Over 5,000 British troops to take part in Swift Sword 3

Muscat - 

The joint Omani-British military exercise Swift Sword 3 will be the largest and the most effective of its kind and will see nearly 5,500 British troops sharing with their Omani counterparts the expertise and capabilities on land, air and sea.

Learning from the practices of the earlier Swift Sword 1 and 2, the third edition of the joint exercise to take place later this month, will put to test the major military equipment. It will also focus on disaster management and crisis management.

At a joint Omani-British press conference convened by the Moral Guidance of the Staff of the Sultan’€冱 Armed Forces on Friday, Brig Gen Hassan bin Ali al Mujaini, head of the Moral Guidance and the official spokesman for the exercise, said, “€彜wift Sword 3 exercise is the biggest of its kind, and disaster management and crisis management are two of the key areas that we are looking at. It has to be mentioned that all scenarios of war have been taken into account.”€・

Over 5,000 British troops

He added, “€弋he most important of these scenarios are crisis management and provision of alternatives and that is why we involve civil government bodies such as the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Health, municipalities and other ministries which are participating alongside the British army.”€・

Speaking on behalf of British troops, Brig Gen Simon P Asquith, chief of staff, Standing Joint Force Headquarters, said that the joint exercise is the culmination of the long standing relations between the two nations.

“€弋hese joint military exercises reflect the depth of the relationship between Oman and the United Kingdom. We will put to test and train on multiple uses of weapons. The most important is the development of joint capabilities and training on the Typhoon aircraft, the British Vogue aircraft and the operations through modern military vehicles, the Rat tanks ‘€呂hallenger’€・”€・he said.

He added, “€弩e are participating in the Swift Sword 3 exercise with 5,500 participants from ground, air and naval forces including a number of weapons and equipment. It is a huge opportunity for both countries to learn from each other.”€・

He said that all of this would be channelled through a unified joint command from Muscat governorate to control the operations. “€弋his is also an opportunity to test the efficiency of newly introduced weapons from both sides,”€・he said.

With regard to the long gap between the Swift Sword 2 in 2001 and the Swift Sword 3, it was clarified that the other phases were purely national and only local forces were involved with the participation of the weapons of the Sultan’€冱 Armed Forces and the rest of the military and other security and government bodies in Oman, whereas the Swift Sword 3 is an international one with the participation of nearly 5,500 British troops.

Army officials also highlighted the importance of civil participation at times of tropical situations, the most recent of which was Mekunu which affected Dhofar. The participation between the forces and the civilians had had a great impact in overcoming the crisis.

The officials reviewed the importance of the media in disseminating the details of the military exercises to the public and urged all to refrain from sharing false, baseless or negative news and to rely upon the government sources for information.

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