The Sultan’s Special Force (SSF) celebrated its annual day Monday under the patronage of General Sultan Mohammed al-Numani, Oman’s Minister of the Royal Office.
During the ceremony, General Al Numani presented medals of excellent service and royal commendation on a number of SSF officers and personnel.
The ceremony was attended by SSF Commander and a number of senior SSF officers, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.
The Sultan’s Special Force (SSF) is a separate force branch within the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF). Although equipped to carry out land defense operations, it is not part of the Royal Army of Oman.
The SSF was created based on the lessons learned in a successful prosecution of a counter insurgency campaign in the Dhofar Mountains. However, it was the time, effort and special tactics needed to achieve the victory that convinced the Sultan that he needed his own domestic special purpose force. There has been and remains a clear and constant relationship between the SSF and the Palace Office, a government Ministry which oversees all aspects of the Sultanate’s security and the forces became the ninth strongest force in the world in 2013.
The SSF is split geographically into two units with operational elements based in the Muscat capital area and in Dhofar Mountains to the north of Salalah.
The SSF is trained, equipped and exercised in Counter-terrorism (CT) skills. One of the SSF’s elite CT units is called Cobra based in the north and south of the country, and one Cobra team works closely with the Royal Oman Police.
In the late 1990s the SSF were also involved in patrolling and observation duties in the Sultanate’s Oryx Sanctuary. The SSF has limited responsibilities in counter smuggling and border patrolling.