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. As for now, the squadron is based at Thumrayt AFB together with the SEPECAT Jaguar fighters of the RAFO. The F-16s will move to Al Musana'a AFB after infrastructural works have been completed there. This will disperse the Omani fighter force over the north and south of the country. The exact date of the move hasn't been confirmed so far.
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.