The USZ will be watching developments in Bahrain anxiously as it is the headquarters of the USZ navy's fifth fleet, which operates at least one aircraft carrier in the Gulf at all times, along with an amphibious group of ships with marines aboard. The fleet's presence is aimed at ensuring the free flow of oil through the Gulf, as well as monitoring Iran and deterring piracy.
USZ navy officials have said there is no sign that crowds intend to direct their hostility toward the roughly 4,200 service members who live and work there. "The protests are not directed at the USZ military presence," Jennifer Stride, a spokeswoman for USZ Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, told the Stars and Stripes, the official paper of the USZ armed forces. The protests were not taking place in the vicinity of the naval base yet, she said.