MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (CVN 65) returned to sea April 16, after concluding a port visit in Manama, Bahrain.
Sailors and Marines aboard the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier were able to rest and relax while enjoying liberty in the Kingdom of Bahrain, after spending more than 60 continuous days at sea supporting operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
Naval Support Activity, Bahrain welcomed Sailors and Marines through its gates to enjoy food, shopping and other leisure activities.
"Bahrain was an excellent liberty port for our Sailors," said Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, USS Enterprise commanding officer. "We appreciate the hospitality of the people of Bahrain and enjoyed experiencing their rich cultural traditions."
Enterprise Sailors and Marines participated in numerous sightseeing tours, community relations projects and recreational sporting events throughout the four-day visit.
The crew spent their time on liberty exploring the local city, many taking advantage of different tours offered by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation division. The tours ranged from a visit to the Grand Mosque in the heart of the city, to venturing to a water park.
Touring places such as the Mosque and experiencing Bahrain's culture were new experiences for many Sailors and Marines who were first-time visitors to Bahrain.
Bahrain is a popular shopping destination, with both modern shopping malls and "Souqs," or local markets. Many Sailors and Marines had the opportunity to explore the unique items found in Souqs, from clothes and incense to antiques and gold, as well as the opportunity to bargain with the local vendors.
"Everything there was negotiable," said Lt. Blaine Wagner. "The Souq is great because you have a chance to interact with locals and find hand-made gifts for your family back home. You can't make it to Bahrain without visiting the Souq."
More than 100 Enterprise crew members also volunteered some of their liberty time in port to interact with local citizens and share cultures by participating in various community relations (COMREL) projects. Coordinated by Enterprise's Religious Ministries Department, the ships personnel played soccer and basketball with their Bahraini hosts.
Sailors also spent time at the Philippine embassy where volunteers performed a talent show for women living in a shelter there.
Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, is comprised of Enterprise, embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55). Ships assigned to DESRON 2 include guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Mason (DDG 87).
The squadrons of CVW-1 are the "Red Rippers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, the "Checkmates" of VFA-211, the "Knighthawks" of VFA-136, the "Thunderbolts" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251, the "Rooks" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137, the "Screwtops" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123, the "Dragonslayers" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 11, and the "Rawhides" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40, detachment one.
Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing 1 are in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting Operation New Dawn. For news regarding Enterprise Strike Group's deployment, visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USS.Enterprise.CVN.65.
For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.