Morale: Bringing The Kids Back To Bahrain


November 9,2008: The U.S. Department of Defense now allows accompanied tours for military personnel stationed at the U.S. 5th Fleet headquarters in the Persian Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain. For the moment, dependents must be 18 or older, at least until sufficient schools and other facilities can be arranged for younger dependents. For example, the schools (K-12) remained open when the dependents left in 2004, and took in tuition paying non-American students.

Troops were allowed to have families in Bahrain until 2004, when they were ordered out because of the terrorist threat. But al Qaeda is much less of a danger now, and the 3,000 military personnel in Bahrain (mostly sailors and marines) can at least bring in spouses and adult children. This also means that the 12 month unaccompanied (by dependents) tours become 24 month accompanied tours. The U.S. Navy has spent $240 million upgrading the naval base, to provide more facilities for dependents.



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