NORFOLK, Va, (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) will forward deploy five patrol coastal (PC) ships to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), Manama, Bahrain, May 14.
USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Squall (PC 7) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) are scheduled to arrive this summer. Two additional ships are expected to transfer next year. Commander, Patrol Coastal Squadron ONE (PCRON 1) along with a PC maintenance support team will also permanently move.
Five PCs have provided dedicated coastal patrol capability to the Commander, U.S. Fifth Fleet (C5F) area of operation (AOR) since 2006. The PCs currently stationed in Bahrain are manned with unaccompanied, rotational crews. The forward deployment resulted in the decision to shift from 6-month rotational crews to permanent crews stationed in Bahrain allowing families to accompany their Sailors to Bahrain. The shift alleviates the significant strain placed on the crews and their families while ensuring capacity and capability.
A total of ten PCs will be permanently stationed in Bahrain by the spring of 2014. Three PCs will remain stationed in the continental U.S.
PCs provide the U.S. Navy with a fast, reliable platform that can respond to emergent requirements in a shallow water environment. The primary mission of these ships is coastal patrol and interdiction surveillance, an important aspect of littoral operations outlined in the Navy's maritime strategy.
For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.