Bahrain does not have a U.S. Navy Fleet Week for the community to come and visit ships like they do in New York City, Ft. Lauderdale or San Francisco. The country’s exposure to the U.S. Navy and Marines is through photos, videos and articles in local papers. We wanted to bring this opportunity here, so we invited local youth to visit the Mina Salman Port Facility where they learned about our military in Bahrain and the Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and Marines who live here among them. Our goal was to make sure that they left with a firsthand account of what it was like to be on U.S. ships and see what military personnel do every day through static displays that included Marines performing martial arts, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robot, an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that was provided by the Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) program and the base fire truck.
The perfect opportunity came during the annual American-Bahraini Friendship Week Program, where we coordinated the first U.S. Navy Day with the U.S. Embassy Manama, Bahrain. We brought out more than 200 middle-school aged students from three local schools to enjoy the day’s events. The students were given a personnel qualification standard (PQS) worksheet, which is often used by Sailors to show their ability to understand and perform a certain job. This PQS listed items the students learned and experienced as they made their way around the pier to each unit’s exhibit. Each stop earned them a signature. Once all the students received the required signatures, they were given a special completion certificate.
The day was a huge success from everyone’s perspective. Now that there is a great foundation for events like this, we are able to coordinate bigger and better events in the future; a huge positive. The day was hot but the mood was great. We look forward to hosting our next U.S. Navy Day!