Exercise SAIF SAREEA 3 is a combined military training exercise between UK and Omani Armed Forces.

According to the Minsitry of Defence, land forces will train in Oman and naval forces in Omani and international waters nearby. Air forces from the two countries will operate throughout in support.

Ex SS3 demonstrates the UK’s commitment to international allies and our ability to conduct a strategic deployment of a warfighting force to the Middle East, say the Ministry of Defence in a release.

“It will strengthen our tri-Service relationships with Oman and will help develop their Joint, Interoperable, Defence capabilities.”

The exercise will happen in 5 phases:

  1. The Army is deploying 2,000 soldiers on the exercise, with around 800 on the ground as exercising troops, 185 Armoured Fighting Vehicles and other equipment from the UK to Oman
  2. National forces training will happen 1-16 Oct
  3. Integration of the UK Battle Group with Omani forces will take place
  4. Final test exercise 24-27 Oct
  5. Firepower demonstration showcasing the combined effects of UK and Omani forces 29 Oct – 3 Nov

The UK has a long and established defence relationship with Oman, with strong bonds and shared values. Exercise SAIF SAREEA 3 is the largest joint exercise of its kind for 15 years underpinning one of the UK’s bilateral strategic partnerships.


  1. SSII
    Notable for the following
    Watching live football on the side of a 4 tonner with a white sheet hung on the side of it
    David Beckham scoring in the last minute to ensure England went through to the World Cup
    Finding out Bobby Davro was very funny
    Geri Halliwell, very pretty but not great on stage
    Steps, great on stage – 5,000 troops asking for an encore
    The seniors working out that giving 5000 troops unlimited beer, in the desert after completing 6 week exercise not the best idea.
    Finding out that the 2nd CSE show in north Oman for 16AAB and 3 Cdo Bde RM was going to be a dry event 😂

    Oh, waking up in the morning and removing soldiers from antennae guy ropes who had got lost on way back to tents and thought – someone will find me

  2. I thought the exercise would have a bigger army element than that.

    185 armoured vehicles.

    I think that SSII in 2001, perfectly timed before 9/11 was far bigger.

    • It was………..25 000 UK personnel involved, with HMS Ocean, Fearless and 2 LSLs forming part of the Amphibious Task Group, with a Fort class RFA alongside at Salalah port for re-supply and several other RN combat assets in the area at the time . 102 Logistic Brigade provided the bulk of the Log Support, with the new Joint Force Logistic Component HQ exercised for the 1st time alongside the other component commands of Air, Land, Maritime and Special Forces. Up to 11 x C130 Hercules Mk 1 and 3 were deployed for in-theatre support to Thrumrait Airbase, together with 3 x Nimrod MR2s, a Tristar K1 and a couple of VC10 Mk 4s at Muscat. The Hercs were later replaced by C130Js as the Exercise morphed into the 1st Afghan Deployment at the start of 2002, with Exercise Saif Sareea re-deploying back to the UK and Germany at the same time. Interesting times.

        • A scary fall in numbers, though I suppose it doesn’t help that the NATO exercises are happening at the same time.

          That doesn’t take away from the fact that it does highlight the loss of some crucial capabilities for SSIII when compared to SSII.

          Seven RFA ships together now would be most of them!


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