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US troop dies in non-combat incident in Bahrain

Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade Marines and Sailors complete a three mile all-hands hike. TF 51/5 is entrusted with rapidly aggregating crisis response capabilities and positioning Navy and Marine Corps forces throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to ensure command and control of forces at sea, from the sea and ashore. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Meleesa Gutierrez/ Released)
August 12, 2020

A U.S. service member assigned to Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade was found dead on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in the Persian Gulf county of Bahrain. Military officials described the death as a non-combat related incident.

The U.S. Marine Corps Central Command (MARCENT) office disclosed the casualty in a Tuesday press release. The U.S. service member’s name and service record was not identified in the press release and military officials are withholding that information for 24 hours, pending notification to the service member’s next of kin, in accordance with U.S. Department of Defense casualty policies.

The press release indicated the U.S. Marine Corps and Naval Criminal Investigative Service are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

“The service member’s remains are in the process of being returned to the United States,” Marine Corps spokesman 1st Lt. John F. Coppola said in an emailed statement to American Military News.

Deaths for service members deployed in Bahrain are fairly rare. Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, commander of the 5th Fleet and the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, was found dead in his Bahrain home in December of 2018 in an apparent suicide.

In April of 2018, U.S. Navy sailor Engineman 2nd Class Austin Williams was killed by a Saudi driver while he was off-duty, Navy Times reported.

MARCENT serves as the Marine Corps service component for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and is responsible for all Marine Corps forces in the CENTCOM area of responsibility.

The joint Navy-Marine unit is currently deployed at Naval Support Activity (NSA)Bahrain, located in Bahrain’s capital, Manama. The unit performs crisis response operations and theater security operations within CENTCOM’s area of operations.

This story was updated with additional statements from the U.S. Marine Corps.