MANAMA, Bahrain, Aug. 20, 2019 — His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, visited the headquarters of Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), August 19.
Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, NAVCENT commander, and the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, the honorable Justin Siberell, greeted His Majesty. During the visit, Navy officials briefed the King on current operations of U.S. 5th Fleet and coalition operations.
Following the briefing, the King had dinner with the ambassador and Malloy, where they continued discussing issues of mutual interest.
The King was accompanied by two of his sons, His Highness Maj. Gen. Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, commander of the Bahraini Royal Guard, and His Highness Lt. Col. Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, commander of the Bahraini Royal Guard Rapid Intervention Force.
He was also accompanied by His Excellency Shaikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, Minister of the Bahraini Royal Court, His Excellency Lt. Gen. Theyab Bin Saqer Al-Noaimi, chief of staff of the Bahraini Defense Force, and His Excellency Rear Adm. Mohammed Al-Asam, commander of the Bahrain Royal Navy.
His Majesty said the strong relationship between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States is critical to regional maritime security.
“Global security and stability depends on the free flow of commerce and ultimately its security depends on what happens in this critical region,” His Majesty said. “This region, in turn, depends on the vital strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States of America.”
Malloy echoed those sentiments noting the mutually beneficial relationship.
“It was an honor to host your Majesty and continue in the spirit of friendship and partnership that was forged by over 70 years of trust and common interest between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States,” said Malloy. “Your steadfast leadership and graciousness has been critical to regional security and given 5th fleet a home in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
His Majesty also said the expanding ties between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States was constructive for the region and a model for regional alliances.
“There is no doubt that our continued cooperation even through decades of geopolitical change is deeply appreciated. Together we have worked to achieve our common goals and our two nations are better because of this enduring partnership,” His Majesty said.
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.