Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster visited Iraq, Bahrain, and Oman during his visit to the Gulf.
“Gulf security is our security”, Defence Minister Mark Lancaster reaffirmed whilst visiting Iraq, Bahrain and Oman. As part of the five-day visit, the minister also officially opened the UK-Oman joint exercise, Saif Sareea 3, alongside Oman’s Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harub Al Busaidi.
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said:
“The security of the Gulf is of the utmost importance to not only regional stability, but to the world’s economic stability.
Our commitment to our international responsibilities in the region is unwavering. Saif Sareea is far more than just a bilateral military exercise, it is a demonstration of our commitment and will leave behind a legacy for decades to come.”
The official opening of Exercise Saif Sereea 3 signals the start of the UK’s largest military exercise in 17 years, which will see over 5,500 UK troops train alongside Omani counterparts. It is the largest and the most complex of a series of events which will see the UK Armed Forces work with every single one of its Gulf partner nations in a combination of engagements on land, sea, and in the air over the coming months.
Mr Lancaster also visited Duqm port, opening the Joint Logistics Support Base, which will support UK forces operating and exercising in Oman and the region, including Queen Elizabeth Class carrier operations from 2021.