08 Oct 2018

RAF Typhoons arrive in Oman ahead of exercise SAIF SAREEA 3

Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth’s II (Army Cooperation) Squadron have arrived at Thumrait Airbase in Oman ahead of exercise SAIF SAREEA (Swift Sword) 3, as part of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW).

This is the first air complement to arrive in Thumrait and they will soon be followed by E-3D Sentry aircraft from RAF Waddington’s 8 Squadron. The Typhoon’s will fly alongside the Royal Air Force of Oman’s own F-16 aircraft during the largest tri-service, bilateral, interoperability exercise in the region for almost two decades.

Squadron Leader Bruce McConnell, a II (AC) Squadron pilot, has been in Oman for two weeks preparing for the aircraft’s arrival. He said: “It’s great to see the jets here safely; the engineering team have done a great job getting eight jets ready for the transit flight. Now the aircraft are here we can start to focus on the exercise. 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. He added: “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. 

“This is the third iteration of exercise SAIF SAREEA, the first being back in 1987. Together with the other UK armed services and our allies from the Sultan’s Armed Forces, we can exploit this proven formula to benefit us all and set us on a successful and collaborative path for years to come.”

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