AVATAR: When Science(-fiction) Meets Military

Sigourney Weaver, cast member of AVATAR, interacts with service members during a Red Carpet Premier Event on board Naval Support Activity, Bahrain January 28, 2010. Photo by Amanda Schwilch

Sigourney Weaver with service members during the AVATAR premier on board Naval Support Activity, Bahrain January 28, 2010. By Amanda Schwilch

MANAMA, Bahrain – Navy Entertainment and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) brought cast and crew members James Cameron, Jon Landau, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and JohnDavid Cameron from the film AVATAR to visit service members in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR) during the last week of January, 2010.

“The experience was really amazing” said Rodriguez, “The people out here are fantastic and the flights on and off the ships were awesome.”

Cast and crew spent time meeting, greeting, signing autographs, and having their photos taken with several thousand service members, followed by a screening of the film on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 76), Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Sheikh Isa Air Base, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), and Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, Africa.

“I was really moved by all of these Sailors, Marines, and Soldiers,” said Sigourney Weaver.

After spending a day aboard the USS Eisenhower, during which the AVATAR cast and crew signed autographs for seven hours, they returned to Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain and were greeted by Commanding Officer Rick Sadsad, Executive Officer Patrick Moran, and Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Vice Admiral Bill Gortney.

“It’s really fantastic to be able to provide our service members an opportunity to interact with these well known Hollywood people,” said Moran, “It definitely boosts morale and gives the service members great memories to take home.”

AVATAR cast and crew next spent a day interacting with Soldiers at Sheikh Isa Air Base followed by a day aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, and ended their tour with a day at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti Africa.

“None of this would have been possible without the hard work of the folks at Navy Entertainment and MWR,” said Sadsad.

Karen Fritz from Navy entertainment; Tom Linscott, Mike Jones, James Shipp, Joe Hernandez, Amanda Schwilch, and Hussain Alsaffar from MWR coordinated this visit.

“In the time I’ve been here, this has been the highlight of it all.” said Joe Hernandez, MWR Community Program Director, “These actors and actresses really showed their appreciation for the military by being here and I really appreciate them for that.”

Courtesy of Public Affairs Office Naval Support Activity Bahrain