The UK is to return to its naval base in Bahrain after more than 40 years. The base will serve as the main British hub for operations in the Persian Gulf.
RT reports: Under an agreement with Bahrain, the Royal Navy will be able to deploy ships of larger deadweight and in greater numbers.
The base will become the Royal Navy’s largest center of operations outside the UK.
“This new base is a permanent expansion of the Royal Navy’s footprint and will enable Britain to send more and larger ships to reinforce stability in the Gulf,” British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.
“We will now be based again in the Gulf for the long term,” he said.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid said the deal “reaffirms our joint determination to maintain regional security and stability in the face of challenging circumstances”.
Construction of the new UK Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) complex in Bahrain began in April.
Britain’s Defense Ministry is constructing new facilities at Mina Salman port, the Royal Bahrain Naval Force’s primary military installation used by the British military for over 30 years. Today, Mina Salman serves the base for four British mine-hunter warships.
The work at Mina Salman is due to be completed by mid-2015.
Immediate plans include using the Mina Salman facility in operations against the terrorist Islamic State organization occupying large territories in Iraq and Syria.