USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Twenty-two foreign military officials and civilians visited USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) June 17-18, during Exercise Valiant Shield 2006 in the Pacific Ocean.
Observers from Russia, India and Japan arrived aboard Lincoln June 17 via a C-2A Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, flying from Anderson Air Force Base, Guam. The visitors were aboard Lincoln for two days and enjoyed tours of the carrier, as well as observing operations during the exercise.
After arriving aboard Lincoln, guests were greeted by Capt. C.A. McCawley, Lincoln's commanding officer.
"It is an honor and pleasure to host you on board Abraham Lincoln, and on behalf of the embarked crew, I would like to welcome you," said McCawley.
Rear Adm. Bill Goodwin, commander, Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, commented on the unique opportunities presented during the visit and the upcoming exercise.
"We are here to join with the other services and test our command and control capabilities as we bring these three carrier strike groups together," said Goodwin. "It is a tremendous training activity that we don't get to take part in very often."
Valiant Shield is the first time three carrier strike groups have operated together in the Pacific in more than 10 years.
During their visit, the guests toured the combat direction center, hangar bays, and bridge, and watched flight operations from the flight deck.
"This was a great opportunity for this firsthand view of the professionalism of the crew of Lincoln," said Brig. Gen. Vikra Goswami of India's Joint Operations and Planning office, one of Lincoln's guests.
While aboard, guests attended a video teleconference (VTC) with key ships of the exercise, including USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Gary Roughead, to discuss the exercise and their visit.
Valiant Shield is a joint exercise designed to reinforce the United States' commitment to the Pacific Region. Valiant Shield 2006 exercises the U.S. military's ability to conduct robust, joint command and control operations and rapidly bring together joint forces in response to any regional contingency. Along with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, Kitty Hawk's and Ronald Reagan's strike groups are also participating in the event.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.