IAF, Oman air force to hold joint exercise Huma Siddiqui New Delhi: With expectations of being roped in for anti-piracy operations in the near future, the Indian Air Force (IAF) would be undertaking a two-day joint exercise with the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) from October 14. The exercise, codenamed Eastern Bridge, would be held at the Jamnagar Air Force base. Announcing this on the eve of the 79th Air Force Day, chief of the IAF, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, said: â€œWe will be having joint exercises with RAFO. They will field Jaguars for the exercises.â€ Talking to FE, Sheikh Humaid Bin Ali Bin Sultan Al-mani, ambassador of Oman in India, said, â€œWe call ourselves the guardians of the ocean from both sides. We have had one one round of joint exercises with the IAF, and this would be the second edition of exercises with the IAF which we are hoping will open the doors for enhancing our military relations as well as more oppurtunities for joint ventures.â€ According to senior officials, â€œthe exercise will enhance the understanding of operational, maintenance and administrative procedures between the RAFO and the IAF. The exercise would also be cost-effective in terms of benefit realisation of operational and tactical preparedness over an unknown mixed terrain of land and desertâ€. Both air forces will undertake air-to-ground missions, conduct live firing from air to ground and practise integrated training and operations in desert terrain during the joint exercise, for which the IAF would field six single-seater Jaguar fighter bombers while the RAFO would also deploy its Jaguars. The two air forces are among the three primary users of the twin-engined warplane. Both also operate British-made Hawk advanced jet trainer and follow similar training procedures. RAFO fighter pilots have also been training at the Jaguarâ€™s stimulator training centre in Gorakhpur. Oman is geographically Indiaâ€™s closest allies among the Arab countries in the strategically vital Persian Gulf region.