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UK announces new Omani training programme

08 November 2018
An Omani officer is seen with Royal Marine Commandos during the amphibious assault component of ‘Saif Sareea 3’ on 24 October. Source: Crown Copyright

The British Army is planning a series of training exercises alongside Omani forces from early next year after the opening of a new Omani-British Joint Training Base at Duqm Port in the sultanate.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the initiative on 5 November during a visit to Oman at the conclusion of Exercise 'Saif Sareea 3', which saw 5,500 British military personnel training with Oman's armed forces for five weeks.

The UK Ministry of Defence said the first training exercise will begin in March 2019 and will see UK troops "work and train alongside our Omani partners, building on the successes of Exercise 'Saif Sareea 3'".

A senior British Army source told Jane's the intention is to focus initially on training with armoured vehicles in a desert environment in Oman's interior. "Eventually we want to encompass the full range of mission sets in an expeditionary context," he said. "The training is intended to be scalable, working up from company/battlegroup level to larger formations."

He said the intent was not to build a large training infrastructure with pre-positioned armoured vehicles and heavy equipment. "Getting to Oman will be part of the training," he said. "Our enduring facility will be the Joint Logistic Base at Duqm and we will use that to bring in the equipment we need for any training opportunities."

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