US Service Member Dies in Bahrain Noncombat Incident

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As the sun rises, a soldier hikes along a 12-mile road march course. (U.S. Army: Sgt. Scott Lamberson)
As the sun rises, a soldier hikes along a 12-mile road march course. (U.S. Army: Sgt. Scott Lamberson)

A U.S. service member assigned to a Navy/Marine task force in Bahrain has died, officials with U.S. Central Command announced Tuesday.

The service member, whose identity, gender and service affiliation were not disclosed, was found dead Aug.11, according to a CENTCOM release.

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The service member was assigned to Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

"The service member's remains are in the process of being returned to the United States," officials said. "The U.S. Marine Corps and Naval Criminal Investigative Service are investigating the circumstances of the death."

The joint Navy-Marine unit is located in Bahrain's capital, Manama, and performs crisis response operations, regional planning and naval concepts advancement, including some shipboard experimentation.

Troops currently spend yearlong tours in Bahrain, and the Defense Department recently changed its policy to make all Bahrain tours unaccompanied, meaning that families cannot move with their service member.

Service member deaths while stationed in Bahrain are rare; but in 2019, Navy Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, died by suicide while assigned there. And in 2018, a young enlisted sailor, Engineman 2nd Class Austin Williams, was hit and killed by a Saudi driver shortly after beginning his tour in Manama.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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