The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) began a bilateral joint exercise on 21 February 2022. The IAF said that the bilateral exercise named Eastern Bridge – VI will be held from 21 February to 25 February 2022 at Air Force Station Jodhpur. This would be the sixth edition of the exercise.

What

  1. It will provide an opportunity to enhance operational capability and interoperability between the two Air Forces.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The two navies have been conducting the biennial maritime exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ since 1993. This exercise was last conducted off Goa in 2020 and the next edition is scheduled later this year.
  5. India and Oman also held the Joint Military Cooperation Committee Meeting (JMCC) on bilateral defence cooperation in New Delhi on 31 January 2022.
  6. The JMCC meeting reviewed the progress made in military-to-military engagements, including joint exercises, industry cooperation and various ongoing infrastructure projects.