5th Fleet PC Force Grows to Eight Ships
5th Fleet PC Force Grows to
From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
Naval Support Axtivity, Bahrain -- (NNS)
-- July 3, 2013 -- Patrol coastal (PC) ships USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Squall (PC
7) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) arrived pierside in Bahrain July 3, as part of a
realignment that will see a total of eight PCs permanently stationed in the U.S.
5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
The coastal patrol ship USS Tempest (PC 2) transits from
Khalifa Bin Salman Port to Mina Salman Pier. The arrival of Tempest, USS
Thunderbolt (PC 12) and USS Squall (PC 7) brings the total number to eight
coastal patrol ships to support maritime security operations and theater
security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication
Specialist 1st Class Stephen Murphy
USS Hurricane (PC 3) and USS Monsoon (PC 4) will complete the
Navy's plan to station 10 PCs in Bahrain by spring of 2014.
"Having additional PCs here in Bahrain will give us incredible flexibility in
the 5th Fleet area of operations since they are uniquely capable of operating in
this dynamic environment," said Vice Adm. John W. Miller, commander, U.S. Naval
Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces. "They will
allow for continued maritime security operations and theater security
cooperation in the 5th Fleet."
PCs provide the U.S. Navy with a fast, reliable platform that can respond to
emergent requirements in a shallow water environment.
"These ships are ideal for working with partner navies in the Gulf," said Capt.
Joseph Naman, commander, Destroyer Squadron 50. "The navies and coast guard of
our coalition partners operate similar craft, with similar systems and
capability - that fosters better interoperability in the maritime domain."
PCs in Bahrain will have permanent crews, allowing families to accompany their
Sailors. The shift to permanent manning alleviates the significant strain the
6-month rotational crew model placed on the Sailors and their families.
"The shift to permanent PC crews alleviates the significant strain placed on the
crews and their families while ensuring capacity and capability stays strong
here in the AOR," said Naman. "The well-being of our sailors and families is
critical to the accomplishment of our missions."
The small patrol coastal ships were transported via a heavy lift vessel, similar
to mine countermeasure trans-oceanic transports in summer of 2012 and spring of
"We are committed to working with our seagoing partners in order to maintain
capabilities and capacities needed to meet theater mission requirements
efficiently," said Miller.
PCs have provided dedicated maritime security and force protection capability to
U.S. 5th Fleet since 2003.
Commander, Patrol Coastal Squadron ONE (PCRON 1) and a maintenance and logistics
support detachment will also permanently move from Virginia to Bahrain to
provide direct support the PCs operating here.
U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility encompasses about 2.5 million square miles
of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of
the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical
choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al
Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.