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  • Ahmed Saleh

Crown Prince Salman unveils ambitious plan for Defense Ministry

Riyadh, February 3, 2024, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has outlined an ambitious and promising plan for the Ministry of Defense. This comprehensive strategy aims to provide advanced training and armament for the ministry's personnel, localize related industries, and ensure efficient spending. The overarching goal is to uphold the country's security and stability, especially in the face of escalating threats.

The development plan for the Ministry of Defense was approved by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, on February 26, 2018. This plan encompasses a new vision and strategy, a targeted development model, and organizational, governance, and human resources requirements aligned with the National Defense Strategy.

The strategic objectives of the ministry include achieving joint operational excellence, improving performance, modernizing equipment and weapons, enhancing spending efficiency, supporting the localization of military manufacturing, and developing individual performance and morale.

To achieve these objectives, 308 initiatives have been identified, detailed in a comprehensive document that outlines the scope of work, responsible entities, timeframe, and required procedures. These initiatives are organized into three stages, each aligned with the strategic goals of the ministry.

The first phase involves building the ministry's center, along with the Agency for Strategic Affairs, Agency for Excellence Services, and the Agency for Procurement and Armaments. Additionally, the restructuring of the Presidency of the General Staff and the establishment of the Joint Forces Command are crucial components of this phase.

The second phase focuses on reorganizing the forces to improve performance, efficiency, and enable joint action. The third phase is dedicated to re-arming the forces and building capabilities.

Recognizing the importance of organizational structure in achieving strategic goals, the plan emphasizes three principles. First, separating responsibilities for preparing, training, and equipping the armed forces from those for commanding operations. Second, distinguishing policies, strategies, and planning from the implementation process. Third, gaining expertise and improving efficiency through the application of new automated systems.

Three key agencies play crucial roles in guidance, empowerment, and acquisition within the ministry. The Agency for Strategic Affairs manages policies and strategies, ensuring alignment with national security interests. The Agency for Excellence Services oversees tasks that enable the ministry and its employees to fulfill their responsibilities efficiently. The Agency for Procurement and Armaments is responsible for acquiring equipment, weapons, and supporting systems to enhance sustainability and spending efficiency.

The operational model emphasizes construction and use, managed by the Chief of the General Staff, who oversees building combat organizations and ensuring they have the necessary resources for national security requirements. The Joint Forces Command, through the Joint Operations Command of the Armed Forces, plays a pivotal role in defending the security and interests of the Kingdom in a professional manner.

From February 4 to 8, the Ministry of Defense will showcase its impressive capabilities at the World Defense Show, hosted in Malham, north of Riyadh. This event serves as a platform to highlight the ministry's advancements and technological prowess on the global stage.

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