Bahrain to join U.S.-led military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran and Yemen

During the visit of the Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to the Bahraini capital Manama on Monday, August 2019, Bahrain has announced that it will join the U.S.-led military coalition to provide safe passage for shipping around the Persian Gulf and Yemen.

Bahrain to join U.S. led military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran and Yemen 925 001 Al-Manama class Lürssen FPB 62 Guided-Missile Patrol Combatant of Bahrain Royal Navy. (Picture source Navy Recognition)

The Bahraini government said in a statement that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa assured McKenzie of his country’s participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy in the region.

On July 2019, the United States has announced a plan to create a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. The United States will lead this coalition providing the United States would provide command ships and lead surveillance efforts for the military coalition. Allies would patrol waters near those U.S. command ships and escort commercial vessels with their nation’s flags.

Bahrain will be the first Arabic country to join the force. The Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) (previously known as Bahrain Defense Force, Naval Branch) is the maritime branch of the Bahrain Defense Force. The current Commander of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force is Commodore Mohammed Yousif Alasam. The navy consists of 7 combat vessels, 31 patrol craft, 10 landing ships and over 700 personnel. The Fleet is based at Mina Sulman Naval Base and has a flight wing which can operate off the corvettes, consisting of two MBB BO-105 helicopters.