By MC2 Clay Whaley
VP-8 Public Affairs

Twenty-two Sailors from VP-8's chapter of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) were invited to tour the Ahmed Al-Fateh Islamic Center Feb. 21. The complex is the national mosque for the Kingdom of Bahrain and symbolizes Bahrain's religious identity.  

"I think this was a great opportunity to take time out of our busy schedules to learn about the religious and cultural identity of Bahrain" said ATAN Nicholas Monastiero. "I had a great time with my fellow "Fighting Tigers" CSADD members and look forward to more cultural enrichment opportunities in the future" he added.

The mosque offers tours for Bahrain's non-Muslim residents and visiting military forces to promote the Kingdom of Bahrain as a modern and tolerant Muslim country. Construction of the mosque began Dec. 17, 1984 and was complete on June 2, 1988. The Grand Mosque occupies 69,965 square feet and the entire Ahmed Al-Fateh Islamic Center complex is more than 37 acres in size. The facility can accommodate in excess of 7,000 worshipers during prayers.

VP-8 is deployed to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility conducting maritime security operations and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The VP-8 Fighting Tigers are home based at NAS Jacksonville.