Exercise Desert Khanjar 2022 is the UK’s first four-month persistent engagement deployment to the Land Regional Hub in Duqm, Oman.
During the deployment, the troops will undertake basic and specialist training, sports, adventurous training, and cultural and educational visits. In addition, they will conduct defence engagement with regional partners, including a partnered exercise with Omani forces.
Exercise Khanjar Oman is a combined UK-led exercise operating alongside the Royal Army of Oman on the Ras Madrakah joint training area.
The exercise aims to develop joint capabilities with Omani forces, including air and land integration and operating in a desert environment.
It will comprise of joint activity between land forces, helicopters from 1 (UK) Aviation Brigade, fire support from the Royal Navy, and fighter jets from the Royal Air Force of Oman.
Additional UK troops will join the exercise on Ras Madrakah from the Cyprus stand-by battalion, to confirm their readiness to force project from British Forces Cyprus, and Royal Marines from 40 Commando preparing to conduct beach landings and littoral assaults during Exercise Musandam Fort.
The Land component is comprised of over 800 personnel from across the British Army.
Commanded by the UK’s 4th Light Brigade Combat Team known as ‘The Black Rats’, it is based around the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland Light Mechanised Infantry Battlegroup, which includes a squadron from the UK’s The Light Dragoons, a squadron from Oman’s Western Border Security Force, and a range of close support and combat service support units.
This figure includes approximately 100 personnel from 1 (UK) Aviation Brigade, equipped with Wildcat reconnaissance helicopters, who will join the exercise from Exercise Pinion Oman 2022 after conducting live firing and desert environmental training.
The newly formed 19 Brigade will provide the opposition force, known as Task Force Hannibal, during the exercise.
This reserve unit called Kohima Company is the first formed deployment from the newly re-established brigade. Personnel for Kohima Company will join their regular counterparts to gain additional training and experience during the exercise.
102 Logistic Brigade, based on the 7th Regiment Royal Logistic Corps will facilitate the exercise including the in-load of personnel, equipment, and supplies through the UK’s Joint Logistics Support Base in Duqm.
Exercise Desert Khanjar 2022 is the UK’s first persistent engagement deployment since the publication of the British Army’s ‘Future Soldier’ strategy. Under this strategy, the British Army will conduct two four-month deployments to Oman each year for unit training, partnered exercises, and to provide a regionally forward-based persistent engagement force.
Headquarters 4 Brigade is delivering the first series of these exercises, to strengthen the UK-Oman partnership and capabilities, and develop the exercise, which builds towards Exercise Saif Sareea 4 in 2028, and opportunities available in Ras Madrakah and within the Middle East for future UK Defence activities.