Bye bye Medicine Hat

Oman is a banging run ashore.

Enjoy.View attachment 617959
You were in the wrong place Ravers, Thamrait (formerly Midway) is the place to be, party central:

Graham, Wimpey, Gordon a.jpg


img175a a.jpg
 
Yeah, that won't come back to bite us at all.
Why's that? I hosted the last Parliamentary committee visit back in 2011 (the 10 year contract signed I think is now expiring). It was enlightening and the amount we get fleeced .....cough sorry pay the Canadian Government for using the training area is eye wateringly expensive.

There were a number of options presented then and from what my booze addled brain is telling me these were:

Oman
Australia
US
UAE

All of the above offered significantly better value for money than BATUS does. That said I have over 2 and a half years of great experiences of the place.
 
I know - lived in the ME for a long time - just hadn't realised it was only one training area allowed now, or whatever.
There are a number of armoured manoeuvre areas within Oman, the largest of which is about 3 - 4 hours from Muscat and is flat desert. The smaller one is nearer Shaafa Armoured Brigade HQ.
 
I wouldn't put any money on armoured trg on the Qara Jebel. From my memory you are either on the top of the features or down in the wadi floor with usually steep (impassable to any vehicles let alone MBT) wadi walls. Also (and I haven't done a Google map recce, but from what I read in the Times of Oman), the jebel is being developed with proper roads and other infrastructure, including agriculture. A training area is more likely to be found in the negd (moon country) or Empty Quarter. The Sultan of Oman's Army has MBT and probably have suitable trg areas. I know that there is at least one site member who has served on Loan Service since me ('75 - '77).
I was loan service from 2013-2016 the areas are more than suitable for what we require
 
Why's that? I hosted the last Parliamentary committee visit back in 2011 (the 10 year contract signed I think is now expiring). It was enlightening and the amount we get fleeced .....cough sorry pay the Canadian Government for using the training area is eye wateringly expensive.

There were a number of options presented then and from what my booze addled brain is telling me these were:

Oman
Australia
US
UAE

All of the above offered significantly better value for money than BATUS does. That said I have over 2 and a half years of great experiences of the place.
Money - I hadn't considered that.

Silly me was only thinking of the quality of the training area and it's similarity to northern Europe out of other options tabled.
 
In truth the training area they would be using is not loads of drifting sand dunes but having lived in Oman for 3 years and I now work in the region I quite like the place
I loved the place - was a regular visitor. Only place in the ME where you feel you get the real Arabian culture and hospitality compared to the outright arrogance and contempt from the other GCC countries.

If we're to train anywhere over there, Oman is the obvious and most preferable location of the lot - still, the Russian Steppe it ain't.

Question - was Jordan ever mooted during your time on the committee?

ETA - If you haven't been already, check out a resort called Zighy Bay - wonderful place.
 
I loved the place - was a regular visitor. Only place in the ME where you feel you get the real Arabian culture and hospitality compared to the outright arrogance and contempt from the other GCC countries.

If we're to train anywhere over there, Oman is the obvious and most preferable location of the lot - still, the Russian Steppe it ain't.

Question - was Jordan ever mooted during your time on the committee?
Can't remember Jordan being mentioned - but with the QE class project and the facilities that are now available at Duqm (deep water port big enough for QE and Task Group) I don't think it was ever considered as the infrastructure wasn't there. If the Omani railway ever gets built this will be game changer for the country and region as well as reducing transport costs for the British Army

Oman is beautiful and learnt me a new way of life and language as well as teaching me diplomacy (to a certain extent :))
 
Can't remember Jordan being mentioned - but with the QE class project and the facilities that are now available at Duqm (deep water port big enough for QE and Task Group) I don't think it was ever considered as the infrastructure wasn't there. If the Omani railway ever gets built this will be game changer for the country and region as well as reducing transport costs for the British Army

Oman is beautiful and learnt me a new way of life and language as well as teaching me diplomacy (to a certain extent :))
Thanks.

There's also Salalah to make things a bit more bearable during the height of the summer too.
 
Thanks.

There's also Salalah to make things a bit more bearable during the height of the summer too.
Still a fair old drive from the training areas. My last act in the British Army was to help organise, run and adjudicate on the Omani version of the Cambrian Patrol. This was over the Jebels around Salalah and bearing in mind that the Omanis hadn't done anything other than a walk it was entertaining to say the least.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Been to Medicine Hat in February - and Muscat briefly in July . I know which one I'd prefer :cool: Interesting development for REME group, different set of problems to contend with but the 'B' vehicle fleet will still be trashed after two seasons :)
Nah, it'll be fine - you just need some LEAN lines....

(saunters away whistling Lilliburlero)
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Ah, ok - you win, it's far more like the Sahara.
To be fair, most of Europe has increasing populations of people who used to live in deserts, so....
 
Why's that? I hosted the last Parliamentary committee visit back in 2011 (the 10 year contract signed I think is now expiring). It was enlightening and the amount we get fleeced .....cough sorry pay the Canadian Government for using the training area is eye wateringly expensive.

There were a number of options presented then and from what my booze addled brain is telling me these were:

Oman
Australia
US
UAE

All of the above offered significantly better value for money than BATUS does. That said I have over 2 and a half years of great experiences of the place.
BATUS is on a use agreement, not a lease. Originally it was leased, but in 2006 it was converted to an agreement whereby the UK can use the base indefinitely. The UK pay for their operating costs.

Canadian copy of the treaty:
Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on British Armed Forces' Training in Canada

UK copy of the treaty:
Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Canada on British Armed Forces’ Training in Canada

This UKDJ article explains the history if you are interested.
Britain in Canada – The British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS)

UK involvement at Suffield Alberta started in WWII as replacement for UK chemical warfare testing after the UK got kicked out of bases in French Algeria when France fell. Post WWII Canada kept the area as a base, but just what went on there is vague other than it was used for "experimental" work. When the UK got kicked out of Libya by Gaddafi in 1969 they needed a new training area in a hurry (this seems to be a recurring theme here) and ended up back in Alberta under a 10 year lease agreement.

The lease was rolled over several times until in 2006 it was decided to instead convert it to a treaty allowing the UK to use Canadian bases indefinitely. You will notice the treaty is not limited to BATUS, just "use land, air space and installations, and station personnel and equipment, at such sites as may be agreed by the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom and the Minister of National Defence of Canada".

The UK pays the cost of operating the base, including buildings, civilian employees, utilities, etc. They also use Canadian DND purchasing channels for local procurement of goods and services, for which they pay an administration fee.

From what has been said, the UK will continue to use BATUS, just not use it for armoured warfare training. The stated reasons for pulling tanks out sound quite reasonable, that with far fewer tanks in future the UK can't afford to dedicate significant numbers of them to training in a place which is far from any potential action.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
BATUS is on a use agreement, not a lease. Originally it was leased, but in 2006 it was converted to an agreement whereby the UK can use the base indefinitely. The UK pay for their operating costs.

Canadian copy of the treaty:
Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on British Armed Forces' Training in Canada

UK copy of the treaty:
Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Canada on British Armed Forces’ Training in Canada

This UKDJ article explains the history if you are interested.
Britain in Canada – The British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS)

UK involvement at Suffield Alberta started in WWII as replacement for UK chemical warfare testing after the UK got kicked out of bases in French Algeria when France fell. Post WWII Canada kept the area as a base, but just what went on there is vague other than it was used for "experimental" work. When the UK got kicked out of Libya by Gaddafi in 1969 they needed a new training area in a hurry (this seems to be a recurring theme here) and ended up back in Alberta under a 10 year lease agreement.

The lease was rolled over several times until in 2006 it was decided to instead convert it to a treaty allowing the UK to use Canadian bases indefinitely. You will notice the treaty is not limited to BATUS, just "use land, air space and installations, and station personnel and equipment, at such sites as may be agreed by the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom and the Minister of National Defence of Canada".

The UK pays the cost of operating the base, including buildings, civilian employees, utilities, etc. They also use Canadian DND purchasing channels for local procurement of goods and services, for which they pay an administration fee.

From what has been said, the UK will continue to use BATUS, just not use it for armoured warfare training. The stated reasons for pulling tanks out sound quite reasonable, that with far fewer tanks in future the UK can't afford to dedicate significant numbers of them to training in a place which is far from any potential action.
I may be wrong but I think the sale of four Upholder class subs was done for something like $1 but included a lengthened lease for BATUS.
 
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