In 1879, USS Ticonderoga was the first U.S. warship to sail through the Strait of Hormuz. After World War II, U.S. and international interest in the Middle East began to rise.
In 1949, the U.S. Navy established a regular presence in the region, known as the Middle East Force. In 1950, the U.S. Navy leased office space from the British.
In 1971, when Bahrain achieved full independence, the U.S. Navy leased part of the former British base and named it Administrative Support Unit, Bahrain. The name was changed to Naval Support Activity, Bahrain in 1999, to reflect its broader support role.
In 1995, U.S. FIFTH Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) were recommissioned to command the afloat units that rotationally deploy or surge from the United States plus a few smaller ships that are based in the Gulf for longer periods. Ships rotationally deploy to the U.S. FIFTH Fleet from the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets.
In February 2002 Combined Maritime Forces command was established to provide coordinated Coalition operations.