British Army to relocate major training base to Oman

British Army to relocate major training base to Oman
The British Army will be leaving its base in western Canada for a new base in the Omani desert, which will be used for exercises involving tanks and other armoured vehicles.
2 min read
24 November, 2021
The move to Oman will allow for quicker deployments to Europe [Getty]

The British Army is set to leave its training facility in Canada and relocate personnel to a base in Oman, according to The Telegraph

The British Army Training Unit Suffield (Batus) in Alberta, Canada, has been used for the past 50 years, but will be replaced as part of plans to modernise the army.

The new base will be located in the Omani desert, near Duqm airbase, and will serve as the main training for the army's tanks, helicopters, and other armoured vehicles; including live-fire exercises. 

The move to Oman is anticipated to be announced by UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace later this week. 

According to defence sources who spoke to The Telegraph, the move is intended to bring the British Army closer to friendly nations, such as Ukraine and Bahrain, and reduce the time needed for a potential deployment. 

"If you only have 148 tanks and 22 of them are stuck in Canada, that's 22 tanks that are not at readiness and not available to do anything operational," one source told The Telegraph

"If they are training in Poland or Duqm, the logic is that they are having a more operational and deterrent effect," they added. 

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Furthermore, the Oman move will provide the UK government with greater opportunities to demonstrate British military hardware and technology with the aim of boosting arms sales.

The precise timing of the move is not currently known but a spokesman for the ministry of defence said that the Batus base in Canada would remain operational until at least 2023, and that large-scale tanks exercises were scheduled to take place over the next two years. 

The spokesman added that the base in western Canada would not close entirely, and that a small number of military personnel would remain as defence attaches, liaison officers, and as part of exchange programmes with Canadian forces. 

In addition to the expected announcement of a move to Oman, further updates on a British Ranger Regiment are anticipated. 

The Rangers were first announced in March and are thought to be modelled on the US Green Berets.

Like the Green Berets, part of the new force's role is thought to include working with forces fighting militias in countries such as Syria or Afghanistan.