During the summer of 1996, I was deployed to Bahrain for a joint readiness exercise. This was my first time to travel overseas. On the way to Bahrain, we stopped in Sicily for an overnight stay. In Bahrain, I helped setup communications for a Navy Seal team. They were testing communications from land, sea and air. I was able to go to the city, Manama, several times. During the drive in the desert, I often saw a herd of camels on the side of the road.
I also flew to Oman for a one night stay. On the flight back from Oman, the Navy flight crew let me take control of the plane, a P3 Orion, for a short period of time. Flying is a lot harder than I expected. The pilot had to put me back on course several times.
Bahrain is a small island near Saudi Arabia. Unlike most Arabic countries, drinking is legal in Bahrain. Bahrain is sort of like Las Vegas for that region. Many people in the area travel there for vacation. I did try to swim in the Persian Gulf. There were bullet casings on the ocean floor. Here is a photograph of Michael standing in his barracks room shortly after arriving. Click on the photograph to view the entire gallery.