Secretary of Navy Visits Naval Support Activity Bahrain
Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus visited Sailors, Marines and family members at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, April 25-26.
Mabus was in Bahrain as part of a larger visit throughout the region. He reenlisted six Sailors and presented awards to six Sailors during an all-hands call with Sailors and Marines, April 25. He also met with family members to answer questions, April 26.
Mabus said that he wanted thank service members for doing such great work to protect the country but also hear family member concerns.
“Everybody serves,” he said. “It’s not just the Sailors; it’s not just the Marines; it’s the whole family that sacrifices and serves this country. By moving [to Bahrain] with the service member, there are certain sacrifices family members make. There are issues they’ve got to deal with and we’re here to try to understand those issues and where we can, give some help.”
Mabus said Sailors and Marines in Bahrain are promoting America’s interests in the region and wanted to stress how important it is and how well the job is being done.
“This is an incredibly important region in the world in the President’s new defense strategy,” he said. “This area is one of the focuses of America and it is critical we continue to do this work in such a skilled way.”
During his visit, Mabus wore jeans and posed for a photo with more than 100 Sailors, Marines, civilians and family members in support of NSA Bahrain’s Denim Day. Established in 1999, Denim Day is intended to increase awareness of sexual assault and victims of sexual assault. Mabus said Denim Day is just one of the ways the Navy and Marine Corps are raising awareness and it gave everybody the opportunity to show their support.
“Sexual assault is one of the worst crimes that we face in the Navy and Marine Corps and it’s something we cannot put up with,” he said. “It is an attack on a shipmate and it’s something that we all have a role in trying to prevent and make sure it has no place in the Navy and Marine Corps.”
Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW) Scott Slocum, assigned to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Bahrain, listened to Mabus speak at the all-hands call.
“We always get a lot of questions about what’s going on in the region and sometimes we don’t really know the answer,” he said. “It’s good to hear from the [source] what actually is going on here in the Middle East and what’s going to be going on in the future as well.”
Mabus presented Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW) Tasha Malone, assigned to Joint Mobile Ashore Support Terminal, with a Navy Achievement Medal during the all-hands call.
“It makes me feel good to know that our leadership in Washington really does care about the women and men that fight in the Navy,” she said.
Mabus left Bahrain and continued on to visit Sailors and Marines at forward-deployed units operating in the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command area of responsibility.
Naval Today Staff , April 27, 2012; Image: navy