Saudi, French commandos kick off drills in Alps

The drill will focus on physical training and adaptation to natural conditions and cold weather

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Saudi Arabia and France kicked off on Monday joint military drills involving commando units from both countries in the French Alps, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Saudi commando units, surveillance units of paratroopers and special forces units from the Royal Saudi Land Forces, joined by French commandos, all took part in the high-altitude drills dubbed “Shamrakh 1.”

The commander of the French Commandos said the drill would focus on physical training and adaptation to natural conditions and cold weather, according to the SPA.

Training with Saudi commandos would provide the French side “with experience in the field of tactics, coordination and logistics with a friendly force,” the French major was quoted as saying.

The commander of the Saudi units, Maj. Fahed bin Zahem al-Atibi, for his part, said the drill was a continuation of previous exercises with the French military aimed at exchanging expertise between the two sides.

“Our units have undergone many exercises and this drill will be used to improve what we have already gained in experience and expertise in terms of mountain-terrain commando operations and surveillance,” the major said.

“The weather and varying climate condition will not be an obstacle for our soldiers given that they have previously trained in mountainous environments and are professionals,” he added.