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5th Fleet loosens curfew in latest move

Sep. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, 2014 Deployment
Yeoman 2nd Class Michael Hall, assigned to the amphibious assault ship Bataan, shops in Manama, Bahrain, while on liberty. The curfew Curfews and drinking restrictions have been tightened for sailors, their dependents and other Defense Department contractors and civilians assigned to 5th Fleet has been relaxed slightly. (MC1 Julie Matyascik/Navy)
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Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported officials had tightened the curfew. In fact, the curfew was made later by an hour.

The curfew for sailors, their dependents and other Defense Department contractors and civilians assigned to 5th Fleet was loosened slightly as of Wednesday, a Naval Forces Central Command spokesman confirmed to Navy Times.

Personnel in Bahrain must be in a hotel room or residence by 1 a.m., instead of midnight, Lt. Joe Hontz said, following a post to the command’s Facebook page.

According to existing rules, they are to stay indoors until 5 a.m. unless on their way to base “for the express purpose of duty,” the message said.

From midnight to 5 a.m., personnel are prohibited from being in bars, clubs or “other establishments where consumption of alcohol is a primary focus of activity,” the Facebook message said, quoting a 5th Fleet naval message released Wednesday.

Alcohol consumption is banned between midnight and 5 a.m., unless it’s in a residence or hotel room.

The buddy rule is still in effect.

Hontz could not elaborate on the reasons for the relaxation of the curfew.

“Basically, we’re going back to the previous posture,” Hontz said. “These kind of things are routine, just due to the climate around here, we just adjust it accordingly.”

The restrictions were first put in place in May 2013. Bahrain, where 5th Fleet is headquartered, has experienced occasional tensions in the four years since the Arab Spring, with Bahraini Shiites demanding that the the kingdom’s royal family relinquish power.

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