Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs receives UK Minister of State for Armed Forces

Muscat: Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs received in his Office at Muaskar Bait Al Falaj on Thursday Mark Lancaster, Minister of State for the Armed Forces in the United Kingdom (UK).

The meeting reviewed the aspects of military cooperation between the two friendly countries and means of enhancing them.  They also shared views on issues of mutual interest.

The visit coincides with the ongoing national exercise ‘ Al Shomoukh 2’ and the joint military exercise Al Saif Al Sareea 3 (The Swift Sword/3 or SS3), being carried out by the Sultan’s Armed Forces and the British Armed Forces.

The British guest praised the good preparations and measures taken to receive the Royal British Armed Forces taking part in the exercises.  The troops arriving into the Sultanate whether through Al Duqm Port or Omani airports.

The meeting was attended by Lt Gen Ahmed bin Harith al  Nabhani, Chief of Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces and from the British side by the UK Ambassador to the Sultanate, Gen Sir Christopher Michael Deverell, Commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, Lt Gen Sir John Gordon Lorimer, the Defence Senior Advisor to the Middle East and the accompanying delegation.

After the meeting, the two sides issued the following communique:

“Saif Sareea 3 is a joint military exercise that will take place in the second half of October 2018 between the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces and UK Armed Forces.  The exercise is not only a clear manifestation of the deep-rooted friendly relations between the two countries, it also forms a part of their bilateral training plans.  As well as sharing and exchanging expertise of joint military operations.  This milestone joint military venture is a successor to the previous joint exercises: Saif Sareea 1 and 2, and is aimed at enhancing the combat effectiveness and readiness of both countries’ armed forces.

The Sultan’s Armed Forces will participate fully in this major exercise, where all land, air and naval units, government agencies and other security services will work side by side with British counterparts.

To achieve the overall objectives, the exercise also aims at enhancing cooperation through contemporary joint military doctrine and plans, relevant to modern technology, interagency cooperation, interoperability, and strategic planning.  Today’s combat operations call for the use and optimisation of all elements of national power following a modern approach to joint operational planning.  The two governments of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II are keen to conduct such an exercise between the Armed Forces of the two friendly countries.

Both countries have enjoyed strong bonds that have existed for centuries, and served as a model of defence cooperation.  These relations have developed from strength to strength and have withstood the test of time, despite the changing global economic and political environment”. –ONA