MANAMA Bahrain, where a crackdown on anti-government protests has taken place this week, is home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, which patrols the seas of the Middle East and Central Asia.
Here are some details about the Fifth Fleet:
-- The Commander of the Fifth Fleet is responsible for an area encompassing about 2.5 million sq miles of water area, including the Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.
-- Countries in the fleet's area of responsibility are: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.
-- The Fifth Fleet includes aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships that rotationally deploy from the U.S., plus a few smaller ships that are based in the Gulf for longer periods.
-- The Fifth Fleet protects shipping lanes in the Gulf and nearby waters. It is the naval arm of Central Command, responsible for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and its aircraft perform combat missions over both countries.
-- About 4,500 U.S. military and civilian staff work at the port and base in Bahrain, located at Juffairare, about five miles southeast of the capital Manama.
Sources: Reuters/ www.cusnc.navy.mil/ globalsecurity.org/ www.gettingaround.net
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)