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Muharraq Airfield, Bahrain

Bahrain is the hub logistics site in the NAVCENT AOR for distributing all passengers and cargo and mail originating in CONUS. It is served by AMC for cargo and CAT-B missions coming from the east coast via the Mediterranean. Full transient services are available to personnel arriving in Bahrain.

Muharraq Airfield, Bahrain is a military compound within civil airfield adjacent to Al Manamah, the principal city in Bahrain. Navy Patrol Squadrons operate P-3 Orion aircraft from permanent detachment sites in Manama, Bahrain; Masirah, Oman; Kadena, Okinawa and Diego Garcia. Three UC-12M are assigned to NSA Bahrain as the primary logistical asset for light cargo & passenger transport in FIFTHFLT AOR. The aircraft also provide VIP transportation in AOR.

As of March 2000, RAF aircraft based at Bahrain is one VC-10 airborne tanker, crewed permanently by 101 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton. Total detachment strength is 36 personnel. The role of the tanker is to support Tornado F Mk 3 operations from PSAB, to allow sufficient flying time within Iraqi airspace to escort coalition patrols. VC-10 also supports US Naval Aircraft, both carrier and shore-based, which use the same air-to-air refuelling system. The possible move of military assets from Muharraq to Sheik Isa Airbase, a military airbase at the south end of Bahrain, will not take place in short to medium term. Development of Sheik Isa Airbase to standard required for large aircraft operations will take up to three years.

As of September 2002, Operation Resinate South [the UK component of Operation Southern Watch], consisted of Tornado GR4s based at Ali Al Salem in Kuwait crewed by No. 12 Squadron and Tornado F3s of No. 43 Squadron in Saudi Arabia. Both detachments are supported by Tristar tankers of No. 216 Squadron which operate from Bahrain. A RAF Regiment Field Squadron and a Survive to Operate HQ are also deployed in the region.

Bahrain International Airport's ultra-modern new terminal is one of the busiest in the Gulf. Approximately 22 carriers serve Bahrain with connections to other Middle Eastern destinations, Europe, Africa, and the Far East. There are no direct flights between Bahrain and North or South America. Expansion of the airport's facilities took place in the early eighties as a prelude to the major expansion and refurbishment program that was completed in March 1994. The new US$100 million terminal was innaugurated in 1994 and this expanded the handling capacity of the airport to 10 million passengers a year.



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