This has been a fantastic opportunity to hone our skills in a tough, hot and arid environment, giving us different challenges to what we are used to in the UK

Captain Chris Nutting

British forces are working with Omani forces in temperatures pushing 40°C in the unforgiving region.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity to hone our skills in a tough, hot and arid environment, giving us different challenges to what we are used to in the UK,” said Captain Chris Nutting, 40 Commando’s Training Officer.

“We have been working alongside the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces and enhancing our Commando skillset in these challenging desert conditions.”

Saif Sareea (Arabic for Swift Sword) is the largest joint exercise the UK has conducted since 2002 and there is significant Royal Navy and Royal Marines involvement.

Britain’s flagship HMS Albion – on the final leg of a nine-month deployment which has taken her as far east as Japan – is in the region and has been conducting gunnery exercises as she spearheads the naval contribution in the war games.

RFA Lyme Bay has recently arrived in the Middle East to throw her weight behind the exercise too, after an action-packed 5,000-mile journey from Falmouth to the new port of Duqm in Oman, where Britain has permanent facilities to support her naval operations in the region.

The amphibious support ship will now be transporting Royal Marines from 40 Commando as the exercise – which involves more than 4,000 British personnel – turns to coastal operations.

RFA Cardigan Bay, minehunters HMS Blyth and Ledbury along with Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon complete a powerful Royal Navy task group on the exercise.


Royal Marines Commando Officer

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