Lincoln City native protects U.S. Navy forces in Middle East

Bret Levinton, a Lincoln City native, is a command master chief at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, forward-deployed to the Arabian Gulf region in the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet. (Courtesy photo)

Command Master Chief Bret Levinton, a Lincoln City native wanted to see the world. Now, 22 years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, Levinton serves as the leading-edge of the Navy the nation needs. 

“We have a high rate of turnover, and we have the highest operational tempo in the Navy,” said Levinton.

A 1996 graduate of Taft High School, Levinton is a command master chief at NSA Bahrain, forward-deployed to the Arabian Gulf region in the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet.

“Command master chiefs are the senior enlisted advisors to their commander or commanding officer,” said Levinton. “We provide input to the formulation, implementation and execution of policies concerning morale, welfare, job satisfaction, discipline, family support and training for all sailors.” 

Levinton credits success in Bahrain, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Lincoln City. “You have to learn to settle your differences and work together as a team,” he said. “It's what the Navy is all about, putting away your differences for the greater good."

U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the central region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways. 

NSA Bahrain enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. 5th Fleet and allied forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia's mission to provide services to the fleet, warfighter and family. 

“My job is to advise the commander and help integrate his philosophies, while accomplishing our mission in the 5th Fleet,” said Levinton. 

The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean, and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points — the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

“I’m incredibly proud to serve with each of our sailors, coastguardsmen and marines forward-deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations,” said Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, deputy commander for NAVCENT/U.S. 5th Fleet. “They represent the very best of our country and serve as volunteers in a complex and dynamic region that’s vital to our security. I am honored to work alongside these warriors.”

“I am proud of this because it is a big responsibility,” said Levinton. “Being in the Navy means I'm surrounded by people every day that make the impossible possible. I'm truly amazed at the talent of our junior sailors and that I get to be part of this family.”

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