- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 4, 2013

The U.S. Navy deployed three more patrol ships to Bahrain to boost up its presence in the Gulf region.

“Having additional [patrol coastal ships] here in Bahrain will give us incredible flexibility in the Fifth Fleet area of operations since they are uniquely capable of operating in this dynamic environment,” said Vice Admiral John Miller, the commander of U.S. naval forces for Central Command, Agence France-Presse reported.

Central Command is in charge of military operations in the Middle East.

Deployed to Bahrain are the USS Tempest, the USS Squall and the USS Thunderbolt. They arrived Wednesday and joined the ranks of five other patrol ships at the station.

The ships are small and highly navigable in the shallow waters of the Strait of Hormuz. They span 79 feet in length and can be armed with 25 mm cannons as well as .50 caliber machine guns. By 2014, the Navy says a full fleet of 10 patrol ships will be permanently stationed in Bahrain, AFP reported.

The Navy has also sent in additional mine sweepers to the station, AFP said.

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