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U.S. 5th Fleet Master Chief visits Afghanistan

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro | August 09, 2018

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Fleet Master Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Russell Mason visited Sailors in Afghanistan during a trip July 5-12. 

Mason’s trip included stops at Bagram Air Base to visit Sailors participating in North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Resolute Support Mission, Kandahar Air Base and the NATO Role Three Multinational Medical Unit.

“The goal for this trip was to meet the Sailors and thank them for their service at the pointed end of the spear,” said Mason. “They are forward deployed in a hazardous environment where potential conflicts remain a threat. It’s very real, every day.”

Mason met with leadership in the area, and spent time talking to Sailors about their quality of life, and recent Navy policy and program changes.

“I would have a very hard time going someplace where I wasn’t going to interact and meet with Sailors,” said Mason. “I like to do whatever I can to make their lives better, even if it’s one little thing.”

According to Mason, the goal of the visit, was to reinforce the strategic importance of the mission in this Region and the critical role each and every Sailor plays in its success.

“I want to make sure the service members know 5th Fleet headquarters cares about them. They are what is most important. They need to know they’re valued,” said Mason.

  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 comprises 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.

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