The squadron was established in the course of 2005 when the first Omani F-16s came off the Lockheed production line. 18 sqn was specifically established to receive those F-16s. The squadron was fully operational by the end of 2006. At first, the squadron was based at Thumrait AFB together with the SEPECAT Jaguar fighters of the RAFO with the F-16s slated to move to Al Musana'a AFB after infrastructural works had been completed there. In the end this was changed and the Jaguars were phased out and the F-16s remained in Thumrait.
RAFO F-16C block 50 #811
is strolling down on the runway at NAS
Forth Worth on May 7th, 2008. [Photo by Keith Robinson
The F-16 fleet will take some of the tasks of the aging Jaguar fleet. They will form the mainstay of the Omani fighter force for many years to come.