The Sultanate of Oman became to have a promising economic potentials, clear political stability and common national credibility due to its distinguished geo – strategic location and the ancient maritime history. Historically, Oman is considered as a pivotal country which has positive effect to manage the events in the region. From the geographic aspect, Oman extends from the Arabian Gulf to the Indian Ocean, as it is the entrance of the Arabian Gulf and convergence of trade between East and West. Moreover, the Sultanate is overseeing the vital strait of Hurmoz, the passage of more than 40% of oil and gas to the different countries of the world.
The establishment of the Royal Navy of Oman in the early seventies is an extension and renewal for the Omani ancient maritime history. Oman owned the largest naval and commercial fleet in the area between the Arabian Gulf and the Island of Madagascar. This fleet has had a close relation with the different ports around the world, as well as, strengthening diplomatic and trade relations and protecting Omani Empire during that period. The Royal Navy of Oman came to continue the historic path and to perform its honorable roles to insure security and stability in the Omani marine environment. RNO conducts main roles in the field of maritime security through the sea patrols along the coastline and in the Omani Territorial Seas, and Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ), as follows:
- Conducting various patrols to monitor any illegal activities and seize any suspected target in the area, taking all required measures to protect the Omani Territorial Seas, Exclusive Economic Zone and maritime ports and establishments.
- Conducting joint and simultaneous patrols with maritime surveilance aircrafts in order to ensure the comprehensive coverage of the area.
- Ship boarding for inspeetion if suspected according to the Rules of Engagements.
- Execution of sudden boarding operations for transient boats and ships in the territorial seas to ensure that they are not carrying armed men or those of ill – intentions.
- Upon receiving notification about presence of pirates or suspected piracy, naval areas should be supported by additional units to arrest these pirates and take necessary legal and disciplinary action against them.
- Provide the required assistance for the stranded, defected ships or fire fighting at sea.
In addition to what has been mentioned, the Commanders of the Naval Areas, in cooperation with the ships Commanding Officers assigned to the task, are conducting the assessment of General Maritime Pictures through the collection of information and data from ships, Maritime Patrols Aircrafts (MPAs) and helicopters that are dispatched to the area of operation to track the suspected targets. There is a continuous cooperation and coordination between RNO Operation Centre and the Maritime Security Centre on all maritime security threats and to exchange information in order to take the necessary actions against any threat.
On the other hand, the Omani economy significantly depends on the shipping lines: Therefore, RNO had to be concerned about different maritime threats that hinder shipping lines requiring presence at the Territorial Seas and the Exclusive Economic Zone to encounter illegal immigration (Infiltration), organized crime, illegal trade, trafficking activities, piracy, terrorism, illegal fishing/over fishing, pollution, crisis and armed conflicts, climate changes, hindering international navigation routes in order to ensure the freedom of navigation in the Omani Territorial Seas.
Also, Royal Navy of Oman conducts search and rescue operations and considered one of the main supporting authorities for the Maritime Security Center, as well as maintaining a distinguished relations with the naval forces of regional countries to achieve mutual cooperation for the benefit of the region.