Indian, Omani air forces begin joint exercises in Jodhpur

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Less than a month after Oman’s top defence ministry officials and the country’s Navy chief visited India to strengthen bilateral ties, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) began a bilateral joint exercise on Monday.

The IAF said in a statement Monday that the bilateral exercise named Eastern Bridge – VI will be held from February 21 to February 25 at Air Force Station Jodhpur. “This would be the sixth edition of the exercise. It will provide an opportunity to enhance operational capability and interoperability between the two Air Forces,” the statement added.

It also stated that participation by both the air forces in the exercise “will promote professional interaction, exchange of experiences and enhancement of operational knowledge, besides strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.”

Various dignitaries, the IAF said, will visit the Jodhpur Air Force Station during the exercise.

Oman is one of India’s strongest defence partners in the Gulf region, and all three services have bilateral exchanges and exercises with Oman’s services. Additionally, Oman also provides operational support to the Indian Navy in the Arabian Sea, and India has access to the Duqm port, which has strengthened India’s capability and maritime strategy in the Indian Ocean Region, especially against China’s aggressive advance in the region.

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