Story Number: NNS140204-19Release Date: 2/4/2014 10:34:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jules Stobaugh
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Kingdom of Bahrain Embassy to the United States of America held a ceremony Feb. 4 in Washington, celebrating the 46th anniversary of the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF).
The BDF consist of about 13,000 service members who make up the Royal Bahrain Air Force, Army, Navy and Medical Services.
Among the notable guests at the ceremony was current Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain and former BDF Air Force pilot Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al-Khalifa, who spoke about continuing peace in the Middle East.
"We must not lose sight of what has bound us together over the past six decades," said Al-Khalifa. "Together we can continue with peace and stability in our region and the world. It remains a great honor to serve for Bahrain and this alliance and I am very much looking forward to working with you in the future."
During the event Rear Adm. James Shannon, Director of the Navy International Program Office spoke about the strong, long-standing relationship between the U.S. and Bahrain forces.
"The Bahrain Defense Force has a long and rich tradition of excellence and partnership with the United States going back 66 years to when the headquarters for the first U.S. Middle East Force was established in Manama," said Shannon. "Now host to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, Bahrain's partnership with the U.S. - characterized by mutual trust and cooperation - is essential to regional security."
U.S. Navy Sailors previously stationed in Bahrain were in attendance and received a plaque in recognition for service during their tour there.
"I've spent a year stationed in Bahrain and have had great experiences in the fleet working hand in hand with Bahraini sailors," said Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Brown. "Events like these provide another opportunity for us to meet with our counterparts and develop lasting relationships."
The Embassy's Consular Section assists both Bahraini nationals looking to apply for a visa to enter the United States as well as foreigners seeking information on entering the Bahrain. In addition the embassy assists Bahraini nationals with passport issues as well as visas.