has commercial interests in Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council market. In October, the private Pakistani company Cavalier Group showcased its Hamza Multirole Combat Vehicle, a 6×6 (and previously, 8×8) wheeled armoured fighting vehicle at the 2017 Bahrain International Defence Exhibition and Conference. For Pakistan, Bahrain could be a prospective customer of armoured vehicles, small arms, ammunition and other defence solutions and services.