KHALIFA BIN SALMAN PIER, Bahrain (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, visited Sailors aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) while the ship was moored at Khalifa Bin Salman, Bahrain, for a scheduled port visit, May 16.
Secretary Mabus visited Bahrain to visit Sailors and Marines stationed or deployed to the region. He also met with U.S. and Bahraini leaders to discuss ways to enhance America's long-standing partnership with Bahrain and further stability and peace in the region.
During an all hands call, Mabus emphasized the importance of Monterey's deployment.
"I cannot overstate the importance of the work that you do at sea and on shore, both by yourselves and with our partners in this region," said Mabus. "This is one of the most critical parts of the world. Our new defense strategy says that we will focus on three things: one is the Arabian Gulf, here; one is the Western Pacific; and one is building partnerships. Monterey has a crucial role in two out of those three things during this deployment."
After delivering remarks, Mabus commissioned Fire Controlman 1st Class Earl Thurman as an Ensign.
"It was a great honor to have the Secretary of the Navy on board Monterey for a visit and to administer my oath," said Thurman. "When we first started planning the ceremony, it was going to be a small event but when the systems test officer and executive officer proposed the idea of him doing it, I jumped at the opportunity as any Sailor would do."
After the all hands call, Mabus congratulated Monterey's Sailor of the Year, Junior Sailor of the Year and Blue Jacket of the Year. He shook hands and visited other members of the crew.
Monterey is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.