The Omani military, Royal Navy, Marine Nationale and U.S. Navy have participated in exercise Khunjar Hadd 26.
The annual Oman-led surface, air and mine countermeasures multilateral exercise is designed to strengthen capabilities in underwater diving, searching, mine identification, demolition and maritime explosive ordnance disposal operations.
“Multi-lateral exercises like Khunjar Hadd truly demonstrate the full breadth of our defensive capabilities as a combined force,” said Capt. Jeffrey Morganthaler, Commodore of Combined Task Force 52.
“Together with our Omani, UK and French counterparts, we were able to conduct complex training that greatly enhanced our readiness and ability to support regional maritime security.”
During this year’s iteration of the exercise, Omani Lynx helicopters landed on the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Port Royal, marking the first time this type of Omani aircraft has landed on a U.S. warship.
“The naval exercise Khanjar Hadd 26 was successful by all standards, as it reflected the capabilities of the planners and executers to carry out a joint maritime exercise, while taking all precautions related to COVID-19,” said Capt. Rashid Al Shehhi, director general of operations and plans, Royal Navy of Oman Headquarters.
“This exercise is carried out annually by the Royal Navy of Oman, according to our training plan, with the navies of friendly countries (U.S., UK, and France), and with support from the Royal Air Force of Oman, aiming to exchange experiences, coordinate efforts and conduct joint cooperation to work on the high seas.”
The U.S. Navy say that exercises like Khunjar Hadd 26 allow participating naval forces to effectively develop the necessary skills to address threats to freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce.
“Every exercise, operation and engagement that our forces undertake requires cooperation and coordination, which builds capacity, increases interoperability, and further strengthens our relationships with partner nations,” said Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
“The Navy and Air Force of Oman, Royal Navy and French Marine Nationale are vital partners in the effort to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce throughout this region.”