I was in Salalah from 83 to 88 as a WO-1 (Wkl-1) in the Force Medical Service, initially in the Field Surgical Team which was the old Multiservice 55 FST. As a Registered Nurse with ITU and A&E experience, I was in Post Op ward then later in the Resus/Casualty Area. This was the 'Shed' by the Helipad. Following a Flash Flood in Umm al Gwarif (UAG,the local Military base Hospital) We set up a Casualty A&E unit and an operating theatre in U.A.G. Most of our casualties were from RTAs or the odd mine blast from the mine left from the insurgency. During my time out there we also had a couple of Aircraft losses one Helicopter (Huey) and a Jaguar both with fatalities. As the WO1 also in-charge of the mortuary I unfortunately sent home 31 Multinational dead for various reasons.
My time out there was varied from excitement to many sad moments as well as very quiet times. Flying and Sailing were my Hobbies out there. I did have a small Tshirt business but this was curtailed as I didn't have a 51% Omani Shareholder. Visited Mirbat a couple of times, very eerie around Jebel Ali and the forts. Couldn't find the BATT house though.
I had the pleasure of running a series of charters from Mirbat out to the Halanyat Islands a few years ago. We boarded our guests, (mainly whale or bird watchers) at anchor in the bay off the entrance to Mirbats' small harbour. The fort is still there but the house seems to have been encroached by the expanded town. A regular visitor to the boat between trips was a middle aged bloke who well remembered the famous action at the fort – with good reason as, tragically, while the serious fighters assaulted the SAS and Omani regulars the 'political' trash got into the town itself and started summarily 'executing' as many males as possible including my friend's father.
The Omanis I met were invariably good, decent and hospitable people and a refreshing contrast to Gulf Arabs. My guests, (most of who had already done tours inland or had traveled down from Musqat,) all seemed to agree that Oman was well worth a visit..
On a different tack I remember the old Guards Depot Sergeants' Mess (Pirbright) hosting many Sultan of Oman's SNCO – most of them Brits with their distinctive wide blue stable belts and tan uniforms – particularly during Bisley and the one's I spoke to were ex or on-loan Guardsmen.
PS. I've just been looking at Google maps to check the spelling of the harbour at Salalah, (Mina Resuit?) and noticed that neither the harbour or Mirbat is named – nor are the islands. What's that all about?
Hi I know this is an old posting but here goes....
I was at Shaafa on two tours of Loan Service in 85-86 and 89-92. Good posting and I did Saif Sareea in 86 which was held in Ras al Hadd area. One of only two loan service brits in the Oman Army to be on Saif Sareea with MSO. Just seen your photos, this must have been D Sqn with the M60s or was it renamed to something else? Where was Mick Searles?