Shared Commitment to Regional Security

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The United Arab Emirates and the United States share a common resolve to preserve security and stability in the Middle East and around the world. Over the past three decades, UAE and US military forces have teamed up on six military coalition actions, from the First Gulf War to Kosovo to Afghanistan, Libya and the fight against ISIS.

In May 2019, a new Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) was signed by the UAE and US to improve coordination and advance the robust military, political and economic partnership between the two countries. In December 2020, the US sale of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft and other advanced defense systems to the UAE passed Congressional review.  These advanced capabilities will enable the UAE to take on more responsibility for collective security in the Middle East, a key objective of the US National Defense Strategy.

The UAE is a critical US ally, providing essential support for US troops, aircraft and naval vessels in the Middle East region. The UAE hosts 5,000 US military personnel at Al Dhafra Air Base, just outside of Abu Dhabi. 

From Al Dhafra Air Base, the UAE operates 80 of the most technologically advanced US-supplied F-16 aircraft – the Block 60 “Desert Falcon.” In close cooperation with the US, the UAE has used these advanced aircraft against violent extremists, to confront aggression, protect vital shipping routes, and promote regional stability.


Mission effectiveness and joint cooperation are further enhanced through the Joint Air Warfare Center at Al Dhafra Air Base, where UAE, US and other allied air forces conduct joint training exercises.

The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet relies on Dubai’s Jebel Ali port to support maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf. In fact, more US naval vessels visit Jebel Ali than any other port outside the United States.

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