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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 13: Commander of the United States Armed Forces Transportation Command General Jacqueline Van Ovost has confirmed the depth of security and military cooperation between Kuwait and her country, stressing that Kuwait is a strategic partner and a wonderful host for the American forces, reports Al-Qabas daily. In her interview with the daily – her first with a Kuwaiti newspaper – on the sidelines of her recent visit to Kuwait, Van Ovost said: “I cannot do my job, which is global transportation, without the support of Kuwait.” Van Ovost is the only woman in the US Army who is a four-star general. During her visit, she had a meeting with a group of Kuwaiti women leaders from various fields.
She emphasized the importance of the political, economic and social empowerment of women in Kuwait; as well as promoting their active participation in the country’s development. She praised the Kuwaiti women’s ambition and passion for success. “I am always amazed by the passion and drive that women in Kuwait provide to achieve their goals despite the barriers,” she stated. She added that her path has had many challenges, which many women are facing today. She conveyed a message to the women of Kuwait who wish to support their nation: “For the men or women who wish to serve their country, look for any opportunity in which you know your participation can make a difference, pursue these influences resolutely and do whatever work you are assigned to the fullest extent of your ability.
“Our cooperation in the region remains one of our greatest strengths, because together we are stronger, and there are amazing talents here in Kuwait. Individuals are innovative and have forward thinking and we need them and their ideas. “I have seen for myself the amazing things that our countries can achieve through our partnership, and I have entered into a partnership with them since 1991, so that I received my first medal from my service in Kuwait, which is the ‘Liberation of Kuwait Medal’ — the first combat medal for me. I am proud of it” she added. She then lauded the important and pivotal role that Kuwait plays in promoting peace and stability in the region; as well as in facing challenges, pointing out that Kuwait’s contributions in the maritime field and its support for the regional forces are crucial to regional stability.
“We also share intelligence and information about the collective strategic and regional threats that allows us to take a better stance or respond to potential dangers together. “This has proven to be particularly useful in combating large disinformation campaigns from those regimes that seek to erode well-established international norms. The air access and port that Kuwait has provided over the years has contributed to the collective security of the region,” she revealed. She also quoted Commander of the US Central Command in the Middle East (CENTCOM) General Michael Corella who expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the continued support of Kuwait because it allows important access to the Gulf, “so we can all help defend this important economic waterway. This includes integrated defenses, sea, air and missile that work as a deterrent against acts of aggression.”
Regarding relations between the two air forces and the role of Kuwait in the security of the region, she asserted: “This multilateralism is our common strength, which continues to ensure the security of our countries. With pride, we participate side by side with the professional and disciplined forces in Kuwait through training and operational interoperability. We have similar aircraft, such as the C-17s and C-130s that allow us to exchange pilots, crew members, spare parts and operational expertise that make our forces stronger. All these things together allow us to respond quickly to the strategic environment, such as the way we recently used large C-17 military transport aircraft to send aid to Turkiye after the devastating earthquakes. Our partnership, and the one we share with other countries around the world inspires hope, which is only possible when we work together. For decades, the United States has stood by the noble Kuwait, and any effort that is undertaken to enhance relations between our countries or our common interest is a project worth delving into.” She recalled her experience and participation in the war to liberate Kuwait, indicating that she was working as a C-141 cargo pilot at the time, and traveled to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region to bring equipment, tanks and people in response to Saddam Hussein’s aggression.
“During the reinforcement period, I saw fires, the blatant destruction, and I knew we needed to move as fast as we could to drive him out of this sovereign State. “When the fires went out, the rebuilding of Kuwait began, and the people returned, but they needed help. American forces brought relief supplies and hope. The spirit of the people was amazing, and the United States and Kuwait are friends forever. We continue to support each other to this day, and it is exciting to be a part of it,” she narrated.