Naval Support Activity Bahrain
United States Navy personnel performing morning colors at Naval Support Activity Bahrain in 2005
|Type||United States Navy Main Operating Base|
|Built||Refurbished in 1997; Major renovations in 2003, 2006, and 2010-2015|
|United States with authority from Bahrain|
|Controlled by||United States Navy|
|Garrison||U.S. Fifth Fleet|
|Commanders||U.S. Navy Captain Colin S. Walsh|
Naval Support Activity Bahrain (or NSA Bahrain) is a United States Navy base, situated in the Kingdom of Bahrain and is home to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and United States Fifth Fleet. It is the primary base in the region for the naval and marine activities in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and formerly Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), to include when the latter was changed to Operation New Dawn (OND) until the end of the Iraq War. A former installation of the Royal Navy, it was transferred to the U.S. government in 1971. The commander of Navy Region Southwest Asia is responsible for NSA Bahrain and Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. Navy Region Southwest Asia falls under the oversight of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT). Vice Admiral John W. Miller, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and United States Fifth Fleet.
Although Naval Support Activity, Bahrain has existed for slightly more than a decade, the continued presence of the United States in Juffair, Manama, has evolved from small detachments organized nearly 60 years ago into the modern infrastructure of today. NSA Bahrain provides support through logistical, supply and protection as well as a Navy Exchange facility and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs to both United States Armed Forces and coalition assets.
Initially recognized as the U.S. Middle East Force in 1948, what was to become Naval Support Activity Bahrain began as a small continuous U.S. Navy presence, which later transformed into a small shore facility in Juffair, occupying Royal Navy territory while providing logistical and communications support to Marine Expeditionary vessels.
In 1971, the permanent Royal Navy presence in Bahrain officially ended and the United States Navy moved onto the 10 acres (40,000 m2) previously occupied by British operations. Eight years later the location was named Administrative Support Unit (ASU) Bahrain.
In an effort to more accurately reflect the increasing role of United States Navy activities in the region, the organization was renamed Administrative Support Unit Southwest Asia in 1992.
In 1997, under the aegis of the Military Construction Program, facilities located in Juffair saw an increased buildup, resulting in what is known today as Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
In 2003, facilities at NSA Bahrain began expanding after Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
In 2006, a large food court, known as the "Freedom Souq" and an expanded Navy Exchange opened, expanding morale and welfare support to service members and tenant commands.
In 2010, the Navy embarked on a five-year, $580-million project to expand the base, proposing to essentially double the size of the current 62-acre facility. The first phase of construction, targeted for completion by fall 2012, will include a new perimeter wall and security gate along with several new utility buildings. The second phase will expand the port operations with a new harbor patrol facility and include a small-craft basin. That phase began in late 2010 and is scheduled to be completed by late 2012. New barracks, a dining facility, a renovated recreation center and administrative buildings will be completed by 2015, according to the Navy's plan. The final phase will also include a flyover bridge connecting NSA Bahrain to the port facility at Mina Salman.
A US Navy Judge Advocate General Manual investigation found that misconduct, hazing, and harassment had occurred at the base's Military Working Dog Division in 2005 and 2006. The investigation stated that the unit, under the direction of Chief Master-at-Arms Michael Toussaint, had condoned gambling, fraternization, and socializing with prostitutes. Unit members were routinely harassed and humiliated. In spite of the investigation's findings, Toussaint was later promoted and remained in the Navy. Toussaint's successor in the unit, Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jennifer Valdivia, committed suicide after being informed of the report's findings. The Navy is reexamining actions taken in response to the investigation.
The Navy announced on October 21, 2009 that Toussaint had been removed from his current leadership assignment and placed in a temporary deck duty position. His request to extend his current enlistment was denied and a mandatory retirement date was set for January 2010. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued a “Secretarial letter of censure” on Toussaint, which was placed in the sailor’s permanent military file. Mabus stated that he would be reviewing Toussaint's retirement pay-grade determination. A Navy spokesman stated that this meant that a decision would be made as to whether Toussaint would be allowed to keep his rank and retirement pay.
- Tilghman, Andrew, "5-year NSA Bahrain expansion project begins", Navy Times, June 1, 2010.
- Tilghman, Andrew, "Report outlines security unit hazing, assault", Military Times, October 2, 2009.
- Tilghman, Andrew, "Senior chief to retire in hazing investigation", Military Times, October 21, 2009
- Shane III, Leo, "Two years later, sailor to be forced out for role in hazing scandal", Stars and Stripes, October 23, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Naval Support Activity Bahrain.|
- Official Page for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
- Official Page for Naval Support Activity Bahrain
- "Bahrain navy gung-ho on coalition security effort for Gulf". 2007-08-02.
- U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs (2006-06-15). "NSA Bahrain Opens New NEX/MWR Complex".