Royal Guard of Oman

The Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) (Arabic: الحرس السلطاني العماني) is the royal guard of the Sultan of Oman. It is a separate service within the Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF) and although equipped to carry out land defense operations, it is not part of the Royal Army of Oman.[3][4] The RGO is a personal security and ceremonial unit responsible for the protection of the Sultan and other senior members of the Royal Family.[5] There are two other Royal Household partner organizations which directly interface with the RGO, they are:

Royal Guard of Oman
الحرس السلطاني العماني
The crest of the Royal Guard of Oman
Country Oman
AllegianceSultan of Oman
BranchSultan's Armed Forces
TypeLand force Light Infantry Brigade
RoleRoyal Guard (Palace and VIP protection)
Garrison/HQAl Aman Barracks, Seeb, Muscat Governate
Anniversaries1. November
Commander of the Royal Guard of OmanMajor General Khalifa bin Abdullah al Junaibi[2]
Supreme CommanderHM Sultan Qaboos bin Said Albusayidi
The Sultan of Oman's Royal Standard, the standard's colours are reflected in the RGO's uniforms
Royal Guards on duty at the Bayt al Barakha Palace near Seeb
Fort Mirani in the background of the Al Alam Palace gardens

History of the ForceEdit

The RGO can trace its history back to the small groups of lightly armed Askaris that guarded the palaces and forts of the Sultans of Oman, many habitually recruited from East Africa or loyal local tribesmen.[9] However, it was His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said that decided to develop a more structured approach to royal protection. The RGO originated from the Oman Gendarmerie, which in the early 1970s became His Majesty's Body Guard known as the Royal Guard Squadron. In 1975 the squadron developed into the Royal Guard Regiment and was responsible for the protection of His Majesty and his guests; and by default the security of royal residences (palaces, etc.) and the Sultan's travelling camps[10] This unit was grown in size and evolved into the multi-function RGO of today.[11]


The military band

The RGO is organised as a light mixed capability brigade-sized formation of at least 4,500 but no more than 5,000 personnel.[12] It is equipped with a variety of wheeled armoured and soft-skinned combat vehicles; as well as light and heavy support weapons.[13] The RGO also has a ceremonial equestrian unit that is based at the Royal Stables at Seeb.[14] The RGO's motorcycle VIP convoy escort specialists have also created a display team known as the Red Helmets.[15] The RGO has ceremonial bands (including bagpipe bands) and a school of music.[16][17] The RGO also administers the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra and its own technical college, both based at separate sites in Seeb.[18]

The following is the brigade's military structure:

Base locationsEdit

The following are some of the official residences of the Sultan and will have a permanent RGO security presence:[19][20]


The RGO uses wheeled armoured fighting vehicles and is known to have:[25]

  • Nine Italian Centauro 120mm (8x8) Mobile Gun Systems.[26] These AFVs replaced older French VBC-90 mobile gun systems in the RGO inventory
  • 56 French Renault Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé (VAB) (6x6), including VPM-81 (81mm mortar carrier)and VDAA TA20 (anti aircraft) variants
  • French Truck-mounted MBDA VL MICA missile Ground Based Air Defense system.[27][28][29]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cordesman, Anthony H. (2004). The Military Balance in the Middle East. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 344. ISBN 9780275983994. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Royal Guard of Oman celebrates its annual say, new recruits graduation". Times of Oman. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  3. ^ Kadhim, Abbas (2013). Governance in the Middle East and North Africa: A Handbook. Routledge. p. 321. ISBN 9781136959660. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Defense". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  5. ^ Pike, John. "Royal Army of Oman / Royal Oman Land Forces (ROLF)". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Oman Royal Yacht Squadron - Yacht Harbour". Yacht Harbour. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Oman Royal Flight". Aeroflight. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Royal Flight of Oman Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  9. ^ Peterson, J. E. (2013). Oman's Insurgencies: The Sultanate's Struggle for Supremacy. Saqi. ISBN 9780863567025. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  10. ^ Chatty, Dawn (February 2009). "Rituals of royalty and the elaboration of ceremony in Oman: View from the edge (PDF Download Available)". International Journal of Middle East Studies. Working paper Number 173: 10. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  11. ^ Allen, Calvin H.; II, W. Lynn Rigsbee (2014). Oman Under Qaboos: From Coup to Constitution, 1970-1996. Routledge. pp. 79 & 89. ISBN 9781135314309. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  12. ^ IBP, Inc (2015). Oman Criminal Laws, Regulations and Procedures Handbook - Strategic Information and Basic Laws. p. 82. ISBN 9781514507759. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  13. ^ Cordesman, Anthony H. (2015). The Arab-U.S. Strategic Partnership and the Changing Security Balance in the Gulf: Joint and Asymmetric Warfare, Missiles and Missile Defense, Civil War and Non-State Actors, and Outside Powers. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 109. ISBN 9781442258990. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  14. ^ Walsh, Tony; Darke, Diana (2016). Oman. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 37. ISBN 9781784770204. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Top Brass – Y Magazine". Y Magazine. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  16. ^ Zayan, Mohamed. "Ain al Yaqeen weekly Arab political magazine". (in Arabic). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  17. ^ London, Howarth of (19 July 2012). "Neil Clark, Head of Repairs – Trip to Oman on behalf of Howarth of London". Howarth of London. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  18. ^ "The Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) Symphony Orchestra (ROSO) with its talented complement of highly trained young Omani musicians comes under the auspices of the RGO. |". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  19. ^ Guard of Oman "Oman Government Offices Page 4" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  20. ^ Darke, Diana (2013). Oman. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 257–258. ISBN 9781841624716. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  21. ^ Peterson, John (2007). Historical Muscat: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer. BRILL. p. 30. ISBN 978-9004152663.
  22. ^ "Serene Salalah Oman Holidays The Holiday Place". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  23. ^ Faustig, Kurt. "Palaces and Villas - Oman". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Water Treatment Facilities at Al Aman Camp" (PDF). MENA. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Middle East moves to balanced vehicle fleets [IDX15VP] | Jane's 360". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Oman Orders Military Vehicles - MiddleEastNewsline". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  27. ^ "VL MICA - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Royal Guard of Oman carries out first operational firing od MBDA's VL MICA system - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  29. ^ Pike, John. "Vertical Launch Mica". Retrieved 9 August 2017.

External linksEdit