Royal Air Force jets arrive in Oman for major desert exercise

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An RAF Typhoon landing at Thumrait, Oman in the early evening. Photographer: SAC Tom Cann RAF - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

RAF Typhoon jets and a Voyager air-to-air refueller arrived at the Air Exercise area in Dhofar Governorate, Oman, this week to prepare for Exercise MAGIC CARPET, an annual bilateral exercise with the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO).

The Typhoons, (II(AC) Squadron RAF Lossiemouth and 12 Squadron RAF Coningsby) and a Voyager (RAF Brize Norton) with over 300 RAF support personnel have now started the two-week exercise in the Air Exercise area. The Royal Air Force will be working with the Royal Air Force of Oman to deliver challenging training to RAF and Omani pilots, comprising of air-to-ground missions and air-to-air refuelling of aircraft.

RAF Engineers from II(AC) Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth, prepare an RAF Typhoon for flight at RAFO Thumrait during Ex MAGIC CARPET 21. Photographer: Cpl Ed Wright RAF – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

The Detachment Commander and Officer Commanding II(AC) Sqn said:

“During the two-week exercise we will be conducting challenging flying missions together with our Omani colleagues, continuing to build on our close longstanding relationship with Oman.

“We are working together very much as equal partners in the relationship. Integrating every element of our operations from planning to briefing, flying and debriefing. There are many opportunities to learn and develop from our collective experience. We have received a warm welcome from our Omani hosts and look forward to our opportunities to socialise together after work as well.”

The Officer Commanding 12 Squadron, Wing Commander Chris Wright said:

“We are delighted to be invited to Exercise MAGIC CARPET. The exercise is all about integrating with our Omani colleagues, practicing different scenarios in the skies over Oman.”  

The exercise strengthens the RAF’s role as a key partner for Oman, demonstrates its ability to deploy world class capabilities and deliver high quality training opportunities.

This bilateral, multi-domain exercise, while not unique, provides further evidence of the United Kingdom’s integrated approach to defence and foreign policy and the UK’s enduring commitment to working with Oman and Gulf partners on promoting regional security and stability.

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