Defence of RAF Salalah Picture Presentation

Defence of RAF Salalah Picture is presented to the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces at Sultan’s Armed Forces Association Dinner

On 25 November 2022, Air Chief Marshall Sir Richard Johns, Immediate-Past Honorary Air Commodore of the RAF Regiment, presented a Giclée picture of the Defence of RAF Salalah painting to the Chief of Staff, Sultan’s Armed Forces of Oman, Vice Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis Al Raisi, at the annual Sultan’s Armed Forces Association Dinner, held in the Army and Navy Club in London.

Sir Richard was welcomed warmly by the 84 members and guests who included Marshall of the RAF, Lord ‘Jock’ Stirrup (former Chief of the Defence Staff who, as a Flight Lieutenant, flew ground attack Strikemasters with the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force in Dhofar in the mid 1970s). Sir Richard recounted, with considerable humour, his own experiences flying Hawker Hunters from Aden to Oman in the 1960s, as the Dhofar Campaign was beginning, and operating from the sand runway at RAF Salalah, then a very bare base.

Air Chief Marshall Sir Richard Johns and Vice Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis Al Raisi.

He delighted the Omani seniors present (including the newly arrived Ambassador) by recalling his subsequent  meetings with the late Sultan, His Majesty Qaboos – who is still very much  revered –  and by including some Arabic phrases in his excellent speech. He explained his appointment as the first Honorary Air Commodore of the RAF Regiment and his delight at being invited to present the picture to honour the role played by the RAF Regiment in Dhofar of which they are justly proud.

He was loudly proclaimed the ‘star of the show’ with a standing ovation and the picture was much admired. The evening was a great success and there was much discussion in the margins about the role and success of the RAF Regiment. The picture, presented on behalf of the RAF Regiment, was financed by the Centurion Fund, with the original residing in RAF Regiment Training Wing.

For those that wish their own copy of this painting, prints are available through the Centurion Fund Shop.