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Defence

The Sultanate is a beacon of security, stability and peace in the region, which continues to assiduously follow a policy of non-interference in the internal political affairs of other countries. Oman is a peace loving nation. However, given the country's strategic location maintaining this security and stability remains a government priority.

In order to continue to preserve the freedoms it has enjoyed for centuries, it is essential Oman's Armed Forces remain well equipped, well trained and at a high standard of combat capability. Sultan Qaboos is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the Royal Oman Police, as well as holding the position of Head of the country's Defence Council, established in December 1996 by Royal Decree.

 

The Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF):

The Sultan’s Armed Forces(SAF)play an essential role in defending the nation. In developing the SAF and the Royal Guard of Oman(RGO),the Sultanate focused its attention on intensive training rather than the establishment of an intensive arms programme, recognizing that highly trained manpower was its most important defence asset. The three main arms of the Sultans Armed Forces(SAF)&the Royal Army of Oman(RAO),the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO)and the Royal Navy of Oman(RNO)& along with the Royal Guard of Oman(RGO), form a modern, well organized and well equipped fighting force that boasts a full range of integrated modern weaponry. All its bases are linked by a sophisticated command and control system.

 

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO):

 

The Royal Air Force of Oman(RAFO)is equipped with advanced fighter,interceptor and other aircraft,as well as anti-aircraft missiles and modern radar, defence and weapons systems to ensure a high level of combat proficiency at all times and in all circumstances.In addition to its F-16 fighters, RAFO’s combat capability is reinforced by a number of Hawk and Jaguar aircraft along with Super Lynx and NH90 helicopters, that also provide back-up for the Royal Navy of Oman in protecting the coastline as well as offering support services for members of the public in the mountain areas. To enhance their skills and expertise, they also take part in exercises with the air forces of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council states and other friendly countries. The Airbus A320-300 has replaced RAFO’s BAC-111 transport planes.

The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO): 

 

The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) has a fleet ofgunboats, fast missile
boats and support, training, cargo and hydrographical survey vessels,which can be deployed to protect the Sultanate’s coasts and territorial waters and monitor the passage of ships and oil tankers through the strategic Strait of Hormuz. RNO also provides support for joint amphibious and marine transport operations.Three advanced ocean patrol boats currently being built to the highest operational specifications will reinforce the RNO’s capability in Omani waters and the open seas.The Said bin Sultan Naval Base with its world-class facilities is one of the Sultanate’s leading naval establishments. Its Naval Training Centre is accredited by the AGCC Computer HQ as an International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) examining centre.

The Royal Guard of Oman (RGO):


The Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) is an important element of Oman’s modern military set-up and, with its infantry, armoured and artillery units and their advanced equipment and systems, it has achieved a high standard of proficiency and combat capability. The RGO trains personnel on the full range of its systems and equipment and holds specialist courses at various different levels. Its Technical College produces highly qualified technical personnel. In addition to the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra (ROSO), the RGO also has three other military bands that perform on national occasions and other events at home and abroad. In addition to their security duties, the Red Helmets motor-cycle team stage stunning acrobatic displays, while the RGO free-fall parachute team and cavalry also attract enthusiastic crowds at various national events.

Major contributions to the development efforts

With its extensive facilities and nationwide presence, the SAF is well placed to work with the different government departments working to promote development and prosperity for Oman and its citizens. It also trains civilians in navigation, communications, administration and other skills, while its military education programme gives school students a grounding in the principles and values of military life.

The armed forces build roads to the most remote mountain and desert regions, transport people, provisions and water to otherwise inaccessible areas and - in co-operation with other competent authorities - provide the people living in those areas with health services.

Their other duties include search and rescue operations at sea and the prevention of illegal immigration. Retired SAF personnel frequently contribute their valuable experience to the Sultanate's continued development by setting up their own businesses or finding employment in the private sector. 


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