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Armed Forces (Bahrain)

Bahrain Defence Force (BDF)

Last modified: 2022-07-23 by ian macdonald
Keywords: bahrain | bahraini | defence force | armed services | bdf | army |
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[Bahraini Defence Force] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022
Flag of the Bahrain Defence Force
قوة دفاع البحرين

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Introduction: Bahraini Defence Force (BDF)

[Bahraini Defence Force Coat of Arms] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022
Bahraini Defence Force Coat of Arms

The Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) is the combined military force of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Bahraini armed services originally came into being after the country's independence from the United Kingdom in 1971. The BDF consists of the Royal Bahrain Air Force, Royal Bahrain Army, Royal Bahrain Navy and the Royal Guard.
The Bahrain Defence Force is under direct command and leadership of a commander-in-chief who holds the rank of field marshal, but operates under the management of the Ministry of Defense Affairs.
A royal appointed Minister of Defence Affairs is responsible for the overall management of the Ministry of Defense Affairs.
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

The combined قوة دفاع البحرين (Bahrain Defense Force) was actually first established in 1968 according to Wikipedia. (source).
Esteban Rivera, 27 June 2022


Bahraini Defence Force
Ceremonial Flag

[Bahraini Defence Force Flag - Ceremonial] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

This is a ceremonial version of the Bahrain Defence Force flag, obviously intended for indoor use. (The gold fringe would not fair well in the wind)
It has an addition of gold text reading قوة دفاع البحرين (Bahrain Defence Force) beneath the emblem on the fly.
Pete Loeser, 26 June 2022

The inscription in Arabic below actually reads القيادة العامة (General Command, meaning General Staff), and most likely this is a rank flag for the Chief of Staff.
Esteban Rivera, 27 June 2022


Discussion: Bahraini Armed Forces Flag
Headquarter's Flag?

[Armed Forces (Bahrain)] image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 March 2011
modified by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 6 March 2012

Yesterday evening in Tagesschau (German TV news) I spotted this flag when a spokesman of the armed forces gave an interview. It is a green flag fringed golden. In its centre is a shield with the colours of Bahrain superimposed over two crossed golden scimitars and a silver trapezium divided into four parts by horizontal lines, which might display a pair of wings. The shield is topped by the local crown.
The ratio is unknown, therefore I chose standard ratio of Bahraini flags according to our pages. This has to be the reverse, so it is not sure that the obverse is the same.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 17 March 2011

I spotted several images of what seems to be the Coat of Arms of the Royal Bahrain Army.
- 1. This image found on CNTV website.
- 2. This image on found on flicker.
Esteban Rivera, 17 March 2011

These are a different emblem from the one on the flag in Klaus-Michael's screen shot - with a golden wreath and without the wings.
Eugene Ipavec, 06 March 2012

[Bahraini Defence Force] speculative image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

I beleive that Eugene was referring to the Bahraini Defence Force Coat of Arms placed on the fly. Based on this, a variant of the Bahraini Defence Force flag using the Coat of Arms on the fly might look like this.
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022


Royal Bahraini Army (RBA)

[Bahraini Royal Army] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

The Bahrain Royal Army was formed in 1977 and is part of the Bahrain Defense Force. It has a mix of equipment purchased beginning in the 1970s that has continued as they modernize their army's equipment. Bahraini ground troops took part in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in the Yemeni Civil War and have been involved in the Gulf Wars.
Pete Loeser, 31 May 2022


Royal Guard of Bahrain (RBA)

[Royal Guard of Bahrain] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

"The Royal Guard (الحرس الملكي) of Bahrain is a unit of the Bahrain Defence Force. Opposition political leader Ali Salman claimed in 2009 that "no Shi'ites have been recruited to work in the Royal Guard even though they make up over half of the population."
In June 2011, King Hamad appointed his 24-year-old son Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa as the commander of the Royal Guard." (Wikipedia: Royal Guard (Bahrain)).
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022


Royal Bahraini Army Unit Flag
Unidentified Unit or Command Flags

[Unidentified Bahraini Royal Army Unit] speculative image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022
Image based on this photo.

This (at present) unidentified flag shown in the referenced photo is displayed across the front of a modified Bahraini Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) that was most likely used as the unit command vehicle. (Source: Manama Post)
The handles on the crossed sabers are strangely enlarged and almost transparent. They appear to be modeled after a rolled up scroll.
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

[Unidentified Bahraini Royal Army Unit] speculative image by Pete Loeser, 18 July 2022
Image based on this photo located by Esteban Rivera, 27 June 2022

This variant of the flag has a double inscription in Arabic both, above and perhaps below the crossed knives and is another ceremonial flag (judging from the golden bordering, for indoor use).
Esteban Rivera, 27 June 2022


Royal Bahrain Air Force (RBAF)
formerly the Bahrain Amiri Air Force (BAAF)

[Bahraini Royal Air Force] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

The Bahrain Amiri Air Force was formed in 1977 as the Bahrain Defense Force Air Wing (so say Cochrane and Ellison [c2e98]; another source says 1976). Also according to Cochrane and Ellison, until 1985 it used only a national flag as fin flash, but since 1985 has added a roundel, probably since they got their first jet fighters in December 1985. It got its current [as of the time this was written – Ed.] name in 1987.
Dov Gutterman, 11 Jun 2004

The Royal Bahraini Air Force (سلاح الجو الملكي البحريني), or RBAF, is the aerial "warfare" branch of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF). It was formerly known as Bahrain Amiri Air Force when formed as the BDF Air Wing in 1977. Its first combat operations were conducted during the First Gulf War. In 2002, when the Bahrain changed from an emirate to a kingdom, they renamed all the Bahraini Armed Forces and the old BAAF became the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF).
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022


Bahraini Air Force Roundel

[Roundel (Bahrain)] image by Željko Heimer

Roundel of four concentric disks red-white-red-white, the outer red ring being the double width of the next two being of equal width.
Source: Album des Pavillons, [pay00]
Željko Heimer, date unknown

Cochrane and Ellison show show the roundel as two red rings of the same width on a white circle, and the fin flash as the national flag bordered in red. The image above, based on Album des Pavillons 2000 [pay00] shows a thinner inner ring.
Various online photographs of Bahraini aircraft show that the Album's report is the correct one. One photo also shows a gold border around the roundel and the fin flash, which is a representation of the national flag but with dividing straight line (without the "teeth"). It also shows no red border to the fin flash.
Dov Gutterman, 11 June 2004


Bahraini Air Force Logo/Emblem/Shield

[Bahraini Royal Air Force Emblem] image located by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

This is the shield and emblem currently used by the Bahraini Royal Air Force as their logo.
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022


Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF)

[Royal Bahrain Naval Force] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

The Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) was formed after independence was granted by the United Kingdom in 1971 and today is the maritime branch of the Bahrain Defence Force. The small well trained navy consists of seven combat vessels, 31 patrol craft, 10 landing ships and about 800 personnel. It is based at Mina Salman Naval Base. The flagship of the naval force is the RBNS Sabha, an American-built missile frigate given to them by the United States as a gift in 1996. The RBNF saw service in both the Invasion of Kuwait and the Gulf War.
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022


Royal Bahraini Coast Guard (RBCG)

[Royal Bahraini Coast Guard]      [Royal Bahraini Coast Guard variant] images by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

The Royal Bahrain Coast Guard (RBCG) was formed in 1977 as part of the Bahrain Defense Force. It is responsible for monitoring naval shipments into and out of Bahrain. Today much of this involves terrorist related activities and seizures of explosives, weapons and arrests.
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022


Bahraini Royal Medical Services Flag

[Bahraini Defence Force: Royal Medical Services Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022

The Bahrain Royal Medical Services (BRMS) is also part of of the Bahrain Defense Force. The BRMS runs one of the major military hospitals in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital. It is the only hospital where free health care is provided exclusively for non-civilians in the country.
Pete Loeser, 25 May 2022