The Foreign Secretary attended a ground-breaking ceremony in Bahrain to start the construction of a new Royal Navy facility.
The base, HMS Juffair, at Mina Salman Port will play a central role in the Royal Navy’s ability to operate in the region, and reaffirms the UK’s determination to work with Bahrain to maintain security and stability in the Gulf.
This facility will give the UK an enhanced and permanent presence in the region, allowing longer-term deployments in the Gulf.
The deal for the base was signed at the Manama Dialogue event hosted by the IISS in Bahrain earlier this year and will see the Royal Navy get a £15m base of its own in the Gulf.
The arrangement will improve onshore facilities at the Bahrain Defence Force Mina Salman Port in Bahrain, the UK is planning to bolster the existing facilities at the Port in order to provide the Royal Navy with a forward operating base and a place to plan, store equipment for naval operations and accommodate Royal Navy personnel.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
“The beginning of construction work at Mina Salman Port marks a watershed moment in the UK’s commitment to the region. The presence of the Royal Navy in Bahrain is guaranteed into the future, ensuring Britain’s sustained presence east of Suez. The new facility will enable Britain to work with our allies to reinforce stability in the Gulf and beyond.”
Commander Joint Forces Command, General Sir Richard Barrons KCB CBE ADC, said:
“This is a reflection of the continued cooperation and engagement between the Bahrain Defence Forces and the UK Armed Forces. We welcome the continued support from Bahrain which enables the Royal Navy to operate in the Gulf region.”
The base is expected to be able to host the Queen Elizabeth class and Type 45 destroyers as well as frigates and minehunters.