Few dependents still in Bahrain after evacuation
August 2, 2004
Only a handful of military dependents remains in Bahrain since an evacuation order was announced July 2.
About 940 dependents have left since the Pentagon ordered a “temporary relocation” because of possible terrorist attacks.
Probably fewer than 10 people with special circumstances that need to be worked out remain, said Cmdr. Jamie Graybeal, 5th Fleet spokesman, in a phone interview from Manama.
There has been no word from the Pentagon on whether the evacuation, originally planned to last for at least 30 days, will become permanent.
Graybeal said the relocation has gone smoothly.
“There haven’t been any big issues that have come to light,” he said. “A lot is going to precipitate out of decisions in Washington.”
One of those decisions is how the evacuation will affect the 64 teachers who work at the large Department of Defense Dependents Schools facility, which more than 700 students attend.
“We’re still waiting to see what will happen,” said Joseph Tafoya, director of Department of Defense Education Activity, in a telephone interview from Arlington, Va.
Because DODEA has been told to treat the situation as a temporary evacuation, the teachers, who are on summer break now, have not packed up.
“It would be premature to pack them out,” he said.
The teachers are being assigned to temporary duty at schools in Europe and at the stateside headquarters.
The State Department in July issued a travel advisory for Bahrain, stating on its Web site, “Credible information indicates that extremists … are planning attacks in Bahrain.”
The warning mentions attacks on Westerners in Saudi Arabia, linked to Bahrain via a 15-mile causeway.