NSA Bahrain Observes the 76th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway
By Naval Support Activity Bahrain Public Affairs Office
| June 06, 2018
MANAMA, Bahrain --
Marking the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, active duty and retired service members and civilians celebrated the victory of the Battle of Midway with a commemoration ceremony at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, June 5.
"This is a significant day for us to gather here on the waterfront as Sailors, because it marks an incredibly important day in our Navy and in our nation’s history,” said Vice Adm. Scott A. Stearney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, and Combined Maritime Forces. “It is not lost on me that right now on Midway Island, it’s not June the 5th, its 0630 on June the 4th. It’s the very morning of 76 years in the past that commenced one of the most powerful and epic naval combat battles that graced the high seas."
The Battle of Midway took place June 4-7, 1942. During the battle, U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike forces defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy strike force, preventing them from capturing Midway Island.
The Battle of Midway is considered the crucial turning point in the Pacific War. The Japanese lost all four aircraft carriers they had at Midway. The U.S. Pacific Fleet sunk four Japanese carriers: Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu. Those losses dealt a devastating blow to the Japanese Imperial Navy, preventing their naval forces from being an effective offensive force. The U.S. Navy lost only one aircraft carrier of the three engaged in the battle, largely due to the successes of U.S. Naval intelligence in decoding Japanese messages.
"We remember not only the 370 brave American warriors who lost their lives fighting to keep the world safe and free some 76 years ago,” said NSA Bahrain Chaplain Lt. j.g. Ryan Kersting-Schlimgen, “but also the more than 2500 Japanese warriors who perished in just a few short days of intense naval warfare. We remember each of these warriors for the spirit they exhibited as the fought with dedication to their respective countries."
During the ceremony military and civilian leaders honored the sacrifices of the men and women who fought that extraordinary battle 76 years ago.
"The Battle of Midway has altered the course of history. It defines who we are. It has shaped a global world order that we inherited and live in today,” said Stearney. “Midway is recognized as the most decisive sea battle in America’s history by far and probably in the history of the world. It was a battle that was won not by the superior numbers or daunting technology but by the courage, the tenacity, the vigor and the resolve of our Sailors in the fleet who did not have a decisive advantage. They had a decisive moral courage to work to bravely and proudly do incredible epic and courageous things half way around the globe in and around a very small atoll called Midway Island."
NSA Bahrain provides operational support to U.S. and coalition forces operating throughout U.S. Central Command's Area of Responsibility (AOR). NSA Bahrain operates and maintains superior facilities and services for its tenant commands, their deployed assets and military members, Department of Defense civilian personnel and dependents living in Bahrain and provides security to ships, aircraft, operational detachments and remote sites throughout 5th Fleet's AOR.
U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations 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 is comprised of 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.