By Kawthar Lanbari Manama ( BNA): A senior US Naval officer has reiterated his country’s commitment to Bahrain and the region, saying that they looked forward to a bright future. The US Navy has been here since 1948,” Rear Admiral James Loeblein, Deputy Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command, said. “We have been here
By Kawthar Lanbari
Manama ( BNA): A senior US Naval officer has reiterated his country’s commitment to Bahrain and the region, saying that they looked forward to a bright future.
The US Navy has been here since 1948,” Rear Admiral James Loeblein, Deputy Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command, said. “We have been here for over sixty-three years and we look forward to a nice, long time in the future as well,” he told Bahrain News Agency (BNA) at a the Bahrain School Falcons Alumni open house and reception.
Last month, Vice Admiral John Miller, the commander of the 5th Fleet and the US Naval Forces Central Command, said that US Navy operations in the Arabian Gulf would go well into the middle of the century.
Referring to the $580 million base expansion in Bahrain that includes modifications to accommodate the US Navy’s new littoral combat ships (LCS), due to be operational in the Arabian Gulf by 2018, Vice Admiral John Miller said that it indicated “an enduring presence.”
“Some of the modifications that we are doing right now will help us get the base ready for the arrival of the littoral combat ships, which will start right around 2018,” Miller told Defense News. “Those are ships that will serve in the US Navy and this area right until the middle of the current century. We would not plan for this infrastructure if we did not plan on staying here and the second thing is that we plan on staying not just as the US Navy but in a coalition environment,” he said.
Admiral Loeblein said that US Navy personnel “loved to come to Bahrain and to serve” and to send their children to Bahrain School.
“These are the sons and daughters of our sailors and soldier servicemen and women in the marines. They love to serve and they love to come here to school to have a great world-class education in a world-class school to allow our dependents to be able to be a part of,” he said.
The Bahrain School reception was hosted as part of the celebrations of the American-Bahraini Friendship Week.
US Ambassador to Bahrain Thomas Krajeski said that part of the celebrations included “engaging and recognizing those American institutions in Bahrain that really are the strength of the relationships like the American Mission Hospital.”
“Here we are celebrating one of the great American-Bahraini institutions that is the Bahrain School,” he told BNA. “It has produced so many famous graduates here in Bahrain, so many strong leaders for the US, and our US military and the US Navy. So, it is a great opportunity to invite back previous graduates to celebrate the school, to get to know each other again, and celebrate the US-Bahrain relationship,” he said.