New permanent base in Bahrain

#41
If we judge every country by the standards of the Guardian sneering mastabatori elite, we'd never talk to anyone.

If you want to be listened to in the Middle East, get inside the tent, be trusted, be friendly and be the person that can whisper discretely 'have you thought about doing something slightly differently' - shouting loudly, making people look bad in a culture where pride and station dominates anything else is a surefire way to be ignored.

Bahrain has been a friend of the UK for 200 years, they are VERY good to us, and we get a great deal in strategic access and value. There are ways and means to have challenging conversations, but suddenly refusing to talk to your friends and pompously preaching human rights isn't the way to do it if you want to effect real change.
Totally agree with you. But at the same time, it seems the "friends" we would like to be with, generally speaking are all wealthy. Co-incidentally.
 
#42
Totally agree with you. But at the same time, it seems the "friends" we would like to be with, generally speaking are all wealthy. Co-incidentally.
Their wealth is only important to them. If we need a "strategic" base there then having a friendly relationship is more important, how much wealth they have is not.
 
#43
So does this mean that the Ships now essentially stay in the region full time, and a replacement crew is flown out to take over (in whole or in part) - rather than leaving home port and nipping in for several runs ashore on the way there and back?

Would seem like a more sensible utilisation of resources if this was the case, no?
 
#44
So does this mean that the Ships now essentially stay in the region full time, and a replacement crew is flown out to take over (in whole or in part) - rather than leaving home port and nipping in for several runs ashore on the way there and back?

Would seem like a more sensible utilisation of resources if this was the case, no?
We have been doing that with the mine hunters there for years (and the RFAs for decades ;-)) this just means we have "British" real estate for HQs, storage and accom as apposed to borrowing\renting from the US and Bahrainians.

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#45
In the Sixties, HMS Jufair was also home to the Amphibious Warfare Squadron consisting of a Headquarters ship (HMS Meon, the forerunner to the Assault ships, Intrepid and Fearless) and a collection of LSTs and LCTs. There was a tank squadron (5 Innis DG at one time) whose tanks stayed aboard the LSTs apart from Amphibious Landing exercises on other islands in the Gulf together with the PARA on rotation to Bahrain. The RE also had their Beach Troop stationed there.

And me, I was there then working Joint Comms....64/65. HMS Jufair ran up the Union Flag and played a bugle, woe betide you if Jimmy the one caught you moving and not saluting whilst stood to attention.
 
#46
So does this mean that the Ships now essentially stay in the region full time, and a replacement crew is flown out to take over (in whole or in part) - rather than leaving home port and nipping in for several runs ashore on the way there and back?

Would seem like a more sensible utilisation of resources if this was the case, no?
Minehunters/MCMVs have a slow transit speed and small crews so it works for them, but not for larger ships with larger complements.

There is something to be said for a ship's company having ownership of their ship and any problems not develop - and not leaving them for a relief crew in x months time. Also exercises and port visits are part of a ships role....
 
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#47
Ex-HMS YARNTON Sparker ("Bleep") here. YARNTON belonged to 9 Mine Counter Measure Squadron based at HMS JUFAIR, Bahrein. Following an early-70s (?) refit at Singapore, she was based at Hong Kong. My next draft was HMS INTREPID, which Commander British Forces Gulf embarked, and "assisted" the British pull-out from the Gulf.

USS DAHLGREN (known to us as the "Great White Whale") was the U.S.N. vessel during my time. We exchanged visitors regularly, they for our tots of rum and we for their steaks, ice-cream and Zippo lighters.
Smallish world, I was part of the last crew on Yarnton out in HK

This base is a good move, we are going to be in the region for the long run, even if it's only as an advisory capacity and mine clearance, keeping the sea lanes clear role. The Beeb and Guardinistas are fools who have no insight.
And me, I was there then working Joint Comms....64/65. HMS Jufair ran up the Union Flag and played a bugle, woe betide you if Jimmy the one caught you moving and not saluting whilst stood to attention.
The expanded UK Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) complex in the Juffair district of Bahrain, comprising a new headquarters and an engineering and logistics facility for the in-theatre Forward Support Unit, was actually opened on 15 June this year. One assumes the previous spelling of HMS Jufair will be used in accordance with Royal Navy custom and precedent.

The article describes the establishment at Juffair as Britain's first new permanent military base in the Middle East since 1971. However, the UK has maintained a continuous MCM presence in the Gulf since the arrival of HMS Ramsey and HMS Blyth in Bahrain in 2006 with ships subsequently staying in-theatre for three years while ships' companies rotate back to the UK every 6-8 months or so.

The previous HMS Jufair, commissioned on 7 November 1955, was home to the 9th Minesweeper Squadron (9th MSS) of TON class minesweepers from January 1963. In 1966, the Squadron was renamed the 9th Mine Countemeasures Squadron (9th MCMS) to reflect the inclusion of TON class minehunters and it was finally disbanded in August 1971. Following a UN referendum and Bahrain's declaration of independence from the UK, HMS Jufair was decommissioned on 15 December 1971 and was adopted by the US Navy, first as the Administrative Support Unit Bahrain and then as Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

The Royal Navy has ties with Bahrain going back 200 years and has maintained a permanent presence in the Gulf for the past 30 years. However, its role in the region has mushroomed since 2001 when it established its first headquarters in Bahrain since the previous HMS Jufair. In 2001 the effort was supported by a staff of eight. UKMCC now numbers more than 80 men and women and they have outgrown their former building.

The 'dhow' funnel badge for RN MCMVs based at Bahrain was resurrected in an amended form in August 2013.

Gulf funnel badge unveiling 21 Aug 2013 med.jpg

These are the comings and goings of the TON class MCMVs of the 9th MSS and 9th MCMS that wore the badge in its previous forms:

1964 - APPLETON, FLOCKTON, CHILCOMPTON and KEMERTON.

1965 - APPLETON, CHILCOMPTON and FLOCKTON were decommissioned during 1965 and placed in Care and Maintenance in Gibraltar. They were replaced by HM Ships CHAWTON, BURNASTON and BEACHAMPTON respectively.

HM Ships CALTON and CARHAMPTON were commissioned from the Aden Reserve for the Aden Patrol in January and assigned to the 9th MSS but remained in Aden. CARHAMPTON had a very short operational life – returned to reserve in April!

1966 - BEACHAMPTON, BURNASTON, CALTON (decommissioned in the UK in May), CHAWTON, KEMERTON (returned to the UK and decommissioned in September), PUNCHESTON, WISTON and YARNTON.

1967 - BEACHAMPTON, BURNASTON and CHAWTON (both refitted at Gibraltar from May and sailing in company for Bahrain in December), PUNCHESTON, WISTON and YARNTON. APPLETON recommissioned at Gibraltar in February and thence to the Aden Patrol.

1968 - APPLETON, BEACHAMPTON, BRERETON and BRINTON (both commissioned at Portsmouth in December), BURNASTON, CHAWTON, GAVINTON (commissioned at Portsmouth in December), PUNCHESTON, WISTON and YARNTON.

1969 - APPLETON, BURNASTON AND CHAWTON (all three sailed from Bahrain in January), BEACHAMPTON, BRERETON, BRINTON, GAVINTON, PUNCHESTON, WISTON and YARNTON.

1970 - BEACHAMPTON, BRERETON, BRINTON, GAVINTON, PUNCHESTON, WISTON and YARNTON.​

During 1971, Bahrain became independent in August, Qatar in September and the Trucial States in December. Bahrain and Qatar remained as independent countries but the Trucial States formed the United Arab Emirates. The reason for the squadron’s existence having come to an end, it disbanded on 9 August 1971.

BEACHAMPTON and YARNTON sailed from Bahrain for Hong Kong on 13 August 1971. PUNCHESTON sailed for the UK and WISTON for Gibraltar on 5 September 1971. Finally, BRERETON, BRINTON and GAVINTON sailed for Gibraltar on 2 October 1971.
 
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