Chief of US Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert confirmed plans to expand footprint in Bahrain.
“Construction is now underway to build more infrastructure and capacity to support the additional units on the base, which is home to the U.S. 5th Fleet”, he said in an interview for Stars and Stripes the official newspaper of the US Armed Forces.
“Besides new equipment, more crew and families will be coming to Bahrain,” he added.
He described a plan to bring two more coastal patrol ships to the island nation in the spring, along with a long-term proposal to port littoral combat ships, which could replace the current fleet of minesweepers that operate here.
The first littoral combat ships are expected to arrive in Bahrain in 2018 with rotational crews, he said, commending the facilities provided by the Kingdom of Bahrain for US sailors and their families.
Greenert stressed Bahrain’s key role in the service’s Middle East presence, telling sailors that the base here would continue to be its “centerpiece.” He said there is “no really good plan B … compared to what we have.”
US Navy Chief Adm. Greenert said that he met Minister of State for Defence Affairs Lieutenant-General Dr. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa on his visit to Bahrain, lauding strong bilateral relations.
Source: Bahrain News Agency - BNA; Photo: US Navy