15th U.S.-Kuwaiti Military Commission Statement Released

U.S. Department of Defense

The United States and Kuwait held the 15th U.S.-Kuwaiti Joint Military Commission (JMC) in Kuwait City from May 20-21, 2024. The Chief of Staff, Kuwait Armed Forces, Lt. Gen. Bander Salem Al Muzaien led the Kuwaiti delegation and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for the Middle East Daniel Shapiro led the U.S. side. The JMC serves as the preeminent bilateral defense forum for senior U.S. and Kuwaiti defense officials to raise strategic issues and advance the defense partnership.

Both delegations reaffirmed the strength of the bilateral strategic partnership and the importance of continuing to expand the defense relationship.

Lt. Gen. Al Muzaien and DASD Shapiro exchanged views on regional security challenges, including border security threats, maritime security, ballistic missiles, and uncrewed aerial systems. Both acknowledged the need for close coordination during a time of unprecedented challenge in the region. The delegations also discussed bilateral defense initiatives, regional integration, and strategic competition in the region.

Both co-chairs agreed on the critical role of U.S. forces in the region and discussed the importance of deepening the interoperability of U.S. and Kuwaiti forces. They reaffirmed the shared commitment of the United States and Kuwait to work together to strengthen and expand the successful integration of air and missile defense and early warning systems across the Middle East.

During the JMC, Maj. Gen. Sean Salene, Director (J5), U.S. Central Command, co-chaired the Military Cooperation subcommittee alongside Maj. Gen. Mohammad Al Dhafairi, the Kuwait Assistant Chief of Staff. The subcommittee explored the full scope of bilateral cooperation, focusing on interoperability requirements, military construction, and opportunities to participate in CENTCOM's women, peace, and security initiatives.

Maj. Gen. Salene and Brig. Gen. Fahad Al-Otaibi, Kuwait Ministry of Defense Director of Military Cooperation, co-chaired the Security Cooperation subcommittee, detailing critical security cooperation programs, synchronizing Foreign Military Sales and Procurement efforts, and identifying opportunities for continued cooperation.

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