main story image for facebook sharing

Around The Fleet

Destination NSA Bahrain

The west inside the east

It's time to transfer. The last three months have been spent in cold, wet Bremerton, Washington, and you are hoping for something different - Warm weather, nice beaches, history-rich museums, lavish shopping and the occasional sand storm.

We've got just the place for you. Bahrain.

The desert sky is lined with buildings that twist, curve and soar like architectural space ships. Things you've only seen in movies are real life in Bahrain.

This island kingdom located east of Saudi Arabia is a gateway to the Eastern world. Places like the Maldives, Egypt and Jordan are all within reach.

Bahrain also offers one of the best places in the world for fine dining, boasts a brand new Formula 1 race track, two waterparks, a camel park, and shopping malls that are four stories tall with all the latest stores. Not to mention the deep discount on gold, diamonds and rare stones.

Naval Support Activity Bahrain is split into two sections.
NSA Bahrain 1 is paved with red smooth brick roads, and sandstone buildings. The station holds the largest K9 unit in the Navy. This side of the base also holds all the services Sailors need overseas, such as the NEX, MWR, CDC, and much more.
Bahrain photos

Bahrain photos

NSA Bahrain 2 is developed along the waterfront at Mina Salman Port with paved roads lined with homeported ships and many active construction sites. It is also home to the largest harbor patrol unit in the Navy.

Since 2010 the Navy has spent more than half a billion dollars to develop the waterfront, increasing the size of NSA Bahrain by 55 percent. The base recently finished construction on a tied-arched bridge that spans over the busy Khalifa Bin Salman Causeway, connecting both sides of the base.

"We needed a way to connect the land side, which offers many of the services service members need, with the waterfront, where many of them are working either on ships or at other Navy activities, whether its expeditionary, combat command, or port operations," said Capt. Cory Howes, NSA Bahrain's commanding officer.

Currently under construction on the waterfront is a 480-manned barracks, a galley, and transient housing for incoming Sailors.
"We're really excited about getting it going because we don't have barracks space yet opened up on this side of the base," Howes added. "When it's complete we'll have a state of the art facility that meets all of the latest and greatest standards for barracks living with individual quarters for each Sailor."

The barracks will be finished in early spring 2016. The barracks will allow Sailors to live closer to where they work. After the barracks, galley and transient housing are complete, construction will begin on a NEX Shoppette.
Bahrain photos

Bahrain photos

In addition, the main NEX on the land side is planning to expand 30 percent and add more food and sale items from back home for Sailors and their families.

"One of the great, hidden secrets about Bahrain is just what a great place it really is for families," said Howes.

The station houses a skate park, three pools, a movie theater, bowling alley, and two gyms, which are all constantly improving. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America on base has received a gold star for two consecutive years. At any given time of the year MWR hosts eight sports leagues for kids. Outside the main office, spouses can find jobs in a variety of fields.

One thing to think about if you are planning on taking orders to Bahrain with your family is the international Bahrain School. The 700 student K-12 school offers a unique opportunity for children to go to school with kids from multiple western and eastern countries. Students in high school get to travel to other countries for academic and sports events. The international school also offers college courses.

Living off base is truly amazing. Pools, furniture and exercise equipment come standard with many flats and villas. Families can also enjoy house cleaning and great air conditioning wherever they choose to stay. When moving to Bahrain try not to over pack and just bring the essential things you will need like mattresses, clothes, toys and bikes. It does get cold in the winter, so don't forget your long sleeve shirts and sweaters.

No longer is this sea of desert sand just for port visits, single Sailors and family separation. This ever-growing support activity is now an option for the whole family.
NSA Bahrain graphic

NSA Bahrain graphic