By Staff Sgt. Johnathan Hoover, 11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs:
(El Paso, Texas, Jan. 11, 2018)
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar – The 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery “Warriors” Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery “Imperial” Brigade, participated in the Qatar National Day Parade at the request of the Qatari government Dec. 18, 2017.
The parade is held annually on Dec. 18 to mark the date in 1878 when Sheikh Jassim bin Hohammed Al Thani succeeded his father as emir. He is also credited for uniting the entire country against outside forces.
To get to the parade, the Qataris provided an escort to the staging area in Doha where Soldiers had some free time to get food and relax a little before the parade started.
“The quality they provided for the Soldiers was great,” said Capt. Jean-Pierre Cooper, commander of Battery D, 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., 11th ADA Bde. “They fed them, gave them a little place to relax – the overall reception of the Soldiers was great.”
“They were very friendly to us and I think I talked to a general who invited us in to eat, so the hospitality was great,” said Sgt. Rodney Brown, a Patriot operator and maintainer assigned to Btry. D, 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., 11th ADA Bde.
The parade route was approximately four miles long, running along the waterfront on Al Corniche Street. Thousands of people lined the street to catch a glimpse of the parade and the military vehicles and hardware on display.
There were so many people in attendance the crowds clamored to get a closer look at the military equipment.
“It was crazy the amount of people who were there,” said Cpl. Ricardo Corona, a Patriot operator and maintainer assigned to Btry. D., 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., 11th ADA Bde.
Every Soldier who attended had a great time.
“It was great. I thought it was very unique,” Cooper said. “It was great to see they have all that pride and willing to show what their military is doing and the support they have for it, to include what our military is doing for them, and the support they have for us being here.”
The parade was a great experience for the Soldiers and thousands who attended, but also served as an opportunity to continue to build upon the relationship between the U.S. and Qatar.
“This brigade was honored and felt an obligation to our Qatari partners to be a part of their National Day Parade,” said Col. Issac Gipson, commander of the Top Notch Brigade and 11th ADA. “The Patriot missile system, along with joint training, and the shared task of protecting national assets within the region demonstrates our commitment to promoting security, stability and mutual interests in the region.”
“We look forward to strengthening the Qatari-U.S. Air Missile Defense relationship alongside, Brigadier Rashid al Qashouti, commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Defense Brigade,” Gipson said.