According to the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, the Caribbean and South East Asia are regions that might soon receive new permanent British military bases. Guyana and Montserrat in the Caribbean, Singapore and Brunei in South East Asia are reported to be the possible locations.

In late December 2018, Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, declared during an interview that the Government is looking for two new permanent military bases in the Caribbean and South East Asia. The plan for these bases is supposed to be part of an effort to make Britain a ‘true global player’, especially after Brexit. Bearing in mind that the country has more than fifteen different kinds of military posts overseas, these new ones would certainly enhance even more Britain’s expeditionary capabilities.

However, the location of these new outposts is crucial to see real increments of British military presence and influence abroad. The costs of these projects are also a crucial question that the British Government must consider, especially when the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is facing pressure from HM Treasury for more savings.

The possible sites for a new base in South East Asia are reported to be Singapore or Brunei; both countries already have different levels of British military presence. In short, Singapore is home of the Naval Party 1022 (NP1022) which is responsible for handling the British owned and funded naval logistics support and repair facility based at the Sembawang wharf. The NP1022 is also a symbol of British commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA). Established in 1971, the FPDA includes the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia and is the result of a series of multi-lateral defence arrangements between the five nations, whereby the members are committed to consult each other ‘immediately’ in the event of an armed attack on any of the five powers. Despite that, there is no commitment to intervene militarily.

Beyond the British presence in Singapore, the UK maintains a foothold in Brunei. The British Forces Brunei (BFB) is centred on a light infantry battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. The No. 7 Flight Army Air Corps of Bell 212 helicopters support the land forces. The personnel based in the country are available to assist the Sultan but are also used for deployments overseas along with other elements of the British Armed Forces when needed. In return, the Sultan pays to support the British presence in the country. Britain’s personnel in Brunei – including civil servants of the Ministry of Defence – is roughly 2,000 and goes back to 1962 when they were used to support the Sultan against a rebel uprising. The British military presence is renewed every five years since Brunei’s independence from Britain in 1984.

Furthermore, Brunei is an essential training area for the British Army with the Jungle Warfare Training School being necessary to acquire the survival and effective skills required by the Jungle Warfare Division. Brunei’s tropical climate and terrain is one of the few training areas of its kind to be continuously open to the British forces alongside Belize, and more recently, Sierra Leone. According to the British Army, the military presence is not concentrated in one site, ‘the Brunei Garrison consists of three sites’ with training, basing and support services. So, the British presence in Brunei is not just a ‘token’ force to display Britain’s commitment to a close Commonwealth nation, it is also one way to improve the military capability of the British Army, making it an ‘effective, adaptable fighting force’.

In spite of the British withdrawal from the Far East – and later from ‘East of Suez’-, the country maintained its interests in the region. Brunei is the best example that Britain is willing to maintain a continued presence in Southeast Asia even after the independence of Malaysia and the devolution of Hong Kong. Moreover, as the region is the flash-point of tensions between China and the West led by the United States, the British position in Brunei has been one of increasing relevance.

Therefore, a ‘new military base’ in Brunei would not be something entirely new, but it would reinforce the British presence and commitment to this friendly Commonwealth nation and other regional allies, leading to further co-operation in the realms of Defence and beyond. It is worth mentioning that the discussion about a ‘new military base’ in South East Asia is not about the British ‘returning’ to the region, the UK never left it. It is a question of playing a more active role.

The Caribbean, in its turn, has been distant from the Ministry of Defence’s priority list of regions. This fact came into light when the 2017 hurricane season struck the British Overseas Territories in the area and the Government’s response was initially criticised. The critics emphasised the lack of a permanent military base in a region with five British territories; not including Bermuda, that is technically part of North America. In contrast, the French and Dutch held permanent bases in the Caribbean. France alone has a commitment of roughly 1,000 troops in Martinique.

However, Britain has a training facility in Belize, a Commonwealth Realm in Central America, and the British territory of Montserrat has a long-standing locally raised defence force. The Royal Montserrat Defence Force was established in 1899 and has become a volunteer force, primarily concerned with ceremonial duties and civil defence with around 90 active personnel.

Similarly to the prospect of a new base in South East Asia, two possible locations were revealed in the region: Montserrat and Guyana. The latter is a former British colony that achieved independence in 1966. Although technically located in South America, the country is geographically, culturally and economically closer to the Caribbean than to the rest of the continent, especially when considering the ‘Southern Cone’ – the most prosperous macro-region of Latin America, which includes Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and the southeast of Brazil – as the economic and political ‘heart’ of the subcontinent.

The prospect of a permanent British military base in Montserrat and Guyana raises different considerations. Montserrat would provide a safe political site for Britain, as a British territory the scenario of an abrupt or undesired cancellation of defence agreements is out of question. So, a permanent presence is granted as long as it is proved necessary. Furthermore, the Island would benefit economically from the influx of investments for the new military infrastructure. The permanently based personnel would also prove to be a necessary stimulus to local commerce. In the long run, the economy of Montserrat could become more diversified and less dependent of Britain; Montserrat has been suffering economically since the Soufrière Hills volcano became active in 1995, effectively turning more than half of Montserrat into an ‘exclusion zone’.

A Commonwealth member-state, Guyana has a vast rainforest that covers roughly 80% of the country. This environment is ideal for training exercises like those that already occur with British troops in Belize. Moreover, Britain has a long-lasting relationship with Guyana; this is reflected in the areas of trade and defence equipment. In 2017, Britain ranked as Guyana’s 7th largest export destination and 6th in its import origins. British defence equipment is used by the three branches of Guyana Defence Force (GDF), especially the air wing and navy. The British share of the naval branch is mainly represented through ‘GDFS Essequibo’ a River-class minesweeper – former Orwell (M2011) of the Northern Ireland Squadron.

Guyana’s territorial borders with Suriname and Venezuela are the most persistent source of concerns for its leaders. The claims laid by Venezuela over ‘Guyana Esequiba’ go back to the days of British rule and were put under international arbitration in 1897, two years later the Tribunal ruled largely in favour of Britain. However, the dispute was renewed when Guyana was granted independence in 1966. When the exploration of Guyana’s oil reserves in the disputed territory begun in 2015, the tension with Venezuela reached new heights.

Considering that roughly half of the country is subject to Venezuela’s territorial claims – and its territorial integrity has been contested since before its independence – a military base could serve as a display of British commitment to Guyana. This could work similarly to Britain’s deterrent position in Belize towards the threats and territorial claims of Guatemala, where the British military presence reassures Belize – a close ally – that the country is not alone. This position would enhance British relations with a friendly nation, and could became the basis for a new long-lasting defence co-operation.

A permanent base in the Caribbean could serve as one way to ensure that the British Overseas Territories would have quick and efficient support when needed. Both Guyana and Montserrat could fulfil the role as the site for this new military outpost. The Caribbean is home of five British Overseas Territories with more than 140,000 British citizens, their defence and foreign relations are responsibilities of Britain, therefore, a permanent military presence in the region is not only part of ‘Global Britain’, it is part of the British Government’s duty to defend the Realm and its dependencies overseas.

The four mentioned options have unique traits and challenges. Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory with an economy devastated by natural disasters, and Guyana is an independent nation seeking partners abroad to support its territorial integrity and economic development. Singapore, a well-developed city-state, is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and a close British ally. Brunei is one of the closest allies of Britain ‘East of Suez’, its position as the base of Britain’s last permanent land forces in the region and training area is extremely relevant. In the other hand, the UK is expected to be prepared to support Brunei against an expansionist China; not mentioning the British role as a political ‘stabiliser’ for the Sultan.

Therefore, while new bases overseas would enhance Britain’s ‘global reach’ – as desired by the Defence Secretary -, the British Government ought to consider the different kinds of commitment the country will face with the proposed new permanent military presence in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.

Going ‘global’ is an exercise of prudence and brings as many questions as it solves, only with a clear strategy will the new bases overseas will bring benefits to Britain’s global objectives.

91 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of opening entirely new facilities in Guyana or Montserrat, why not just start by permanently deploying a Bay class and R2 to the British Virgin Islands where they are used to receiving large cruise ships and have an international airport for reinforcement flights direct from the U.K.? Montserrat doesn’t have a large airport and Guyana isn’t central enough to the rest of the Caribbean in my opinion.

    • Not a Bay.

      Use a STUFT, but not a Bay. One of the current problems resulting from a lack of ships, means the amphibious group is scattered, 1 Bay in the Caribbean, 1 in the Gulf, 1 spare or in refit.

  2. Good to see these ideas being looked at and overseas commitments come with a global expansion. Two questions. Does the rest of the cabinet share G.W.’s awareness and therefore the need to expand military expansion and expenditure? …Are we willing NOW to bring forward naval building programmes in particular, along with the hospital/relief ship idea that will be absolutely at the forefront of the U.K. being taken seriously by friend and foe alike?

    • Good points Geoffrey.
      I would like to see the government sign off rapidly ont he following and get ship building going again in the UK.
      2-3 MARS ships
      2 (ideally 4) Littoral Warfare (sea base ships)
      5 type 31 frigates (in first batch with further batches already agreed and funded)
      That is what we need for UK-wide (not just Scotland) shipbuilding certainty of supply for the next 5-10 years at least.
      Once this 10 year build programme has been completed the UK should move on to plan for replacement air defence destroyers for type 45s and a further batch of 3-4 more attack submarines as supplements to astute class so RN has minimum of 10-11 hulls

  3. Excellent article thank you. For me the choices would be Montserrat and Brunei. Montserrat for political reasons. They’re less likely to change their minds and boot us out a few years down the road. And Brunei seems to me a no brainer we’re already there with extensive bases and training facilities for ground and air forces.

    • Singapore and Brunei are obvious locations as they have a few major benefits. They are good locations for a start, plus as we are already there it would not be seen as particularly inflammatory to slowly increase our presence there. Opening a brand new base at a brand new location could be seen as a provocation in China.

      As for the rest of the world. We should be visiting all of our overseas territories regularly. This not only reassures them that we care, it also helps with their economies and can act as a lifeline to some of the more remote and less populated islands. Montserrat would benefit hugely from a small base and we should build at least handling facilities on a number of other islands.

  4. Thanks to the volcano, there are lots of boulders lying around in Montserrat, that could be used to extend the runway out to sea, or build Quays. We could also build a launching pad for rockets, monitored from Ascension island.
    All of this should be paid for by DfID.

    • Id say Montserrat would be too small to talk about launch sites, a small base yes, but even then it has such a small population would it be able to support the base?
      if britain does build a launch site tomorrow I dont know if any overseas territories would be big enough! Guyana would be an obvious choice for that although the French might think we’re copying them! Sierre Leone would also be a good choice as we have very good relations with them so much many would like it to be a colony again, although some would say it already is a de facto colony!

        • I was thinking of the small rocket site for the North of Scotland. A repeat of that, for small launches in equatorial orbit, rather than polar orbit. I was not planning a repeat of Cape Canaveral.
          The volcano is a good source of rocks for building material. Eruptions are only for a short while every few decades. So, once in thirty years, you might have to shut down for six months.

    • “We could also build a launching pad for rockets, monitored from Ascension island.”

      I was lucky enough to be posted to Assi for a 6 month tour and the Yanks used to test their Trident Missiles from there. Launched from Florida , they would come down off the Island. The tests were always done at nightime and we would pop up to the BBC bar at Two Boats and watch the show what with the multiple re-entry vehicles (thankfully no warheads). The Yanks would bring a load of aircraft (Hawkeyes etc) and declare the area around the Island as out of bounds during the tests.

  5. Issue with Montserrat is the volcano. is it likely to erupt again in the near future and if so will the expensive new base be destroyed or need a lot fo money fixing it.
    I would have thought a better more adaptable and militarily effective option would be to purchase 2 more Littoral warfare (sea base ships) so we have a permanent fleet of 4 of these proposed vessels. therefore delivering a really decent additional air lift, command and control and base option.
    Something based on tide class or MARS class hulls for commonality of parts, servicing etc.
    40,000 ton hull supporting 6-8 medium lift helicopters and 2-3 companies of infantry/ marines.

  6. This is a fantasy. The economy is going to be in the doldrums for years after Brexit, so there won’t be the money to fund any of this, unless there are cuts elsewhere. I suspect that all or most of this will just be quietly forgotten.

        • I find it a bit odd that we cant afford so many things, yet we are talking about a new overseas base.

          Knowing what a colossal fook up any contracts involving HM Gov ( see todays ferry company with no ferries debacle) usually turn out to be, on a scale of 1-10 how big a fook up will this be?

          Save the money and invest it stuff that we can really do with.

          • I agree. Building and sustaining global reach is a pipe dream on 2% with no sign of an increase and likely a decrease when/if recession bites. Why do we need far east bases anyway? Are we looking for a fight?
            Better to spend the money updating Akrotiri since that has pretty much become a permanent base again as well as other UK bases that need it and ensure that we have a little contingency as Marham, Coningsby and Lossie seem to be the only properly equipped front line bases. also military housing

          • We have the base assets already, so no pipe dream really.

            Joint Forces Command already have PJOB ( Permanent Joint Operating Bases ) in the Falklands, Ascension, Gibraltar, Akrotiri. Plus the port facilities in the Middle East, other facilities in the SBAs, and training sites.

            On top of these over a dozen communication and Intelligence sites worldwide.

            Bases are not an issue.

            Assets are.

            A single River, T31, or forward deployed Littoral Strike Ship is hardly breaking the bank.

            It’s not a CBG it’s small numbers of assets improving our reach and coverage.

          • I disagree Danielle, many of those bases lack investment. Akrotiri for instance is arguably the UK’s most important base of recent years yet it hasn’t been updated for decades and the accommodation is very poor. Having base areas is one thing, having effective and sustainable bases is quite another. and yes, we do need more assets, on that we can agree

          • Hi Julian1.

            If you want updated look elsewhere in the Sovereign base areas.

            Bases are updated on a constant basis.

            There are hundreds, it takes time.

          • Agree Akrotiri and others in the SBA our most important oversees assets.

            Mod has several hundred sites, that many need updating is not on doubt.

            Money is thrown at key areas C3, intelligence, redundancy, and other strategic assets.

            Examples-

            Marham just had over half a billion on it.
            Brize updated.
            Northwood completely rebuilt.
            Corsham rebuilt with 600 million spent.
            C3 infrastructure rebuilt.
            Main Building rebuilt.
            Warrington runway rebuilt.
            Northolt and other London sites rebuilt under project MODEL.
            super garrisons on Salisbury plain be8ng expanded with SLA and other improvements.
            Wyton rebuilt with state of the art facilities.
            DIS estate improved under PRIDE.
            Project Hyperion underway at Porton Down.
            Aldermaston and Burghfield massive investment.

            That’s just off my head, but I think you get my drift! I can go on?

            That Akrotiris accommodation needs refurb does not negate the concept of basing a few ships abroad.

        • Hi Daniele, this place ain’t the same for me with no Chris H to duel with on a weekly basis lol.

          Jokes aside still here reading just been too busy to comment with personal life changing jobs and a baby due soon.

          Still check in daily though.

          • Congratulations on the baby Sole.

            Yes I too miss Chris H. You did debate each others points into the ground.

            Glad you’re still around.

        • Captain, it’s not so much the Brexit part of Dan’s comment, it’s just the first line that does it for me “fantasy” and until the budget black hole gets sorted, a clear policy on how all our equipment will be paid for without cuts, and a clear plan to grow the fleet to what we need at the bare minimum, anything Williamson says is not just fantasy, it’s political spin and grandstanding to the ignorant masses who are lauding him as some kind of saviour for our armed forces, wetting themselves over “new bases” when none of the glaring problems have been fixed.

    • What was Hammonds worse case forcast? 100 Billion or something, over a decade. Without any sort of deal in a “hard Brexit” ( read clean Brexit , hard soft are inventions )
      10 Billion a year.

      Far less when FT deals and whatever come into play.

      The 100 Billion plus saved the other way round by not paying the yearly EU subs to be in the club is of course never mentioned.

      Nor the fortune coming in should HMG reverse the EU common external tariff on it…

      We are indeed doomed….

      • Suicidal even !

        It’s a good job the Majority of us are being Positive about our newfound Freedom and untold opportunities whilst backing the UK and It’s proud history of Achievement.

        It would be a Miserable place If the Minority got their way.

        Rule Britannia !

        • freedom?
          you mean relying on US health companies, US agricultural products or “you can only have a deal with us if you don’t sign one with them”. It won’t be freedom – just different owners – and ones with some very sinister values

          • No Mate, This Is only the Start. Freedom for the Majority Is exactly what the Minority Fear. Just look at Parliament and the Money makers, Absolutely Shitting themselves in my opinion.

            As a Small Business Owner I have to say I’m really pleased that my Sales of Guillotines have Quadrupled in the last couple of Years.

            Glad I’m at the Cutting edge of this great new Opportunity.

            Cut’s, Cut’s and more Bloody Cut’s, Bring It On.

            Vive La Englaise !

        • Captain.

          That lot in Parliament that are betraying the vote as we speak for their own personal business ventures , general lack of faith in their nation, and other reasons, don’t share our of others belief I’m afraid.

          • I love the blind faith. “its going to be great. I can’t tell you why or how – perhaps just because we’re so great. I just know it”

            I live overseas and I think its pretty much universal that other countries just don’t understand what UK is doing or why. you’ve never had it so good they say. Oh! apart from Putin of course

          • Blind faith?

            No basic common sense given our status and that funnily enough hundreds if other nations don’t need political union to trade.

            We’ve been over this a hundred times so no point emphasising the same points agsin and again.

            You’re pro EU, not pro UK.

            Moving on.

          • actually Daniele I’m both. I’m pro UK within the EU. I have never, ever suggested being anti-UK. I’m just not a Nationalist that’s all

          • Julian1.

            Fair enough. My apologies you love your country in your own way.

            Like me!

            The issue seems to be for so many that “nationalism” seems to be wrong.

            The way I see it being Pro UK within the EU is strange as the UK is being rapidly consumed.

            Yet pro UK outside the EU is “nationalist”

            Hmmmm!

          • LOL.

            Careful who you offend!

            Although when the US of Europe comes in will that flag even exist?

  7. It’s nice to have such powerful ships these 2_ carriers are the business and now coming together with the F35 only the yanks can better them .

    • Rumours circling that POW could be mothballed, would be a travesty if true. More cuts are coming I’m afraid, the treasury will win it always does.

  8. British bases should only be built in British territories, waste of time spending money on building a base in Brunei as China increasingly dominates its economy and politics. Also the only kind off base worth having is an airbase. We already have naval support facilities in Singapore and the country has dozens do airbases and not an inch of space to build more.

    Building bases in countries like Belize and Guyana also makes little sense. These countries choose to get rid of the UK so why should the UK continue to spend money to defend them. This is yet another example of the Tory party writing checks the MOD can’t cash for headlines.

    Monserat is the only one that makes any sense but it’s hardly a strategic region and the USA dominates the place.

  9. I say Guyana. Lived there, belize and barbados for last 2 decades. Outside of hurricane zone, which for those of us who go thru them is no small thing. A hurricane will shut down any military base too. CJIA has second longest runway in Caribbean. I am ex army and helped my old sqn on a big ex in GY years ago where 4 C17 brought in all their kit inc 3 lynx. Country is size of GB, with one town on coast about size of Brighton and just a few thousands in the rest of the country. Interior is stunning for training. We help several NATO small units who train with us each year. Varied terrain. Big rivers. You can drop Barbaods in the mouth of the Essequibo. Rapids, falls, pristine lowland forest, huge savannahs. Biggest cattle ranch was 3.3M acres of open savannah, and that was not the only one. The mountains of the Lost Worls of Conan Doyle fame and much more. Additionally CARICOM HQ is based in Guyana so you can coord with all the Carib from.there. And from a Sth American perspective you bring some stability to the situation in North of the Continent with VZ. For a future global Britain so support both the Caribbean and South American continent must be a bonus.

  10. We should be deploying a mass of long range anti ship cruise missiles at all the choke points we can as well as the quadruple the number of Poseidon’s position them globally.

    Shetland’s, Gibraltar, Ascension, Falklands, Cyprus etc

  11. The forward deployment of a river class opv, in the carrbian makes sense and is a realistic scenario. However, what can we really expect to achieve by creating a base in the Pacific. Even if by some mericle we can spare a frigate for the region, what is one ship so far from home really going to be able to achieve. If we are to build any noticeable and worthwhile precence in the region we need a force at least the size of the New Zealand navy. Something that we simply cannot afford.

    • I think the point would be primarily to project power into the region, even if a single T31 or OPV is only the illusion of power.

      During peaceful times then a single T31 or OPV would be easily sufficient for a presence there. The base should be a permanent base for one or two ships, but should have the capacity and facilities to hold half a dozen or so in times of increased tension or even outright conflict.

      Same as how the Falklands has only 4 Typhoons and a single ship present, but if Argentina ever presented a credible theat again there’d be at least a dozen more Typhoons, an Astute and a T45 destroyer there pretty quickly.

      • while that does sound reasonable. At the end of the day the navy is so stretched that can it really afford a type 31 or even a River to simply wave the flag? Also the crucial difference between the pacific region and the Falklands is that the Falkland’s would escalate gradually. where as the south china sea is much more volatile and any incident could escalate in to a major conflict with the time frame of a week.

        • its still a mystery to me as to what is the economic case is for fortifying FI. They talk of fish, oil and gas but I’m not sure the UK has any real economic benefit or other than fish, these resources have really been exploited

        • Point is it’s better using a T31 to wave the flag than a T26 or T45.

          Rivers and T31s won’t be escorting the main assets the RN has left.

          • I have no issue with type 31 flying the flag, and actually think its more appropriate then the Type 26 or Type 45. But I feel with only one ship there regardless of type, what the point?

          • Hi Harry.

            “What’s the point” ?

            Because Britain has a blue water navy that can and does deploy around the world, is a UNSC P5 member, G8 member, with dependencies and ex pats, allies, and cultural and military links worldwide.

            What is the point of an actor with no parts to show off, an artist who hides his work, or a musician with no means to broadcast his songs?

            And if we don’t, who will? Someone will. Is it Ok for them but not for us I sometimes wonder.
            Certainly it seems for selling arms to Saudi. We stop, lose the business, and someone else happily moves in.

            And why should it matter if it is just 1 vessel? Unless we set off the loony left with their “little Britain” and “Empire” nonsense again, and wish for the UK to withdraw up its own arse, washed by the EU, and never get involved in anything ever again, pure isolationist withdraw from geopolitics completely.

            If we don’t, someone else will.

            Being isolationist and withdrawing from the world does not help Britain’s image.

            It’s been damaged enough as it is by the Iraq debacle by Tony Blair.

            Having non warlike vessels like a River and RFA type ships helping after natural disasters, fighting the drugs trade, or Pirates is a positive image for the military, and helps too to prioritise the best assets for potentially fighting wars, which our professional armed forces are rather good at, given the kit and someone upstairs with the spine to use them when necessary.

            Just my take on things. Certifiable I’m sure.

          • I have no desire to see Britain withdrawal itself. As I said I’d be happy to see a river based in the Caribbean. I’d been even more happier to see a re establishment of an entire British fleet east of suiez. However, what I don’t want to see is a British frigate sink on its own in the south China see, all because some politician wanted to make a social media post about a global Britain. Instead are focuse should be on the Middle East and the threat of Russia. Areas in which we are already highly established and invested in. Also your righting in us having a blue water fleet but it’s no good to us when we can’t pot a carrier group together because are few frigates are spread across the world. Oh and just to make shore you don’t think I’m some fear mongering, anti British remainer, I supported leave.

          • I dont think there is any harm at all in having an upgraded and sensible presence in Caribean. I’m not sure we need one in the far East or that it can’t be supported by RFA’s or by Commonwealth or friendly countries.
            What are we thinking of for the scale of these bases? Better to get a Navy, than too many bases and no ships.

    • Would love to establish a far east fleet!! never gonna happen but one can dream, lets take back Malta while we’re at it 😉
      In seriousness though if we are going to maintain a presence larger than a single frigate and LSS, then we need to think about working with local allies, e.g. Five Eyes-Aussies, Kiwis, Malaysian and Singapore. Then the possibility of a fleet sounds slightly more plausible, however unlikely, lets not forget that the FE Fleet into the 60s was still occupied with a lot of Aussie and Kiwi ships still under British command, a similar situation might emerge in the far future where its user joint control and administration. But lets worry about getting enough assets to fulfil current commitments aye. I dont even know if we could spare a frigate for the far east!

        • In all but name yes! But I’m pretty sure the gulf was the responsibility of the Med fleet and not the Far East fleet! Under Middle East command, I don’t know it changed so much over there years!

  12. I think that there is much that can and should be done with regard to our friends and allies in these areas. In the far east, does it require an additional base or a minor increase in both current locations. I would have thought utilizing current local infrastructure and assisting with improvement where required would be the way to go.
    In the Caribbean it is a different matter. I suggest that the base here is more than presence, but has an eye on disaster relief. If that is the case at least a runway and a port are required at both proposed locations. More than the volcano, the passage of a hurricane could render a base (airfield or port) in either location inoperable for days at a time when it is most needed. Therefore a runway able to take a C17 and a port with berths able to take significant cargo ships is required at both locations. I don’t believe that the port or airport should be exclusive to the UK military, but would be shared with civilian use so that the most could be made of the commercial opportunities for both Monserrat and Guiana. Also any supply of material for construction and building of these facilities should be limited to local or British companies

  13. I see. I guess its just to have something there incase the Argentins start acting like Spain. Also it has come in handy for SAR.

  14. It’s important to note that the new support facility in Bahrain was largely paid for by Bahrain.

    One might assume that any ‘new’ bases built in either the Far East or the Caribbean would follow similar principles, particularly the former.

  15. Britain should establish an eastern fleet based at existing facilities in Dubai, Bahrain and Oman. While we should send forces for taking as far as the South China We should remember we already have a navy and army base in the regio that can support any fleet we whish to send.

    God forbid the UK ever had to fight China but we would win that war very quickly by holding Diego Garcia and blockading China’s supply of middle eastern oil any base closer to the South China Sea than Diego Garcia requires us to outspend China in the region and also pisses off the worlds second biggest economy for little reason.

    • “God forbid the UK ever had to fight China but we would win that war very quickly by holding Diego Garcia and blockading China’s supply of middle eastern oil”

      😂

      Have you been playing hearts of iron by any chance?

    • The UK would need to reinforce its claim to Chagos Archipelago, and overturn Mauritius claim somehow!
      The US presence on Diego Garcia has Not been helpful to UK’s claim to Diego Garcia. The lease of Diego Garcia to the USA was a misguided decision!
      The UK can only really establish a Fleet on UK sovereign territory.

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