To bolster operational efficiency through interoperability, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) are participating in a bilateral exercise named ‘Eastern Bridge-VI’ from 21 to 25 February 2022 at Air Force Station Jodhpur.

The 6th edition of the exercise is aimed at providing an opportunity to enhance operational capability and interoperability between the two Air Forces.

Further, the participation of IAF and RAFO in this exercise will promote professional interaction, exchange of experiences and enhancement of operational knowledge, besides strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

Notably, IAF’s various dignitaries will be visiting the air force station in Jodhpur during the five-day exercise.

Taking to Twitter, the IAF wrote, “Enhancing operational efficiency through Interoperability. IAF and RAFO contingents prepare for Exercise Eastern Bridge VI. This event will provide a platform for both Air Forces to learn best practices and operate together.”

The Precursor To Bilateral Exercise

It is important to note that the bilateral exercise between India and Oman, comes within a few weeks after Oman’s top defence official Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi visited India from January 30 to February 4 as part of an official visit.

The official also co-chaired a meeting of the Joint Military Cooperation Committee, which supposedly initiated a series of high-level defence engagements between the two countries.

India’s Air Arsenal In Action

For Exercise Eastern Bridge VI, IAF’s contingent will be in action, which comprises MiG-29, Mirage 2000, Jaguar aircraft among others. Earlier Eastern Bridge V was held in October 2019 at the Air Force Base Masirah, Oman.

The IAF contingent at that time comprised MiG-29 and C-17 aircraft. It was the first time that MIG-29 fighter aircraft participated in an International exercise outside India.

Oman: India’s Imperative Defence Partner

Oman is considered one of the strongest defence partners of India in the Gulf region, and all three services have bilateral exchanges and exercises with Oman’s services.

Importantly, 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.