U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin is preparing to deploy to the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain, however the former The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman star apparently won't let the distance affect his romantic relationship with his selected suitor and former fiancee Tessa Horst.

"Tessa and I love each other very much.  We're trying to keep our private life private now... but things are good," Baldwin told Hawaii's KITV-TV ABC affiliate in a Tuesday broadcast report. 

Baldwin, an undersea medical officer, is currently stationed in Hawaii.  Last month, Us Weekly reported that he would be deployed to Iraq for six to 12 months, however according to Baldwin he's not actually going to Iraq.  Instead, he and the Navy SEALS unit he works with are heading to Bahrain, an island kingdom in the Persian Gulf.

"We've recently been tasked to go over to the Persian Gulf and serve as a special command and control element over there," Baldwin told KITV.  "It's an opportunity that's going to be risky, but it's also our opportunity to do our job in protecting our freedom."

Baldwin presented his final rose and also proposed marriage to Horst, a San Francisco, CA-based social worker, during ABC's May broadcast of Officer and a Gentleman's pre-taped finale. 

Horst accepted both the rose and the proposal, and after The Bachelor's finale broadcast, she told reporters that she planned to relocate to Hawaii "in the coming months... the next few months."

The couple announced the end of their engagement in August but insisted they were still very much a romantic item.  Although they didn't reveal any specifics at the time, the pair had cited the possibility of an end to Baldwin's Pearl Harbor assignment as the reason behind Horst's decision to cancel her original plan to relocate to Hawaii.

"We are very much in love and committed to our relationship," said the couple in the joint statement that announced the end of their engagement.  "With the possibility of reassignment to a new location, we decided it was not the ideal time for Tessa to uproot herself and move out [to Hawaii] right now.  Our relationship continues to deepen, and we're very hopeful about our future together."

Baldwin told KITV that Horst -- who is visiting her beau in Hawaii this week -- understands his commitment to the military.

"That's the cost that going over and serving our country takes," he told KITV.  "I'm sure it's stressful [for Horst],  but it's a lot better than it used to be with the forms of communication.  If it's meant to be, it's meant to be."