The Pentagon is looking for a few good ships - complete with swimming pools, bars and enough beds to sleep at least 600 troops.
In a new twist to its efforts to provide recreation to the thousands of troops deployed in and around Saudi Arabia, the military hopes to hire cruise ships as floating R&R spots, and wants to get them dockside in the region by year's end.Tuesday was the deadline for sending bids to the Defense Department's Military Sealift Command. Shipping industry officials say a number of proposals were submitted.
Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia and rowdy music and dancing is frowned upon in the Islamic culture as well, leaving the military with few local options for R&R.
And none of the neighboring countries that allows drinking and reveling is willing or able to serve thousands of airmen, soldiers and sailors, most of whom would be getting their first break in months.