The United States and Bahrain are working collectively toward the common goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East. Bahrain is also a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues and a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The United States works with Bahrain and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to increase cooperation on border security, maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism. The access, basing, and overflight privileges granted by Bahrain facilitate U.S. operations against al Qa’ida and its regional and global affiliates.
Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and its logistical and operational support enables the United States to lead a 30-nation military coalition to counter piracy and terrorism and help maintain the free flow of commerce and energy resources through the Strait of Hormuz.
The U.S. has $5.8 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Bahrain under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS sales notified to Congress are listed here, and recent and significant prior sales include: Refurbishment of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class Ship, Ex Robert G. Bradley, Patriot missile defense systems, F-16 aircraft upgrades and support, AH-1Z attack helicopters, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, 35 Meter Fast Patrol Boats, and TOW missiles.
Since 2014, the U.S. has also authorized the permanent export of over $452 million in defense articles to Bahrain via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Bahrain include: gas turbine engines, military electronics, and warship/other combatant vehicles. During this time, the Department closed 6 Blue Lantern end use monitoring checks in Bahrain.
Since 2002, Bahrain has been designated as a Major Non-NATO Ally, which provides a number of benefits reserved to North Atlantic Treaty Organization and allied nations, including potential participation in cooperative Research and Development, priority delivery for Excess Defense Articles (EDA), and reciprocally-funded cooperative training. Since 2014, Bahrain has received M198 Howitzers, MRAPs, and the Mk V Special Operations Craft, via the EDA program.
Since 2014, the U.S. has provided Bahrain with $22.5 million in Foreign Military Financing and $28.423 million in DoD military grant assistance to provide Bahrain with the equipment and training it needs to provide for its own defense and to operate effectively alongside U.S. air and naval forces. U.S. assistance has also strengthened Bahrain’s interoperability for regional security and counterterrorism cooperation, boosted its maritime defenses against smuggling and terrorism, and improved its ability to deny terrorist sponsorship, support, and sanctuary in a manner that respects the human rights of its citizens.
Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has provided Bahrain with $2.432 million for International Military Education and Training (IMET). Over 866 members of the Bahrain Armed Forces have received training in the United States, including 30 members in FY 2018. IMET provides professional military education and training to military students and is key to establishing lasting relationships with future leaders. IMET courses increase military professionalization, enhance interoperability with U.S. forces, offer instruction on the law of armed conflict and human rights, provide technical and operational training, and create a deeper understanding of the United States.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.