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The MoD have outlined basing plans for the British Naval base in Bahrain.

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. The facility will give the UK an enhanced and permanent presence in the region, allowing longer-term deployments in the Gulf.

The arrangement will improve onshore facilities at 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.

The following information comes from this Freedom of Information request response.

“How many ships will be based at Mina Salman following the construction of the new facility, what type of ships will they be and what type of operations will they be expected to conduct?”

The answer was:

“Today there are around half a dozen Royal Navy ships and units deployed in the region and well over 1,200 men and women.

This includes the Mine Counter Measures Force that have been located at the Bahrain facilities since 2003. This force of four Mine Counter Measures vessels, supported by one Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship will continue to be permanently located and supported from the new UK Mina Salman Support Facility (UK MSSF).

The UK MSSF will support all Royal Navy ships that deploy to the region that pass through Bahrain, but it is too early to say what the future scale of the Royal Navy’s deployment to the region will be and whether any further Royal Navy vessels will be permanently located at UK MSSF.”

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, then 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 mine-hunters.

76 COMMENTS

  1. Complete non story this, been mine hunters and Cardigan bay in the gulf for years ! Don’t know why there is such a big deal being made of this “base” in Bahrain. NSA Bahrain is huge and the money the Americans are spending to improve it absolutely dwarfs the so called British base (which will be in the footprint of the port). I mean think about it how much does 15million actually build ?

  2. It’s great that the UK will soon have a permanent in Bahrain. This will enable quicker and less costly deployments, compared to deploying naval assets from mainland Britain. Also with a new “Bahrain Squadron” it means that UK based vessels will be freed up for other deployments.

  3. Possible scenario? Am fairly sure this has been alluded to in the depths of some publication (but which one escapes me at present!).

    MCM’s complement around 45 personnel, Batch 1 River Class OPV around 30 (plus overflow for RM Boarding Parties).

    Batch 1 deploy to the Gulf, all four MCM (plus the Bay class vessel), return to the UK to work back up to their intended roles.

    Batch 1 are crewed as per Echo Class ie, two-thirds on board, third on leave/training. Therefore manning would be around 45 per ship, each of which would be available for 330 days (roughly).

    Where they operate, helicopters will may well deploy from ashore – vastly more effective the MCM’s.

    Your thoughts ladies and gentlemen?

  4. I was stationed at RAF Muharraq 1968 – 70 and lived in Londonderry House, Lane 7, Manama. Remember HMS Jufair and colocated US Navy support element of the 6th Fleet

    • David Anthony Simpson Aircraft Carriers 2 Two not completed no crew,
      Assault Ships 3 Laid up no crew,
      Destroyers 6 Laid up do not like water apparently
      Frigates 13 To old and clapped out some laid up, some don’t work BAE systems again.
      Minesweepers 15 Out looking for mines well four are remainder, no crew, laid up clapped out for the remainder.
      Patrol 6 one in dry dock one in Gib, one in Falklands, one heading for the scrap yard, one looking for ice burgs one in the med looking for immigrants.
      Survey 4 one survey. three dry dock, one no crew,

      Submarines 7 one has hit something and needs repair, one operating,
      4 BMS one on patrol ,one training, one on R& R, one in Dry dock.

      • well done stephen you have just demonstrated how little you no about the royal navy, its size, or its current deployments. you should work for the daily fail as there defence correspondent. current deployments are on their website for god sake including most of your ships that are clapped out or have no crew. google is your friend. now i no your reply will be along the lines of you are a serving member or that your mates bogs uncle is. i however do not believe you with your comment so dont bother.

  5. We need to protect our SLOCs and basing these in Bahrain to keep the straits of Hormuz is a correct decision.Iran is still a rogue state and can close the straits by mining.Over 70% of our oil resources come from the middle east so they need to be protected.Is the English channel suddenly going to be in danger of being mined,NO

  6. Well done to the armchair Admirals, good to see your at it again, yes… the best use of Multi-million pound MINESWEEPER is to patrol the English Channel, pure sense that cos we don’t need any naval vessels near one of the most strategic choke points the world!

  7. Not sure how they calculate 5. 4 minehunters to help keep the straits open and ensure oil supply but you won’t need a RFA now with the shore facilities. I can understand the logic of a frigate as force protection but the announcement doesn’t actually say one will be there.

    • So when the minesweeper crews cant be bothered to go out on patrol or are u/s which is normal! Who else is going to do them apart from the RFA, which has been the norm for a good number of years including the anti piracy and counter narcotics patrols. Who needs the navy when you have ships and crews of the RFA who know how to do the job properly and successfully.

  8. Old news really. There’s been an MCM presence in Bahrain for years now – with HMS Juffair being resurrected it’s being made official. I’m not long back from yet another tour on small ships.

  9. Got to love the arm chair warriors. Who fail to understand we could the greatest navy on earth but with out fuel can’t sail and fail to understand where the fuel comes from. Try clearing the straights of Dover when you have no fuel. An enemy would try and prevent you from fighting back and stop the fuel would do this.

  10. Nuts. I believe the last time the Russians parked a cruiser in the Cromarty firth it took a day or so for the RN to get a vessel up from the south ( this was only a year ago approx). And what about the Falklands!!! Respect to the men and women of the RN but wtf are the politicians playing at!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Submarines and aircraft were on scene before the vessel arrived, a surface ship isn’t really much use. The sending of surface vessels is usually a good will effort.

      As for the Falklands, what about them? What’s the issue?

  11. My point is that surface vessels around our island, like in the past, act as a deteran. That ship would not have ventured in as close. Yes subs were probably in attendance. Yes aircraft from Lossiemouth would have been making themselves visible but the Russians were still there. A surface vessel in the area may have been enough to keep the Russian vessel further out. They may only have been out to annoy us but it was embarrassing for us.

    As for the Falklands. The Argentinians will always be interested in claiming them. Regardless of improvements in logistics, C17s for example, we do not have the surface fleet required if there is ever another war. Shore bombardments, ship based air operations and protection of supply vessels, as examples, would be very difficult to provide.

    Will the Falklands be invaded again, who knows but it will be a tough ask to defend themselves should it happen. In 82 we had a far bigger surface fleet, even then the RN had to delay the sale of Hermes. Now we don’t even have 1 fully equipped carrier.

    Our wars may have changed and focus drawn from the sea but they can change back, Britain and her armed forces are not in a position to properly defend our interests which is a sad state of affairs.

    Surely these ships could be put to better use in home waters.

  12. All these replies have so far been posted by what appear to be young people or ones with no knowledge of history of the region and of HMS Jufair
    Unfortunately there are no photo posting facilities on these pages. I’m not sure of the full history of HM Jufair; but it may well go back to WWII or earlier, it is certainly older than many writers here think. I was stationed at RAF Muharraq in 1968/69 and Jufair was an active Base then with RN minesweepers station there and numerous RN, NATO and other Treaty ships visiting regularly.

  13. You can’t get HMS Queen Elizabeth alongside in Mina Salman she will be too big. The Yank carriers go alongside in the relatively new Khalifa Bin Salman commercial port – a good distance from down town Manama and Jufair

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