US to expand military presence in Bahrain base

The U.S. military is present in most Gulf Arab countries in a situation that has been controversial.

US to expand military presence in Bahrain base

The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is expanding its facilities at its Bahrain headquarters, taking over additional property at an port for "visiting ships", a spokesman said on Sunday.

"There are no expectations or planning to increase the number of assigned personnel to Bahrain," he said.

The U.S. military is present in most Gulf Arab countries in a situation that has been controversial.

Washington removed personnel from Saudi Arabia in 2003. Commercial operations at Bahrain's Mina Salman port, where the Navy is already operating, ended in April when they were transferred to Bahrain's new Khalifa bin Salman port.

A spokesman for the Fifth Fleet said the U.S. Navy had signed an agreement with Bahrain's government on the lease of 70 acres of waterfront property at Mina Salman in January 2008 and is now finalizing a date to formally occupy the area.

The Fleet has just over one acre at the port and some 42 acres at its base in Bahrain's capital Manama. There are about 3,500 U.S. sailors based in Bahrain, which is the home port for 16 U.S. Navy ships.

The new pier space had already been used by Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower that visited the port May 16.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Haziran 2009, 17:32
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