On his most recent trip to Oman, UK defense secretary Michael Fallon signed a memorandum of understanding and services agreement that will allow Royal Navy vessels to use facilities at Duqm port before the UK Joint Logistics Support Base at the port is completed.
Once completed, the UK Joint Logistics Support Base, a multi-million pound joint venture between British defence company Babcock International and the Oman Drydock Company, will provide the UK a permanent training facility in addition to a key military logistics centre in the Gulf. It will also be connected to other Gulf countries by the Gulf Rail Project.
For now, the Royal Navy will be using the Duqm Port complex which has dry dock capability able to accommodate submarines and the UK’s flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
From Duqm, HMS Queen Elizabeth will be able to project influence across an important region.
“This agreement ensures British engineering expertise will be involved in developing Duqm as a strategic port for the Middle East, benefiting the Royal Navy and others,” defense secretary Fallon said.
Tthe infrastructure built at Duqm port will support exercise Saif Sareea 3 in 2018, the largest UK-Oman joint exercise for 15 years.