Joint drill by UAE, UK navies 
to boost military relations

ABU DHABI - A seven-day joint drill by UAE and British navies will begin from July 2 to help further boost the military ties between the two countries, Commodore Tim Fraser on board the visiting HMS Albion, the flagship of the Royal British Navy, said on Tuesday.


Nissar Hoath

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Published: Thu 30 Jun 2011, 12:21 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:41 AM

Addressing a Press conference on board the vessel at Mina Zayed, the UK’s Maritime Component Commander for the region said Albion and HMS Sutherland that arrived on Tuesday will be joined by five other vessels for the week-long drill as part of the joint Sea Khanjar exercises that began in 2001.

“The long-running Sea Khanjar exercises are very important for the Royal Navy. They allow us to work closer together as partners with the UAE building capabilities and friendships,” he said. Led by the 18,500 tonne assault ship Albion, the Royal Navy Task Group’s vessels in the exercise also include a frigate, two mine sweepers and a survey ship together with over 900 marines and 40 members of the Commando Royal Marines.

Fraser further added that the Task Group is in the region as part of the Cougar 11 deployment, which, he added, was designed to enhance the defence cooperation and strengthen the UK’s relations with the regional partners, including the UAE.

About the presence of the Task Group vessels in the regional waters, he said: “The Royal Navy has been operating in the region for many years and will continue to do so.

The deployment is desired to work with our partners here. We are here to exchange expertise and enhance the skills and capabilities of our marines and the navies of the region.”

“Middle East is a vital artery of world trade linking Europe and America with the Far East. Over 23,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden each year. The work of the Royal Navy in this part of the world is invaluable to the UK’s own defence and security as well as that of the wider region,” Fraser further explained.

About the two vessels’ visit to Oman, from where they arrived here on Tuesday, he said it was a similar call to work closely with the Omani navy.

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