US military HQ in Mideast watching Gulf unrest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

US military HQ in Mideast watching Gulf unrest


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unrest surging through the Arab world has so far taken no toll on the American military. But that could change if it spreads to Bahrain, the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom that is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet of ships.

Those warships -- and thousands of U.S. military personnel -- allow the U.S. to protect the flow of oil through the Gulf and to keep an eye on Iran.

In Bahrain, discontent that spilled into the streets of the capital this week features no anti-American sentiment, but the U.S. has a lot at stake in preserving its dominant naval presence in the Gulf.

The 5th Fleet operates at least one aircraft carrier in the Gulf at all times, along with an "amphibious ready group" of ships with Marines aboard.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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