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United States Military Training Mission (USMTM)

The United States Military Training Mission (USMTM) to Saudi Arabia is a joint training mission and functional component command under the military command of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), which is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The Chief of USMTM has been designated as the senior United States Defense Representative in Saudi Arabia and has been given coordinating authority over the other DoD agencies in country. The other major agencies are the Office of the Program Manager of the Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM-SANG) Modernization Program, Ordnance Program Division (OPD), and Defense Contract Management Command (DCMC). The Chief of USMTM works under the general guidance of the American Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who has overall responsibility for all US Government activities in country.

The mission of USMTM is to advise and assist the SAAF through Security Assistance efforts in developing, training and sustaining capable deterrent and self defense forces for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to facilitate regional security.

USMTM, with a headquarters, four Service divisions, a joint advisory division, and a directorate staff, was formally organized in 1953 under the terms of the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabian Governments. Specifically, it was agreed that USMTM would administer assistance under terms of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949 and the Mutual Security Act of 1951 and would assist and advise the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces with respect to plans, organization, administrative principles, and training methods. A Memorandum of Understanding dated 8 and 27 February 1977 governs the day-to-day relationships between USMTM and the Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA). Headquarters, USMTM, is located in Riyadh along with the service, joint, and support sections.

USMTM maintains a headquarters on Eskan Village in Riyadh.

The Joint Advisory Division (JAD), located in Riyadh, advises the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA). This staff corresponds to the Joint Staff in the US Department of Defense. Personnel of the JAD work with their counterparts in all aspects of planning, operations, and training generated by the MODA joint and special staff for the Royal Saudi Land Force (RSLF), Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF), Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) and Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF). In addition, they serve as principal assistants to the Directors, Foreign Procurement Department, and Foreign Assistance and Cooperation Department in their management and administration of Saudi Arabian Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases.

The Land and Air Defense Forces Division (L/ADF), with offices at the Royal Saudi Land Forces building in Riyadh, is responsible for providing advisory, training, and security assistance support to the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) and the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF). The Detachment Commanders at Jeddah and Tabuk represent USMTM in their areas by coordinating and managing the requirements of Department of Defense personnel in these communities as well as serving as advisors to various Saudi Arabian Armed Forces activities in their areas. The Technical Assistance Field Teams (TAFT) in Tabuk and Khamis Mushayt provide advisory and training support for infantry and armor operations including the fielding of the M1A2 Abrams tank and M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. USMTM and TAFT personnel in Jeddah and Dhahran assist the RSADF with fielding and training of the PATRIOT missile system. The Land and Air Defense Forces Division personnel stationed in Hafr al Batin assist the RSLF Aviation Command, which is equipped with the AH-64A, UH-60A/L, and CS-406 helicopters.

The Naval Forces Division (NFD), Riyadh, works with their counterparts in all aspects of operation, planning, maintenance, logistics, and training for the small but rapidly growing Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) and a RSNF Marine Force (RSNF-MF). In Jubail, Navy personnel assist and advise the Base Commander, King Abdul Aziz Naval Base, and provide assistance to the Eastern Fleet Commander in naval warfare operations. In Jeddah, similar assistance is provided at King Faisal Naval Base and to the Western Fleet Commander.

The U.S. Marine Corps Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT), is based in the Royal Saudi Naval Forces Headquarters, Riyadh. The TAFT provides advisors to both Saudi Marine Forces Brigades in Jubail and Qadimah. Additionally, they provide technical advice to the Director of Marine Forces Schools at Ras al Gar. Advisor duties reflect the full range of combat skills to include field exercises, CPX, assault support training, and live-fire for individual, crew-served, and TOW missile systems. Organized to support Saudi Marine Forces Brigade Commanders, they provide advice and recommendations to both the Eastern and Western Fleet Commanders.

The Air Force Division (AFD), Riyadh, is located within the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) Headquarters. The division has supporting detachments at Taif, Dhahran, Khamis Mushayt, and Jeddah. Personnel assigned to Riyadh work directly with their RSAF Headquarters counterparts on all logistics, operational, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) issues. In addition, E3A/KE-3A Extended Training Service Specialists (ETSS) personnel provide training and assistance to the RSAF in a variety of flying operations out of Riyadh Air Base. F-15 operations are supported by US Air Force personnel at Dhahran and Khamis Mushayt. RF-5 operations are supported at Taif, while C-130 operations are supported at Jeddah and Riyadh. Detachment Commanders (DETCO) serve as advisors to Saudi Air Base Area Chiefs and supervise ETSS personnel in the area.

The Directorate Staff support the various divisions in the execution of their mission. The staff consists of the following directorates: Logistics , Personnel, Comptroller, Contracting Aviation Support (GUTS), Support Group, and Engineering. It is headquartered in Riyadh with a detachment in Dhahran and is the coordinating agency for support units such as APO, Commissary, AAFES, and AMC in Saudi Arabia.

The 54th Signal Battalion provides communications support to USMTM. The 54th Signal Battalion is configured with three companies and a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD). The 550th Signal Company is located in Dhahran, the 580th Signal Company is in Riyadh, and HHD has elements in both Dhahran and Riyadh. The third company, the 385th Signal Company, is in Kuwait and supports US Military Forces stationed there. Communications services available include Defense Switching Network (DSN), World Wide Web, commercial telephone, TELEX, facsimile, voice radio networks, and Teletype.

USMTM operates various voice radio networks (HF and VHF) in Dhahran, Riyadh, Taif, Jeddah (USMTM Detachment and the US Embassy), Khamis-Mushayt, and Tabuk. The networks are used to conduct the day-to-day functions of the mission, to transmit departure, area position and arrival reports of support aircraft, and to provide for health and welfare to the US military personnel at these sites.

Current directives permit the Chief, United States Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia (CHUSMTM), to identify a limited number of USMTM positions as key billets. Personnel assigned to these billets are authorized to bring their families to Saudi Arabia. Family quarters are available and are offered to assigned personnel based on this position classification. The individual billet to which a service member is assigned determines whether he will serve a one or a two-year tour. Personnel in key billets are assigned to a two-year tour, regardless of whether or not the individual comes accompanied. All others are assigned to one-year tours. One-year tours are family restricted. School-aged children are currently restricted from all tours to Saudi Arabia.

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