EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) left its homeport of Naval Station Everett, Wash., Feb. 27 under gray skies and cool temperatures for a routine deployment to the Western Pacific (West-Pac).
After several months of rigorous training to sustain capabilities, Lincoln's crew of approximately 3,300 Sailors will apply the lessons learned in the past to missions of the future.
Lincoln's Commanding Officer, Capt. C.A. McCawley, urged Lincoln Sailors to use the training they've acquired and apply it in the forthcoming months.
"As we depart Everett, it is imperative that USS Abraham Lincoln look toward excelling at whatever lies ahead, wherever we may go," said McCawley as he addressed the crew Monday morning. "From the reactor spaces to the signal bridge, I am confident that the hard-working professionals aboard Abraham Lincoln will exceed expectations, just as you have in the past."
After transiting South, Lincoln is expected to pick up the 2,000-plus personnel of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, along with various aircraft and equipment before steaming West.
McCawley reminded Abe's crew that the relationship and coordination between the ship and CVW-2 are what makes the two units such a cohesive team.
"The air wing is the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group's main power of projection," McCawley said. "Together, we will continue to focus and be deliberate in our actions."
This deployment will be the first West-Pac since Lincoln's historic cruise in 2004, when Lincoln and CVW-2 Sailors responded to the Southeast Asian tsunami disaster that occurred Dec. 26, 2004. After Operation Unified Assistance, Lincoln returned and has since been conducting readiness training in accordance to the Fleet Response Plan.
Abraham Lincoln is home to the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Commander, Rear Adm. Bill Goodwin, who said the 2006 deployment affords the strike group the opportunity to work with many coalition partners.
"The strike group will be training with coalition partners to improve our ability to operate with naval forces from many nations," Goodwin said. "The United States is committed to its alliances and will be working to develop partnerships with nations in the region to enhance security."
What the future holds for this deployment remains unknown, but the Sailors that comprise the Abe/CVW-2 team will rely on the knowledge gained while performing at sea.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.