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.