Sunday, September 24, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 8, 1445 H
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An Army Man but in a Different Form (2)


The following is my English translation of excerpts from “A Soldier from Oman, Memory’s Nectar” by (ret.) Inspector-General Said bin Rashid Al Kalbani.

We began to train in our respective fields. The training period continued for about a month, and then the team was posted to the Capital Police Station. During the period we trained that platoon, Maj. Hockett commissioned Lieut. Hassan Al Balushi and Warrant Officer Salim Al Sobhi to interview those who were in the Capital Police Station in order to select a group to work in Ghala. Capt. Lashkran, Srg. Rajab bin Khamis, Corp. Shalan bin Amir were excluded for their family circumstances and old age. Others were laid off as they were unable to stand training or continue as policemen. 36 were chosen to be trained in Ghala, just as their predecessors.

We trained that group for about a month, after which they returned to the Capital Police Station. We, the trainers, also moved with them to the station early in 1969. The sub-commissioned officers were provided quarters in Anabir, situated close the Grand Gate, and the officers were accommodated in the Shebili House, near the Small Gate. In that period a new complex began to be constructed near the Small Gate. Once the construction was completed, both the officers and the non-commissioned officers moved to their respective quarters.

When the training centre shifted from Ghala to Muscat in the beginning of 1969, Capt. Lashkran was replaced by William Hockett as the new commander. At the same time, the official name was changed from the Capital Police to the Muscat Police. The new commander put forward the plan for building quarters both for officers and non-commissioned officers in Muscat, the Muttrah Police Station, a new office for the headquarters in Ruwi and a school for training in Wadi Kabeer. Work on these projects began in the chosen locations.

In 1969 the police force made an agreement with four foreign experts: two British, Capt. Galland and Capt. Phelix De Silva (of Sri Lankan origin) and two Indians: Dominique D’Souza and Ranjin Barar. The four experts arrived in April 1969. In the same year I was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. The number I was given was 908. A point to be noted is that number 90 was used just as camouflage, the real number was 8, the actual number of the officers then. Salim Al Sobhi was promoted to lieutenant, and so, too, was Abdullah bin Qambar Al Lawati, who was promoted in the army and transferred to the police force to administer its financial affairs.

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