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Thumrait

Thumrait is a small town in southern Oman on the main road which links Dhofar to the rest of Oman. In ancient times Thumrait was an important point on the caravan routes through the Arabian peninsula. Frankincense trees used to grow in abundance although now they are fewer in number. The main occupation of the people of Thumrait is the cultivation of fruit, vegetables and animal fodder.

Thumrait is notable for its Royal Air Force of Oman station. This former oil depot was initially fortified as the guarantor of Omani airspace in the south of the country. At first, Hawker Hunter FG.9 aircraft constituted a deterrent force with ground attack and intercept capabilities. In 1977 the strike capability was enhanced by the addition of 12 new SEPECAT Jaguar aircraft.

The US Air Force 1660th Tactical Airlift Wing (Provisional) deployed to Thumrait AB, Oman to support Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.

On 1l August 1990 Royal Air Force Vickers VC10 tankers accompanied 12 Royal Air Force (UK) SEPECAT Jaguars into Thumrait and set up a detachment at the Omani airfield. An RAF aircraft had deployed there in January 1988 to provide AAR training to the Omani Jaguar squadron based there. However, the base was not well suited to the handling of large aircraft for extended periods and on 29 August 1990 the three aircraft detachment moved to Seeb near Muscat.

Thumrait AB has also been used and is still used by US and Allied air forces in Gulf War 2 and operations against Afghanistan and international terrorists. Many of those operations have currently switched to the better positioned Muscat International Airport in the North of the country, as this is closer to the theatre of operations.

Thumrait is also a Harvest Falcon depot. ‘Harvest Falcon’ is the US Air Force's transportable system of modular personnel tents, shelters, equipment, and vehicles to be used when there are infrastructure limitations. The Harvest Falcon equipment is an 1,100-person housekeeping set of tents, electrical generators and billets.

A US Air Force War Reserve Materiel (WRM) contract was let to DynCorp Technical Services to provide support for bare base systems, medical, munitions, fuels mobility support equipment, vehicles, rations, aerospace ground equipment, air base operability equipment, and associated spares and other consumables at Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) Air Base, Thumrait. These services include maintaining war reserve materiel (WRM) stored at Thumrait. ‘War reserve materiel’ includes medical supplies, munitions, rations, and various other supplies.

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