New Delhi. The Air Forces of India and Oman are slated to have a four day joint Exercise, Eastern Bridge-V, later this month which is to deepen and consolidate military ties between the two countries and provide exposure to forces from both sides.
The focus of the Exercise would be joint air defence and offensive counter-air missions, with the levels of difficulty raised gradually.
The exercise, marks the fifth edition of the air force engagement between the two countries. The first such exercise was held in October 2009 at Jamnagar, when the IAF had sent in Jaguars and MiG-29 and RAFO too had despatched their Jaguars and personnel for the joint exercise
For the pilots of RAFO, flying over different terrains of India and changing weather has added to their experience compared to the flatbed desert in Oman.
This Exercise will also give a chance to the two sides experience each other’s best practices in operational, maintenance and administrative procedures. Also, during the drill, they will learn more about long mission flights, mid-flight refuelling, air to ground bombing and other related missions.
According to the ambassador of Oman to India, Sheikh Hamad bin Saif bin, his country is the first from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which formalized its defence ties with India and has started engaging in joint military exercises and since it is sharing the Indian Ocean has been participating in anti-piracy and security matters. Oman is also one of the first countries in the region to initiate tri-lateral exercises.
Being one of the oldest defence partners in West Asia, Oman has given India access to the port of Duqm for military and logistical support. And is also keen to get into joint venture with the Indian companies production of defence equipment under the Make in India Initiative.