30 April 2018
After two years of supporting the UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain, we are proud to have finally witnessed its grand opening in Mina Salman, hosted by the Royal Navy on 5th April.
Andrew Fortherby, Divisional Director at WYG, and Anthony Gardiner, Associate Director of Project Management, joined VIPs, military, and civilian guests at the official ceremony for the £40m facility.
Following our 2016 appointment, we provided project management services to Joint Force Command, supervising the facility build. It will serve as a hub for the Royal Navy’s operations in the Gulf, Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, gave the facility his seal of approval when he officially unveiled the base with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. General Sir Chris Deverell, commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, also attended the opening.
Since the ground-breaking ceremony in 2015, Anthony and Kenny Bickerstaff, Director at WYG, have supported the Bahrain Defence Force design team onsite, advising on MoD and UK regulations and standards. Throughout this process, Kenny and Tony looped information back to the client on the design and what the UK would need to deliver during construction.
To develop the new naval facility’s requirements, Hannah Hemmingway, WYG Associate, joined the in-country team to support Royal Navy Commander, Gavin Marshall. This included stakeholder engagement at tri-service level and other governmental bodies both in Bahrain and the UK.
We’re also thankful for our structural engineering colleagues led by Peter Watson, Director at WYG, and our project managers, Daniel Cavanagh and Nigel Blackburn, who provided further support.
Gifted to the United Kingdom by His Majesty the King of Bahrain, the facility will act as a supporting hub for the Royal Navy’s operations in the Gulf, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean. This facility will also enhance the UK’s presence in the region, allowing longer-term deployments in the Gulf, and ensuring Britain’s sustained presence east of Suez.
The Royal Highnesses, joined by international senior military and civilian guests, toured the UK NSF welfare building, including the gymnasium, games room, cinema, café, and dining facility. They also met sailors, soldiers, airmen, and civilian staff from the UK working in Bahrain as part of Operation Kipion and the wider support units in the Gulf.
The facility will provide secure berthing and support facilities for Royal Navy and coalition vessels, as well as modern accommodation with sport and recreational services for up to 500 people.
Andrew Fotherby said:
“We are honoured to have both the Royal Highnesses here to mark this important occasion, a reflection on the significance of this project. It has been a collaboration between many different partners, both Bahraini and British, who have contributed to the design and build of the facility here at Mina Salman.”
“It has been a long 4-year project, but it is great to see the fruits of our labour now that the military and civilian personnel have moved into the accommodation at UK NSF and are enjoying the plethora of facilities available to them.”