By ANDREW CHUTER
LONDON — Britain is adding new headquarters and engineering buildings in Bahrain to better support its growing Arabian Gulf operations.
Tucked away on the large US base that houses the 5th Fleet, the British facilities have failed to keep up with the UK’s burgeoning maritime footprint in the region. As of the start of March, gulf operations account for nearly one-third of all Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels deployed around the globe.
Now a construction firm is preparing to build a larger headquarters for the British UK Maritime Component Command (UKMCC), as well as facilities to provide engineering and logistics support for four Royal Navy mine countermeasures vessels based in Bahrain.
“The UKMCC headquarters was formed in November 2001, with just eight people. … Today, with a command spanning an area of operations across the entire Middle East, command of 14 ships and aviation assets, a significantly larger and increasingly multi-national and coalition mission, and 41 people in the UK headquarters, the original building is no longer fit for our purpose,” the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) said in a statement released late last month.
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