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New Ship for US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain: Just a Little Taste of What’s to Come

2016-02-06 - 8:26 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Stars and Stripes stated that "The USNS Choctaw County is the first auxiliary expeditionary fast transport ship to be forward deployed to the 5th Fleet area of operations."

Chris Church quoted the spokesman Lt. Ian McConnaughey, who said: "Formerly known as a joint high-speed vessel, the noncombatant ship, operated by a small civilian crew, can deliver cargo and personnel faster than previous platforms."

"The ship has the capability to embark a complement of military personnel and mission configurations for a wide range of missions, including counter illicit trafficking, theater security cooperation, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and noncombatant evacuation operations," McConnaughey added.

Church further stated that "The Choctaw County will operate under Commander, Task Force 53, which provides logistical support to the 5th Fleet area of operations, including underway replenishments by Military Sealift Command-operated ships."

"I'm thrilled to have Choctaw County in the 5th Fleet," said Capt. Edwin D. Kaiser, commanding officer of Commander, Task Force 53. "The ship gives us tremendous capacity and operational flexibility," he added.

"The presence here in Bahrain is constant and here to stay," McConnaughey stressed. "In the coming years you are going to see more new platforms coming to the area of operations. This is just a little taste of what's to come," he noted.

The 5th Fleet's area of responsibility covers some 2.5 million square miles, including the conflict-prone Gulf and passes through which about one-fifth of the world's oil supply flows.

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