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Bahrain Royal Navy (BRN)
Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF)
Bahraini Royal Naval Force

The Royal Bahrain Navy (RBN) (variously known in the past as Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF), Bahrain Defense Force, Naval Branch or the Royal Bahrain Navy (RBN)), is the maritime branch of the Bahrain Defense Force. Until 1979, when its first fast-attack craft were ordered from the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), Bahrain's maritime force was a coast guard under the supervision of the minister of interior. As of 1992, the navy was equipped with two Lürssen sixty-two-meter corvettes. One Dauphin helicopter armed with an antiship missile has been delivered for use with the corvettes. The navy also had in its inventory four forty-five- meter Lürssen fast-attack craft and two thirty-eight-meter craft. The coast guard operated a variety of patrol craft, as well as three landing craft and a Hovercraft.

By 2010 the Royal Bahraini Navy consisted of approximately 700 personnel and maintains a frigate, corvettes, patrol and coastal combatants, and amphibious craft in its arsenal. Bahrain lacks mine warfare capabilities but is an effective fighting force against smuggling, for a minimal amount of time, as well as protecting fishery. Its sole naval base is located at Mina Sulman and it relies on the Royal Navy as well as the GCC states for training purposes. Of significant importance to Bahrain is its sole former U.S. Navy frigate, which it has possessed since 1997. The Royal Bahrain Navy includes a number of modern transport vessels in addition to the sailing training ship (Budaiya).

Since the beginning of history, the men of this land have been associated with the sea, whcich became a life that provides livelihood and work. The geographical nature and strategic location of Bahrain was at the same time a strong basis for the establishment of a close relationship between the people of Bahrain and the coast of the sea and the sea. In defense of their safe land and prosperous civilization.

Preliminary studies that had taken place at the beginning of the formation of the Bahrain Defense Force proved the imperative of finding an effective naval weapon, with a high degree of efficiency and competence, to perform its duties to the fullest; to maintain the security and safety of the homeland. The first step was to prepare qualified national cadres: officers, engineers, administrators and technicians by sending the first batch of these cadres in 1974 to study various marine specialties.

Based on the fruitful and constructive cooperation between the Bahrain Defense Force and the friendly coalition forces in the field of defense and military coordination in order to serve the issues of security and stability in the region, the Royal Bahraini Navy has been given the responsibility of leading the Joint Task Force (152) from the Central Naval Forces (Fifth Fleet). This is a precedent for the Kingdom of Bahrain represented by the Royal Bahrain Navy, as it is the first Arab country to be mandated by the Joint Task Force (152) of the International Coalition Forces under the umbrella of the United Nations operating in the center and south of the Arabian Gulf.

From 4 March through 5 June 2008, the Commander of the Royal Bahrain Navy (RBN), Brigadier Al Mansoori, took command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152, the coalition maritime force that patrols the central and southern Arabian Gulf. This was the first time a Gulf state commanded a coalition naval operation, and Brigadier Al Mansoori's role may inspire others in the Gulf to take a turn in command of a CTF as well. The RBN would welcome an opportunity to command this task force again.

Under Al Mansoori's command, CTF 152 fostered positive relationships with local mariners by conducting more than 300 Interaction Patrols. Combined forces informed local mariners of the coalition's presence, commitment to maritime security, built a network of mutual trust and respect between regional navies and the mariners who use the Persian Gulf and conducted bilateral and multinational exercises with coalition partners.

Al Mansoori also led one operation and two exercises during his command of CTF 152. Operation Stake Net focused on protecting key economic infrastructure in the central and southern Persian Gulf, while Exercise Goalkeeper II and III helped the coalition improve interoperability while enhancing regional security and keeping the sea lanes open for the vital flow of commerce throughout the region. Al Mansoori said being a part of the coalition was important, because maritime security is a significant responsibility. "MSO is not a single country's mission, and no country can single-handedly achieve the goal of these operations," he said. "That's why we are joining our friendly navies in this imperative task."

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead, on behalf of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, presented Royal Bahrain Navy Brig. Gen. Abdulla Saeed Al Mansoori with the Legion of Merit at an awards ceremony at Bahraini Naval headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, 23 August 2009. Al Mansoori received the award in recognition of his leadership of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152, which marked the first time a Gulf nation commanded a coalition task force. Al Mansoori commanded CTF 152 from March to June 2008. "General Abdulah's strategic vision and exceptional spirit of cooperation greatly enhanced teamwork and trust between the navies of the United States and Bahrain by enhancing and standardizing interoperability during a period of increasingly complex security challenges," said the official award citation signed by Gates. "General Abdullah's leadership and determined efforts to significantly invest in Bahrain's naval relationship with the United States has bolstered regional maritime security through his keen understanding of the use of seapower as an instrument of world peace."

The Government of Bahrain is concerned about its vulnerability to maritime threats such as drug trafficking, terrorism and subversion. Enhancing coastal defense and maritime security is a priority second only to missile defense. The Ministry of Interior has embarked on an ambitious program to enhance the counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics capabilities of its Coast Guard Special Units.

The Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) took part in the Joint GCC Navy Exercise, "Solidarity 14", which concluded in Saudi Arabia. Warships from GCC countries' naval forces participated in the joint mobilization drill which kicked off on October 6th and ran until October 16th, 2011.

On 20 November 2012 His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Deputy of His Majesty the King and Crown Prince, praised the key role played by the Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) in safeguarding the kingdom's territorial waters and effective participation in efforts to maintain security and stability in the Arabian Gulf. This came as the Deputy King paid a visit to the headquarters of RBNF where he was welcomed on arrival by the Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, RBNF Commander and a number of its senior officers. HRH Crown Prince hailed RBNF's continuous development, as well as its affiliates' preparedness, dedication and readiness to defend the homeland. Advisor at HRH Crown Prince's Court for Political and Economic Affairs Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Head of the HRH Crown Prince's Court Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij Al Khalifa and RBNF Commander Commodore Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa accompanied HRH Crown Prince.

The role of the Royal Bahrain Navy has been highlighted by its participation in the international effort to secure the maritime trade line, and the escort of merchant ships to and from the territorial waters of Kuwait after the liberation war, to confirm the close brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries.

Thus, the march of the Bahraini Royal Navy continues in all its vigor, in which the workers derive their will from God Almighty, and officials who spare no effort in developing their capabilities, and provide every modern and new weapon to assume the pride and love of this giving country, and the patron of his renaissance and leader of his career Hazrat Sahib. His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King and the Supreme Commander.

Bahrain wants to remain the U.S. Navy's base in the region and will do whatever it can for the Navy. In 2006 Defense Minister Shaikh Khalifa referred to Bahrain as the US naval forces' home town for the past 50 years, characterizing the US Naval presence as a stabilizing force given unpredictable neighbors like Iran. He spoke positively of the current relationship, highlighting Bahraini participation in Combined Task Forces 150 and 152 operating in the region. The U.S. and Bahrain had stood together in the face of threats over the years, including containing the Soviet Union in the Gulf region (the war in South Yemen), Nasser's pan-Arabist expansionism, and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

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Page last modified: 31-10-2019 16:49:55 ZULU