The Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force completed a joint exercise on Sunday with the participation of Saudi Arabia’s F-15C fighters and the US’ B-1 strategic bombers, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The “exercise highlights the capabilities, air control and operational integration, and is a continuation of the joint cooperation between the Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force to maintain the security and stability of the region,” SPA said in a statement.
The US Air Force flew the B-1 Lancer bomber over key waterways in the Middle East, escorted by fighter jets from allies in the region amid heightened tensions with Iran.
The B-1 is a supersonic bomber capable of carrying the heaviest conventional payload of any US military plane, flew over the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, Bab al-Mandeb strait, one of the world’s most important tanker routes, Red Sea, Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest waterways, the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the world's busiest oil-shipping channel, and the Gulf of Oman.
Last week, joint naval exercise “Blue Defender-21”, carried out by the Royal Saudi Navy and the US Navy in the Red Sea concluded, according to SPA.
The joint exercise was overseen by Saudi exercise director, Rear Admiral Saad al-Ahmari, and from the American side, Naval Colonel Carl Haywood.
Saudi FM, US Secretary of State meeting
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy on Sunday, according to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“During the meeting, they reviewed the strategic and historical relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America and ways to enhance them in all areas of cooperation and joint coordination,” the Saudi foreign ministry said.