South Korean Special Forces to Train Special Operations Personnel in the UAE

In accordance with UAE requests, the South Korean government plans to deploy about 130 Special Operations personnel to the UAE within this year, pending national assembly approval.

Since December 2009, the relationship between the two nations has been elevated to “comprehensive and strategic partner relationship” including economy, education, advanced technology, and security.

In the field of national defense, they have engaged in a variety of cooperative activities including defense industry/logistics, mutual high-level official visits, military education and training, and information sharing.

In order to develop the UAE’s special operations units to world-class standards, the UAE has requested a deployment of the ROK’s elite special operations forces and close training cooperation.

This deployment differs from previous UN PKO or multi-national deployments.  It represents a new concept of deployment that strengthens military cooperation and promotes the national interest in safe, non-conflict areas with no potential combat risk.

The mission of the unit is to support education and training of the UAE special forces, conduct combined training and exercises and protect ROK nationals in case of emergency.

The size of the unit will be one battalion (130 personnel), the rotation cycle will be 4-6 months, and the unit will be located within the UAE Special Operations Command school in Al Ain.  The ROK unit will use the on-site garrison facilities and training range.

The government proposal for the deployment will be submitted to the national assembly after the cabinet’s review and the plan is to deploy the unit within this year after the national assembly’s consent process.

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