The United States and Oman are working together towards the common goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East. Oman is a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues and a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The United States works with Oman and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to increase cooperation on border security, maritime security, military preparedness, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.
The U.S.-Omani partnership is one of the oldest in the region, inaugurated by an 1833 treaty in support of friendship and navigation. The United States and Oman have maintained close defense ties since the establishment of official diplomatic relations in 1972, signing a military cooperation agreement in 1980, revising and renewing that agreement in 2010, and signing an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement in 2014. In March 2019, the United States and Oman signed a Framework Agreement expanding U.S. access to facilities and ports in Salalah and Duqm. The United States and Oman work closely to ensure freedom of navigation in the key naval chokepoint of the Strait of Hormuz, to counter piracy, and to combat weapons and narcotics trafficking.
The U.S.-Oman security relationship has heightened Oman’s ability to provide homeland defense, deter aerial or armored attack, and protect crucial oil and natural gas infrastructure. It also provides enhanced interoperability with U.S. and Coalition forces. The United States has 63 active cases valued at $2.72 billion with Oman under the government-to-government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS sales notified to Congress are listed here, and recent and significant prior sales include: F-16 Operational Flight Profile and Identification Friend or Foe; upgrades to its F-16 Block 50/52 fighter aircraft, ongoing logistics and sustainment support; AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles; AGM-84 Harpoon air-to-ground munitions; and Javelin and TOW-2B anti-tank missile systems. In FY 2021, Oman has been allocated $20.74 million in Title 10 grant military assistance.
Since 2016, the United States has also authorized the permanent export of over $613 million in defense articles to Oman via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Oman include: small arms, ammunition/ordnance, and military electronics.
Since 2015, the United States has provided Oman with over $13 million in Foreign Military Financing and $12.825 million for International Military Education and Training (IMET). Over 927 members of the Omani Armed Forces have received training in the United States, including 22 Officers/Civilians in Professional Military Training in FY 2019. IMET provides professional military education and training to military students and is key to establishing lasting relationships with future leaders. All of the current military service chiefs, including the Chief of Staff for the Sultan’s Armed Forces, are IMET graduates. IMET courses increase military professionalization, enhance interoperability with U.S. forces, offer instruction on the law of armed conflict and human rights, provide technical and operational training, and create a deeper understanding of the United States. In FY 2021, the U.S. government used IMET funds to conduct virtual training due to COVID-19 restrictions to travel. The U.S. government also used IMET funds to initiate the English Language Training Program, including by building two separate English labs in Oman to enhance Omani officials’ English language capabilities and participation in IMET.
The United States Interagency Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) Task Force provides training on MANPADS recognition and threats to border security, aviation security, and defense personnel working on the front lines to fight illicit weapons proliferation. Since 2018, the MANPADS Task Force has provided MANPADS recognition and interdiction training to 38 Omani security officials.
Through the Global Defense Reform Program (GDRP), the United States is providing advisory support to enhance the Omani government’s interagency decision-making processes for emergency management and crisis response. Through GDRP, the U.S. advisor embedded in Oman’s National Emergency Management Center helped Oman obtain the U.S.-designed online knowledge management system, Cobra, to facilitate emergency management and response training and courses. This system will support GDRP efforts by enhancing Omani interagency situational awareness to natural and man-made threats. The system will also develop the technical skills and acumen of a new cadre of emergency management professionals in Oman.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.