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Typhoons Arrive In Oman For Large Scale Training Exercise

Exercise Saif Sareea 3 will involve around 5,500 UK military personnel.

Typhoon Oman

Eight Typhoons will be in Oman for the exercise (Picture: Crown Copyright).

RAF Typhoons have arrived in Oman to begin taking part in Exercise Saif Sareea 3.

The joint exercise will involve around 5,500 UK military personnel and the Ministry of Defence says it will be the largest training activity by UK armed forces in the region for 17 years.

Saif Sareea 3 - or Swift Sword 3 - will be a tri-service exercise with 900 personnel from the RAF who will practise operating in the air and on the ground with the Omani Air Force.

It is the third iteration of the exercise with the first having taken place in 1987.

The Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth's No. 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron arrived at Thumrait Air Base in the south of the country, as part of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW).

Typhoons arrive in Oman
Typhoons arrived in Oman on Tuesday, with four more heading to the country on Wednesday (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Last month, it was announced that RAF's Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter jets will temporarily move away from RAF Lossiemouth to allow for improvements to the base.

An investment of £400 million is being made in the base to make it ready for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft and an additional Typhoon squadron.

Four Typhoons arrived in Oman on Tuesday and will be followed by a further four on Wednesday.

They are the first air component to arrive in Thumrait and will be followed by E-3D Sentry aircraft from RAF Waddington’s 8 Squadron.

The Typhoons will fly alongside the Royal Air Force of Oman’s F-16 aircraft during the exercise.

Typhoons in Oman
The joint exercise will involve 5,500 British military personnel (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Squadron Leader Bruce McConnell, a No. 2 (AC) Squadron pilot, has been in Oman for two weeks preparing for the aircraft’s arrival, he said: "Everyone is looking forward to working alongside the Omani pilots and seeing what their aircraft can do."

Group Captain Radnall, Commanding Officer of 140 EAW, has overall command of the RAF contingent at Thumrait, from the Armoured Vehicles used by 1 Sqn RAF Regt, to the E-3D Sentry aircraft flown by 8 Squadron.  He said: "We have had personnel on the ground for a while now, setting up the life-support in advance of the Force Elements arrival.

"With the Typhoons now here, there is a real buzz about the place.

"This exercise has been a huge challenge logistically, but with so many elements working together in such close proximity, there is a real opportunity to learn individually and collectively."

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