By Naval Support Activity Bahrain Public Affairs Office
| June 06, 2018
180605-N-SF230-069 MANAMA, Bahrain (June 5, 2018) Vice Adm. Scott A. Stearney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces,, and Capt. Darren B. Guenther, commander, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, cast a wreath into the sea as part of a commemoration of the Battle of Midway. This year marks the 76th anniversary of the battle. NSA Bahrain enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S., allied, and coalition forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia's mission to provide services to the Fleet, Fighter, and Family. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory A. Pickett II)
180605-N-SF230-046 MANAMA, Bahrain (June 5, 2018) Vice Adm. Scott A. Stearney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces, speaks to Sailors at a Battle of Midway commemoration ceremony held at U.S. Naval Support Activity (NSA), Bahrain, in front of the coastal patrol ship USS Sirocco (PC 6). The ceremony commemorated the Sailors and Marines lost during the Battle of Midway. NSA Bahrain enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S., allied, and coalition forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia's mission to provide services to the Fleet, Fighter, and Family. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory A. Pickett II)
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.