Sunday, May 17, 2009

USS Dwight D Eisenhower Makes Historic Port Visit to Bahrain

ARABIAN SEA (April 9, 2009) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Cassandra Carpenter signals aircraft on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during a vertical replenishment. The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is underway for a scheduled deployment supporting the on-going rotation of forward-deployed forces to support maritime security operations and operate in international waters across the globe. (U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rafael Figueroa Medina.)

Dispatches from the Front:

MANAMA, Bahrain, May 17, 2009 -- Friday evening, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) became the first Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier to pull in pier side in Bahrain as part of the ongoing effort to strengthen relationships, increase interoperability and address maritime strategies.

This historic visit marks the second time in history an American aircraft carrier docked pier side for a port visit in more than 60 years.

“The U.S. Navy shares a very special relationship with Bahrain and for that we are extremely grateful,” said Rear Adm. Kurt Tidd, Commander, Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. “This visit is the first time in over 60 years an American aircraft carrier has pulled in pier side Bahrain, and the first time ever a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has pulled in pier side Bahrain, as a result of the careful and detailed hard work of the people of Bahrain. The Sailors aboard Eisenhower are excited to be part of this historical visit.”

The last carrier to moor pierside during a liberty call to Bahrain was the 11,373-ton Commencement Bay-class escort aircraft carrier USS Rendova (CVE 114) in 1948. During its stay in Bahrain, Rendova hosted Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Emir of Bahrain.

Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said he is very pleased Eisenhower was able to pull into the newly-constructed Mina Khalifa pier facility in Hidd.

“This is an important day for both the U.S. and the Kingdom of Bahrain,” he said. “Eisenhower’s pier-side visit is a tangible reminder our commitment to Bahrain and highlights the special relationship that our two nations share.” During the port visit crew Eisenhower’s crewmembers will take part in various community relations projects, sporting events and many other Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sponsored events.

Visits by U.S. Navy ships symbolize the continued friendship and partnership between countries and military services -- increasing cooperative engagement and exemplifying commitment to building trust and confidence among friends worldwide.

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations as part of a regularly scheduled deployment in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom as well as Maritime Security Operations. Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States’ commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.

(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Kenneth R. Hendrix USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs.)

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