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UK and UAE join forces for training exercise

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A RAF Typhoon F2 aircraft from XI Squadron taking part in Exercise Air Khanjar. Photo by: Sergeant Corrine Buxton RAF, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010.

LONDON (BNS): The Royal Air Force (RAF) of United Kingdom (UK) has recently been working closely with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force in the UAE to build stronger ties between the two militaries and enhance the way they co-operate.

According to a news release by the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MoD), personnel from the two air forces have been taking part in 'Exercise Air Khanjar' at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE as part of wider support to a bilateral defence co-operation accord between the UK and the UAE.

"The UK has long-standing close co-operation with UAE and complementary weapons systems, which, given the current political and military realities of most military operations worldwide being coalitions, it is always good to rehearse operations with other proficient partner nations," Wing Commander Jez Attridge, Officer Commanding XI Squadron, and also, for the duration of Exercise Air Khanjar, Officer Commanding 906 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), was quoted as saying in the news report.

'Exercise Air Khanjar', which is the culmination of a long period of planning, is a continuation of similar training exercises designed to enhance the way in which UK and UAE militaries cooperate.

The exercise has been part of the wider support to a bilateral Defence Co-operation Accord between the UK and UAE.

'Exercise Air Khanjar' has reiterated the flexibility of air power for both nations and, for the RAF, it has provided valuable experience of operating in challenging desert conditions.

The exercise has been the command and control contribution of 8 Squadron's E-3D AWACS (airborne warning and control system) aircraft.

This aircraft provides information superiority for commanders both in the air and on land or at sea. To demonstrate this important aspect of the exercise, the involvement of HMS Cumberland, operating in the Gulf, has added significant value.

Combined forces of RAF Typhoons and UAE Air Force aircraft rehearsed both protecting and 'attacking' the ship, all controlled from a distance by the AWACS aircraft.

The report further added that, 'Exercise Air Khanjar' wasn’t launched from the UK, but directly from Ex INDRA DANUSH in Chalikunda, India. This was an intensive 3-week Air Defence Exercise operating in an oppressive 35-degree heat and 100% humidity.

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UK  UAE  Exercise  Air Force  
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