Kingdom of Bahrain
The Kingdom of Bahrain (مملكة البحرين) is an island nation in the Persian Gulf. In antiquity, the island was known as Mishmahig, when it was incorporated into the Persian Empire between the 6th and 3rd centuries BCE. Most of the island's inhabitants were converted to Islam in the 6th century CE. In 1521, Portugal siezed control of the island during an invasion and ruled it for nearly a century under the administration of Persian governors. In 1602, the Europeans were expelled by Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty of Iran, who instituted Shi'a Islam as the state religion. Bahrain has maintained strong relations to Great Britain since the early 19th century.
The Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) consists of the Royal Bahrain Army, Royal Bahrain Air Force, Royal Bahrain Navy and the Royal Bahrain Medical Services. There are approximately 9,000 active duty military personnel in the BDF, as well as the public security forces and the Coast Guard that report to the Ministry of Interior.
Bahrain Camouflage Patterns
- A four-color spot pattern was produced in the UK for Bahrain in the 1970s, incorporating dark brown, olive green & dark green spots on a khaki background. The style of smock is copied from the British 1960 pattern. Due to the heavy weight nature of the smock, it has been theorized this pattern was intended for winter issue.
- A variation of the spot pattern was also produced using five-colors - dark brown, ochre, olive green & dark green on a khaki background. The style of smock was the same. It is unknown when these patterns were phased out of usage, but they may have been worn well into the 1980s.
- There are two additional spot pattern designs know to exist that are likely to have some connection to Bahrain. The shapes of both patterns conform to one another, although one of these is a three color (sparse) design while the other is a four-color design. In one case the extant uniform examples conform fairly exactly to the documented issue British 1960 pattern style provided to Bahrain in the mid-1970s. In the case of the four-color spot pattern, the known samples were copied from the British parachutist smock and tropical combat uniform, so may reflect a slightly later period of issue (e.g. 1980s). Unfortunately there no supporting nomenclature on the extant samples indicating the uniforms were in fact made for the government of Bahrain, and no known photo samples illustrating either pattern in use with the BDF. Although evidence certainly points to the possibility this pattern was at least intended for Bahrain, there is as yet no firm documentation that it was used by that nation or any other.
- It is apparent from some photographs dating to the 1970s that the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) also worn British DPM camouflage at one point, possibly into the 1980s.
- As did many Arab nations of Western Asia, Bahrain adopted a version of the British-designed four-color desert DPM in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The pattern of the BDF incorporates light brown, beige, and olive green disruptive shapes on a sandy background, with some variation among production runs.
- Also in service the Bahrain Armed Forces is a unique three-color desert DPM pattern seen here. Although at a distance this design appears to be a copy of the British "sparse" two-color desert DPM pattern, it actually incorporates a faint third color as well into the design, just a shade or two darker than the background color. This pattern now appears to be in general circulation among personnel from all branches of service, including the Royal Bahrain Army, Navy, Air Force and the Royal Guard.
- Certainly the most unique of the patterns of the BDF is the desert tiger stripe pattern of the Royal Special Forces. This pattern features black, dark brown & light brown stripes on tan background and is worn exclusively by members of this elite unit.
- The Bahrain Special Security Force Command (SSFC) or قيادة قوة الأمن الخاصة, is a paramilitary law enforcement body under the command of the Ministry of the Interior. Members of this branch of service often deploy a variation of the four-color blue or urban DPM pattern, incorporating black, dark blue & blue-grey disruptive shapes on a pale blue background.
- In 2013, the Bahrain Defense Force released a pixelated camouflage version of their three-color DPM pattern, which is replacing the organic DPM designs previously issued. This uniform pattern is standard issue to the BDF and members of the Royal Guard.
- In line with the rest of the BDF, the Royal Special Forces regiment has adopted a pixelated variation of their old tiger stripe camouflage pattern. This design incorporates the same color palette.
- Since approximately 2014, the Royal Bahrain Naval Force (القوات البحرية الملكية البحرينية) has issued a variation of the above digital pattern with a blue colorway. It bears some resemblance to the pattern adopted by the US Navy for its Navy Working Uniform, or NWU.