Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command, dons a Navy ball cap during an all hands call on board Naval Support Activity Bahrain in honor of Navy’s 17-3 defeat against Army in the 111th Army-Navy football game Dec 12.
MANAMA, Bahrain (Dec. 15, 2009) – Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), held a spirited All Hands call at Naval Support Activity Bahrain Dec. 13.
Petraeus began the event by recognizing the 17-3 football victory by the Navy Midshipmen over the Army Corps of Cadets at the 111th Army-Navy game held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia Dec. 12. In recognition of Navy’s victory, Petraeus wore a U.S. Navy hat throughout the All Hands call.
The CENTCOM commander also invited service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force up onto a stage for several competitions which included “Dancing With the Stars,” a rap contest, and an Iron Man challenge.
Petraeus then recognized several Sailors including Personnel Specialist 1st Class Bobby Manning, who is assigned to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Administration Department. Petraeus recognized Manning for his outstanding customer service and presented him with an official U.S. Navy Midshipmen football jersey.
Following the spirited competitions and Sailor recognitions, Petraeus focused his comments on the U.S. Navy’s contribution to the overall CENTCOM mission and thanked Sailors for helping to bring security and stability in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
“You’re working with a Coalition of nations to conduct Maritime Security Operations throughout the region, interdicting the flow of extremists, ensuring the free flow of commerce, helping to protect critical maritime infrastructure, and providing both ballistic missile defense and aerospace missile defense,” said Petraeus. “These are not just simple missions. They are extraordinary missions and very important. None of these missions are easy. They’re all hard and require sacrifice, service, and separation from loved ones which is especially difficult at this time of year.”
Petraeus also recalled his trip to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility to visit USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Sampson (DDG 102) on Thanksgiving Day.
“I reminded them and they reminded me how impressive they are,” said Petraeus. “In fact, sometimes when a team really works together like a great orchestra, you sometimes forget how hard it is to get all the different pieces and instruments to play in harmony and work together. But it happens and it’s awesome and it’s also intimidating. It is truly awe-inspiring.”
At the end of the All Hands call, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney presented U.S. Navy running shoes to Petraeus in recognition of the 17-3 football victory by the Navy Midshipmen Gen. Petraeus visited Bahrain Dec. 11-13 to participate in the 6th annual Manama Dialogue, hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Manama Dialogue is a symposium designed for security representatives from Arabian Gulf States and other nations to openly discuss security and stability in the region.