Defence Secretary hails British soldiers in Oman

Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence, paid a visit to British Army personnel on Exercise Khanjar Oman this week.

The former Scots Guardsman, who also spent time with the Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Affairs, His Highness Shihab bin Tariq, used the trip to highlight the efforts of both British and Omani forces in the country.

Both sets of troops have been hard at work on the exercise, which has seen some 650 soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East deploy to Oman.

Mr Wallace said: “This visit presents an opportunity to see UK forces working hand in hand with our Omani partners across land, air and sea exercises, promoting stability and security in the region and confronting our shared threats.”

Demonstrating the integrated nature of the drills, ground forces are being supported by assets such as the F-35 Lightning II from the Carrier Strike Group, headed up by HMS Queen Elizabeth.

This is all about partnership Brigadier Mudd

Brigadier Mudd, Land Component Commander in Oman said: “The Future of the British Army out here in Oman is extraordinarily exciting.

“This is all about partnership. Oman is a strategic partner to the UK, particularly within the Gulf region. Being able to draw from each other’s strengths and the specialist capabilities that we have is an incredible opportunity.”

Oman has been designated as one of the Army's Land Regional Hubs, which will form part of the Global Hub, enabling the British military to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

These deployments strengthen our national security by providing greater understanding of parts of the world where the UK has security interests and providing a firm base from which to rapidly respond if required.

This is a chance to work with our Omani colleagues Captain Breeze

Captain Breeze, a Wildcat Pilot with 1 Regiment Army Air Corps, said: “Exercise Khanjar Oman has really given us an unparalleled opportunity in terms of air, land, and sea integration. We’ve got our partners in the Navy who are with the Carrier Strike Group and we’ve got the opportunity to work with F-35s and the Marines.

“This is also a chance to work with our Omani colleagues and partners. We’ve been fully integrated with an Omani Reconnaissance Company throughout the exercise and that’s been a fantastic opportunity”.

The British Army will continue to work with our Omani and other Gulf partners to promote regional security and stability.