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USS Bataan Visits Bahrain for Liberty

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070514-11
Release Date: 5/14/2007 3:26:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Justin Webster, USS Bataan Public Affairs

ABOARD USS BATAAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) moored pierside in Manama, Bahrain, from April 29 to May 4 for a scheduled port visit.

The port visit to Bahrain gave Bataan Sailors a nice break from being underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations.

“I enjoyed the food and shopping for some gold and diamonds,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Airman Xiang Yuan. "There was a variety of food to choose from, from Filipino and Pizza Hut to local Bahrainian dishes. The Gold Souk provided plenty of vendors to get a good deal."

Bataan’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation also offered tours to attractions in Bahrain such as the Tree of Life, the oldest living tree known to man, and the Grand Mosque, an active mosque that was also open for tours.

Bahrain was not all shopping and tours; some Sailors volunteered their time for a community relations projects.

Bataan Sailors played basketball with the Bahrainian National Basketball Special Olympics Team.

“The group is possibly headed to the Special Olympics in the United States so they wanted to get some interaction with Americans. They wanted some practice and to be able to socialize with Americans,” said Cmdr. Benedict Brown, a chaplain aboard Bataan.

Naval Station Activity Bahrain offered activities, food and a Navy Exchange (NEX) so Bataan Sailors could stock up on essentials and some luxuries they missed out on while out to sea.

“The NEX was great, it allowed me to stock up on those things I missed from home,” said Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Earl Crouchley.

The port visit to Bahrain provided time for rest and relaxation and offered Bataan Sailors the chance to recharge before they continue the last leg of their deployment in support of maritime security operations and regional stability.

Bataan, commanded by Capt. Rick Snyder, left her homeport of Norfolk on Jan. 4 for a regularly scheduled deployment as the flagship of the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group, which is commanded by Capt. Donna Looney, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 2. Bataan Strike Group includes PHIBRON 2, Bataan, USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Underwood (FFG 36), USS Scranton (SSN 756), and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., commanded by Marine Col. Gregg Sturdevant.

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