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Feature Stories

NEWS | April 11, 2018

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Kuwait visits Camp Arifjan

By Army Sgt. Thomas Crough U.S. Army Central

His Excellency, Shaykh Nasser, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Kuwait, visited Camp Arifjan alongside His Excellency, Lawrence R. Silverman, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait on April 11, 2018.

“This is his [Nasser’s] first visit here and what’s so important is that he sees in a very real way what we mean about interoperability, what we mean about cooperation between the two countries, what we mean about Kuwait as a host and the importance of the defense of Kuwait,” explained Silverman. “He needed to see it firsthand rather than us giving briefings. So it was actually at his initiative that we came out and this is just the first of what we hope to be more visits in the future.”

The visit began with a briefing that gave an overview of U.S. Army Central Command’s scope within the area of responsibility and the importance of the relationship between Kuwait and the U.S. Army.

“Kuwait remains the indispensable strategic partner in the Central Region,” said Col. John Strange, Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Central. “Military strength complements diplomacy in a dangerous world, and our military presence in Kuwait helps prevent conflicts from eroding stability within this region or from spilling over to other regions.”

Maj. Gen. Flem B. “Donnie” Walker Jr., Commanding General, 1st Theater Sustainment Command and USARCENT Deputy Commanding General-Sustainment then led the distinguished guests to the 75th Combat Support Hospital where they toured three key points in the facility that demonstrated the hospital’s range of medical capabilities.

“I think he [Nassar] wanted to hone in on that point and see how, and what type of support Kuwait is providing our medical providers, not only on our facility we have here on Camp Arifjan, but if it’s outside our scope of capability, which a lot of cases are, did we feel like we were getting the level of support from Kuwait that is necessary,” said Walker. “I think we were able to show him that we are, in fact doing that. A lot of the engagements that we have with the Kuwaiti hospitals as well as them coming here and learning some of our techniques and procedures to make them better as well.”

The official party next made their way to a tour of an Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 warehouse. The tour provided the minister with an overview of standard Army equipment, maintenance and cost efficiencies for Army vehicles.

“These warehouses, all these facilities, you can say the words about the commitment to security, but what does it mean in practicalities? You need the boots on the ground, you need the equipment on the ground, you need the maintenance of the equipment on the ground and this is where we are working very, very closely,” said Silverman. “As you saw, the minister was very interested in saying, ‘oh how can this facility be improved, how is it that we can actually make it better?’ He asked, for example, ‘what do you need to keep more vehicles inside instead of outside getting beaten up by the weather here?’ I think it’s also reflecting in his own mind what they need to do, what the Kuwait Armed Forces need to do to up their game by seeing what it is that we do and the lessons learned between us.”

“Our partnership is stronger than ever and the U.S. remains committed here in Kuwait and we look forward to continuing our great relationship in the future,” concluded Walker.