The Associated Press reports that the home base of the 5th United States Naval Fleet located in Bahrain is secure. Anthony Cordesman, a Mideast defense specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Bahrain has security services capable of handling protesters and potentially backed by neighboring Saudi Arabia. The implications for U.S. foreign policy and national security from the pro-democracy movements that have arisen in the Arab world – highlighted by Egypt’s stunning revolution – is likely to be a topic Wednesday when Defense Secretary Robert Gates testifies before the House Armed Services Committee. Bahrain is one of four Gulf countries with U.S. Patriot missiles based on their soil to defend against potential attack from Iran. 
The 5th Fleet operates at least one aircraft carrier in the Gulf at all times, along with an “amphibious ready group” of ships with Marines aboard. Their presence is central to a longstanding U.S. commitment to ensuring the free flow of oil through the Gulf, while keeping an eye on a hostile Iran and seeking to deter piracy in the region. Looking at the role of the 5th Fleet, one can glean they have been there in the area for over 60 years with a home base that had been leased from Bahrain to support the role of the United States in this area and deal with piracy on the open seas as well as rescue missions and protecting American citizens abroad. 
Its mission statement is a broad view of its area of responsibility as it boldly states “Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ Commander, 5th Fleet’s area of responsibility encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. Countries in AOR: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.” Some areas of unrest under the watchful eyes of the 5th and the 6th Fleet (located in the Mediterranean Sea) are:
1. SYRIA – President Bashar al-Assad also gave a rare interview to Western media, telling The Wall Street Journal for a January 31 article that he planned reforms that would allow for local elections and included a new media law and more power for private organizations.
2. SUDAN – Demonstrators have clashed with authorities on several recent occasions in Sudan.
3. PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES – Negotiations have collapsed. Abbas’ Palestinian Authority holds sway only over the West Bank. The militant Islamist movement Hamas controls Gaza.
4. JORDAN – King Abdullah II swore in a new government last week following anti-government protests in his country
5. ALGERIA – About 100 protesters were arrested during the protests in Algiers on Saturday, according to the opposition Algerian League for Human Rights.
6. YEMEN – protest by Sanaa University students seeking demands including a better curriculum transitioned into an anti-government protest on Wednesday, according to two student participants.
7. TUNISIA – government-imposed curfew in Tunisia has been lifted, but a state of emergency remains in effect, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday, as reported by the state-run Tunis Afrique Presse.
8. LIBYA – Libyan police clashed with protesters chanting anti-government slogans and demanding the release of a human rights activist early Wednesday. Several people were arrested after police confronted the protesters.
9. IRAQ-dozens of protesters stormed the governor’s office after the shooting, destroyed furniture and then set the building on fire.
10. IRAN- On Monday, tens of thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters marched in downtown Tehran.
11. EGYPT- Protests continued Wednesday as Egypt’s military moves forward with a plan to enact constitutional reforms
12. BAHRAIN- Thousands of people gathered for a peaceful funeral procession for a Bahraini man killed when clashes erupted during another protester’s funeral procession, the president of a human rights group said. 
The numbered fleet commanders are required to function as Joint Task Force (JTF) commanders when a JTF has been established. For this reason, many resources are rotated between fleets to maintain operational readiness.