MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer met with leadership and spoke to service members aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain as part of a multinational tour of the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility Nov. 21.
Spencer began his visit by meeting Vice Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces and other base leadership before participating in an all-hands call with more than 600 Sailors and Marines assigned to the area.
"It's a privilege to serve the Navy/Marine Corps team. It's just the best medicine in the world to get out here and be with you all," said Spencer.
During the all-hands call Spencer spoke about policy changes, process improvements and mission requirements but his focus was directed on the importance of the Sailor and the Marine team.
"We can't accomplish anything without people and it is my job along with all the commanding officers, leadership, senior enlisted and officers, to provide an environment for everyone up and down the ladder to be challenged and engaged. The whole reason why we are here is to deliver the fight tonight as you all know and we can't do that without people."
Spencer also took the time to answer questions from Sailors and Marines about topics including pay, tour lengths, shifting of resources to accomplish mission objectives and reservist retirement benefits before thanking every one for their service, conveying his appreciation and wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
During his visit the Secretary met with the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain Justin Siberall and Kingdom of Bahrain government officials.
Spencer was sworn in as the 76th secretary of the Navy Aug. 3. In 1976, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served as an H-46 pilot until 1981 before departing active duty to enter the private finance sector.
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.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.