USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, led by Rear Adm. J. W. Goodwin, embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), is currently participating in Reception Staging Onward Movement and Integration and Foal Eagle 2006 (RSOI/FE 06), which began March 26 and runs through the end of the month.
The exercise is designed to demonstrate U.S. resolve to support the Republic of Korea (ROK) while improving overall readiness.
"The exercise will also help teach, coach, and mentor junior military personnel while exercising senior leaders' decision-making capabilities," said Goodwin.
CSG 9 includes Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, Abraham Lincoln, the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and the guide-missile destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS Shoup (DDG 86).
"Foal Eagle provides the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group the opportunity to continue developing its partnerships with nations in the region to enhance security," said Capt. C. A. McCawley, Abraham Lincoln's commanding officer.
Cmdr. Glen Leverette of Commander, Task Force 70 (CTF 70) based in Yokosuka, Japan, described Lincoln's role in RSOI/FE 06 as a vital one.
"Lincoln is here to support theater security, cooperation and engagement with the ROK and to reinforce the alliance we have," Leverette said. "Our presence during the exercise is a visible, tangible expression of our nation's commitment to their [ROK's] defense."
According to Leverette, the war-fighting skill sets Lincoln and CVW-2 will rehearse include close-air support for ground units, air-to-air defense exercises, maritime interoperability training and expeditionary operations.
"An exercise like this crystallizes Lincoln's role as a command-and-control node," said Leverette. "Without Lincoln's communications suite and connectivity, this exercise would be nearly impossible to conduct."
Leverette stated that Foal Eagle is the largest concentration of surface and air forces that participate in field training exercises on the Korean Peninsula.
"It involves more than 70 ships, 70 to 80 aircraft, and all four services of both the U.S. and ROK armed forces. Everyone is involved," Leverette added
The ROK and U.S. navies will conduct an officer exchange program during the exercise. Five ROK naval officers will embark Abraham Lincoln to train with the ships' crew.
Gen. B. B. Bell, commander, U.S. Forces Korea, said Foal Eagle presents a great training opportunity, but urged leaders to be familiar with the risks involved.
"The success of this exercise will be measured, among other things, by how safely we conduct the operation," said Bell.
CSG 9 is on a routine deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to conduct maritime security operations and to train with its coalition partners to improve the ability to operate with naval forces from many nations.
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