VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) -- The Navy says three formerly Virginia Beach-based ships have arrived in Bahrain, which will be their new home port.

The patrol coastal ships USS Tempest, USS Squal and USS Thunderbolt arrived pierside in Bahrain on Wednesday. The speedy ships can operate in shallow water and perform interdiction surveillance. Each is armed with automatic grenade launchers and a variety of machine guns.

The Navy plans to have 10 patrol coastal ships in Bahrain by spring of 2014. That's when the USS Hurricane and USS Monsoon will also leave Virginia to permanently join the 5th Fleet.

Each ship has a crew of four officers and 24 enlisted personnel.

The Navy says three patrol coastal ships will remain stationed in Virginia Beach.

AP-WF-07-03-13 1355GMT

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