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U.S. Department of Defense

October 29, 2020

Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Meeting With USNAVCENT Commander Vice Admiral Samuel Paparo

On October 28, 2020, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper met with Vice Admiral Samuel Paparo, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command, during the Secretary's first official visit to Manama, Bahrain.

Secretary Esper expressed his appreciation for VADM Paparo's leadership of USNAVCENT since taking command in August, and his steadfast commitment to U.S. forces stationed in Manama and operating across the U.S. Fifth Fleet to advance the shared security objectives of the United States and our partners in the Middle East.

While USNAVCENT, Secretary Esper also visited the crews of the USS Devastator and the USS Monsoon based at NAVCENT, and spoke with the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, where he commended the U.S. forces continuing to uphold commitment of multinational maritime forces to upholding the international rules-based order in international waters and advancing the freedom of navigation in the region.

Secretary Esper thanks VADM Paparo and our U.S. service members in Manama for the warm welcome and hospitality at USNAVCENT and for their daily vigilance in protecting American interests in the region.

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