U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (NNS) -- After 38 consecutive days at-sea Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) took some time to unwind during a four-day visit to Manama, Bahrain, May 4-8.
During the port call, TR's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department offered a variety of tours and events to the Rough Riders including a tour of the Grand Mosque, a cultural tour, a trip to the Lost Paradise water park, a dolphin swim, a beach barbecue at Al Bander Resort, go-kart racing, horseback riding, 5k and 3k fun runs, a golf day, and a spa trip.
Megan Villapudua, TR's funboss, visited Bahrain twice before with the Enterprise-class aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and her experience ensured this port visit was a complete success.
"The process was smoother this time around," said Villapudua. "I think it went well. Tours got off on time and they were shorter tours than England, but some of them, like the Al Bander beach barbecue and the cultural tour, were really popular."
Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Miller, a TR command chaplain, went on the cultural tour, which included a visit to a camel farm, a mosque, the Bahrain National Museum, a fort, and a sweets shop.
"Overall, I loved it. It was good," said Miller. "I wasn't sure what to expect from it. It was more hands on and you really got to see the authentic culture, which I liked."
Miller liked the fact that the tour offered a chance to see and experience things that would be difficult to find on your own.
"My favorite part was when we stopped at the sweet shop," said Miller. "The shop was really neat. It was very old and it was owned by a family. It was extremely authentic and it was not a place I would have ever seen on my own. It was off the main street in an alleyway. I really enjoyed it. It was a fun experience."
Although TR's crew had fun on tours, some Sailors decided to relax and spend their time at NSA Bahrain.
"I went to the pool and enjoyed the sun," said Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Sean Courtney. "[Being outdoors] was the best part of my visit to NSA Bahrain."
"I got to do a lot of shopping at the [Navy Exchange]," said Aerographer's Mate 2nd Class Kevin McGee. "I got everything I needed."
Sailors also enjoyed myriad entertainment options provided on base.
"The base was really excited to have us there and people on the ship got a chance to catch up," said Villapudua. "They went and saw [The Avengers: Age of Ultron], they could go to the [Navy Exchange] and there were concerts with a DJ every night. We were open to the fact that it was a different kind of port visit."
After a few days of liberty, TR's back underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.
Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
Join the conversation with TR online at www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.