Head of US naval fleet in Middle East found dead in Bahrain

Head of US naval fleet in Middle East found dead in Bahrain
Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, head of the US naval fleet in the Middle East has been found dead at his home in Bahrain
2 min read
02 December, 2018
The head of the US fleet in the Gulf has been found dead [US Navy]
The head of the US' large naval force in the Middle East has been found dead in Bahrain, the military said on Saturday night, although the navy said that no foul play was found in the vice admiral's death.

Vice admiral Scott Stearney was discovered at his residence on the Gulf island state on Saturday with the US navy and Bahraini intelligence investigating his death.

He began his post as commander of US Naval Forces Central Command - including the US Fifth Fleet - and Combined Maritime Forces in May.

"This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at Fifth Fleet and for the entire Navy. Scott Stearney was a decorated naval warrior," Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said in a statement.

"At this time no foul play is suspected."

The Fifth Fleet's deputy commander, Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, has taken command of the Middle East naval force.

Stearne joined the navy in 1982 and served with several strike fighter squadrons flying the FA-18 Hornet.

He served in Kabul, Afghanistan, as chief of staff of Joint Task Force 435 and later Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.

Based in Bahrain, the Fifth Fleet is one of Washington's largest naval forces and is responsible for security in the Gulf region, where tensions between Iran and the US and its allied have risen.

The US Gulf fleet has been used for air strikes on Islamic State group targets in Syria and Iraq.

The news follows the death of George W Bush, the US president at the time of the First Gulf War.