MANAMA, Bahrain –-- Elements of the Nimitz Carrier Strike group, including the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 and guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) pulled into Manama, Bahrain for a scheduled port visit in support of logistics and maintenance Nov. 4-8.
This is the second time in the past month that Nimitz has visited Bahrain under coronavirus (COVID-19) mitigations, and was made possible due to close coordination between the U.S. Navy and Kingdom of Bahrain.
While this was a working port visit, Sailors and Marines had a number of opportunities to rest and unwind in designated areas on the pier.
“The Nimitz Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team was very excited for the opportunity to plan another visit to Bahrain,” said Austin Magill, Afloat Recreation Specialist, known as the ‘Funboss’ of the carrier. “Each port visit presents its own challenges in regards to planning, available facilities and required COVID-19 mitigations. A second visit gives us the chance to work from a previously established foundation to adjust what didn’t work well and capitalize what did. For example, we planned more events, including corn hole and football toss competitions, movies on the pier and much more!”
These activities were planned and carried out in full compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense and host nation requirements.
MWR purchased complimentary food for the crew, and additionally, Sailors volunteered to grill on the pier for their shipmates.
“It’s humbling to do this for the crew,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Beniah Williams, president of the Nimitz Second Class Petty Officers Association, which supported both Bahrain port visits with volunteers. “The goal is to provide the crew with the best possible experience amid a COVID-19 environment.”
The ships were also able to utilize the Bahrain Navy Exchange’s “Downrange Program”, which allows personnel to purchase items such as food and incidentals while remaining in a quarantine status.
The ships have been deployed since July in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation and have been operating in the Arabian Gulf since Sept. 18 in order to provide additional support to regional and coalition partners, including support to Operation Inherent Resolve.
“The Sailors and Marines of Nimitz Strike Group remain steadfast in their commitment to the free flow of commerce, freedom of navigation, and our regional maritime partnerships,” said Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of NIMCSG. “We are grateful for the support from the Kingdom of Bahrain for our port call.”