US 'committed to Bahrain, region'
Manama, April 18, 2014
The US has a long-term commitment to Bahrain and the region, a senior American naval officer has said.
"We have been here for more than 63 years and we look forward to a nice long time in the future as well," US Naval Forces Central Command Deputy Commander Rear Admiral James Loeblein was quoted as saying in a Gulf Daily News report.
US Naval personnel "loved to come to Bahrain and to serve", said Rear Admiral Loeblein as he attended the Bahrain School Falcons alumni open house and reception as part of American-Bahraini Friendship Week celebrations.
Last month, Vice Admiral John Miller, Commander of the Fifth Fleet and the US Naval Forces Central Command, said US Navy operations in the Gulf would continue 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, due to be operational in the Gulf by 2018, Vice Admiral Miller said it indicated "an enduring presence".
"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," Vice Admiral Miller told Defense News. - TradeArabia News Service