From the presidency of George Washington through the beginning of the Cold War, Americans have forged and maintained ties with the peoples of the Middle East. These bonds strengthened in 1949 with the establishment of the Middle East Force and a permanent U.S. naval presence in the Arabian Gulf. They grew even stronger when America committed itself to the defense of its friends in the region, establishing Central Command and its naval component, Naval Forces Central Command, in 1983. The United States Navy remains an anchor of resolve in promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Central Command area of responsibility.
The Naval Historical Center completed this history of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet to accompany the exhibit it installed in the headquarters building on board Naval Support Activity Bahrain. In keeping with the Center's mission of supporting the operating forces, the purpose of this book is to inform visitors to the headquarters and American Sailors serving in the Middle East about the Navy's presence in Arabian waters and the variety of missions the Navy has conducted there, in peace and in war.
The author, Dr. Robert J. Schneller Jr., is well qualified to present this informative and well-illustrated history. He is co-author of a book on the Navy's role in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and since 9/11 has been researching and writing about the Navy's role in the Global War on Terrorism.
Early in the twenty-first century, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet area of responsibility encompassed about 7.5 million square miles of the earth's surface, including the Arabian Gulf, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse comprised 27 countries and three critical chokepoints at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Bab al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. The Navy owes its success in this region to the patriotism, professionalism, pride, hard work, and self-sacrifice of the officers and enlisted men and women assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet. This is their story.
Contents: Foreword * Chronology * Introduction * Growing American Interests * Establishment of the Middle East Force * Creation of Central Command and NAVCENT * The Tanker War * Desert Shield and Desert Storm * Enforcing the Peace. * Establishment of Fifth Fleet and Evolution of NSA Bahrain * Humanitarian Operations * Engaging America's Allies * Containing Iraq * Maritime Interception Operations * A New Threat Emerges * Operation Enduring Freedom * Operation Iraqi Freedom * Global War on Terrorism: Continuing the Commitment * Conclusion * Acknowledgments * Further Reading * Acronym Glossary