Operation Saif Sareea 3 to bolster peace and development in Oman
Saif Sareea 3 was a joint operation involving the armed forces of Oman and the UK
Times News Service
MUSCAT: Joint military exercise Saif Sareea 3 is a precursor to peace and development in the Sultanate, a top official at Oman’s Ministry of Defence has said.
Saif Sareea 3 (which is Arabic for Swift Sword 3), was a joint operation involving the armed forces of Oman and the UK, one of the Sultanate’s long-serving strategic partners.
“Since the very beginning of the Omani Renaissance, the Sultan’s armed forces have carried out their duties and their sacred national roles, which are to protect the achievements of the homeland,” said Brigadier Hassan Al Mujaini, the official spokesperson for the exercise. “This brings development to its confident path towards further development and modernisation.” “They never forget the importance of developing their competency gear and human elements, through a series of local exercises with brotherly and friendly countries,” he added.
Saif Sareea 3 ran from October 17, and saw the participation of more than 70,000 Omani defence personnel, drawn from the various branches of the Sultan’s Armed Forces, including the Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman and Royal Air Force of Oman, as well as the Royal Guard of Oman and the Sultan’s Special Forces.
They trained alongside 5,500 personnel from the British Armed Forces, including the British Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Army Air Corps and the Royal Marine Commandos, making this the biggest training exercise between the two nations.
Parallel and prior to this ran Al Shumookh 2, a solely Omani exercise, designed to improve the readiness and reaction time of the country’s brave defenders.
The brigadier explained that readiness and the commitment to protect Oman’s people were part of the existence of training exercises such as Shumookh 2 and Saif Sareea 3. The armed forces have a duty to be prepared, particularly as the government and country develop.
Al Mujaini added, “The armed forces of the Sultan and the other security and military authorities, which are an integral part of the development taking place all over Oman, have a role in creating an appropriate environment so that other government agencies can perform their duties within the framework of these developmental plans.”
“Stability factors have been linked to the existence of those who can ensure their sustainability, a noble role which has been assigned to the military,” he said.
The final operations of Saif Sareea 3 and Al Shumookh 2 took place on November 3, in a live firepower drill that included elements of the armed forces from both Oman and the UK.
The event was overseen by Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, as well as Gavin Williamson, the British Defence Secretary. Also present were Lieutenant General Ahmed Al Nabhani, chief of Oman’s Army Staff, as well as a number of top British officers, including Air Vice Marshal Bruce Headley, Vice Admiral Tim Fraser, General Sir Christopher Deverell, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen John Hillier, Major General Stuart Skeates, General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter, Admiral Sir Philip Andrew Jones, General Mark Carleton Smith and Lt Gen Sir Johan Lorimer.
Saif Sareea 1, the first joint military exercise in the series, took place in 1986, with Saif Sareea 2 taking place in 2001. Also invited to the closing firepower display were representatives from the high commands of the armed forces of other nations, including Oman’s GCC compatriots Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait, as well as Egypt, Jordan and South Korea.