Typhoon FGR4s from No II (Army Co-operation) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, deployed to Thumrait air base in southern Oman to take part in Exercise Saif Sareea (Swift Sword) 3, as part of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW).
The first fourTyphoons arrived in Oman on October 1 after an overnight stop in Athens and were followed by four more jets the next day. An E-3D Sentry AEW1 from No 8 Squadron at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, also took part in the manoeuvres.
The Typhoons flew alongside the Royal Air Force of Oman’s F-16s in what the UK Ministry of Defence described as “the largest tri-service, bilateral, interoperability exercise in the region for almost two decades”.
Sqn Ldr Bruce McConnell, a No II(AC) Squadron pilot, arrived in Oman two weeks ahead of the exercise to prepare for the aircraft’s arrival: “It’s great to see the jets here safely; the engineering team has 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.”
Gp Capt Radnall, commanding officer of 140 EAW, has overall command of the RAF contingent at Thumrait, from the armoured vehicles used by 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, to the E-3D Sentry. 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.
“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.”
Exercise Saif Sareea was first staged in 1987 and this year marked its third iteration.