The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Wednesday of plans to sell the Presidential Guard Command of the United Arab Emirates a package of "training and associated training and logistical support" services worth $150 million in total value.
Described as a "blanket order" for training and related services, these services will involve "the continuation of U.S. Marine Corps training of the UAE's Presidential Guard for counterterrorism, counter-piracy, critical infrastructure protection, and national defense."
DSCA argues that this training will benefit the U.S. inasmuch as the UAE "plays a vital role in supporting U.S. regional interests," with UAE troops serving alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the country hosting U.S. forces stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base. Interestingly, the UAE's Presidential Guard is actually led by an Australian citizen, retired Australian Army Major General Michael Simon "Mike" Hindmarsh.
DSCA assured Congress that "there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale." Nor will the continued training "alter the basic military balance in the region."
No single principal contractor was named to coordinate training under this contract.