Britain's New Navy Base in Bahrain Marks Return to East of Suez

(The National-Abu Dhabi) Con Coughlin - Last week's visit to Bahrain by Prince Andrew to mark the official launch of the Royal Navy's base there marks an important sea-change in the British government's attitude towards the security of the Gulf. In 1971, Britain, for reasons of economy, took the strategic decision to withdraw its military forces from east of Suez. The new Royal Navy base in Bahrain is its largest operational base outside the UK. The new facility reclaims ownership of a base Britain enjoyed for decades before handing it over to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. The Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force all continued to make major deployments in the region in support of a variety of military operations, ranging from protecting the Strait of Hormuz during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s to, more recently, the campaign to defeat ISIS. The RAF has a squadron of state-of-the-art Eurofighters on almost permanent standby at the Emirates' Al Minhad airbase to defend and protect the region's air space.

2018-04-13 00:00:00

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