USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (ALCSG) concluded its participation in Exercise Valiant Shield June 23, marking the completion of the first such exercise to involve three carrier strike groups in more than 10 years.
Valiant Shield is a joint exercise designed to reinforce the United States' commitment to the Pacific Region and exercise the U.S. military's ability to conduct robust, joint command-and-control operations and rapidly bringing together joint forces in response to any regional contingency.
USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Groups also participated in the exercise, along with U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps personnel.
"Exercise Valiant Shield is the most important evolution of our 2006 deployment," said Lincoln Commanding Officer, Capt. C.A. McCawley. "Our ability to seamlessly integrate with two other carrier strike groups as well as Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard units in order to respond to any situation that could occur in the Pacific region is vital to the transformation of American fighting forces in the Pacific."
Rear Adm. Bill Goodwin, commander of ALCSG, emphasized the importance of joint operations during the exercise.
"Valiant Shield is a rare opportunity to bring together platforms that normally do not exercise together," said Goodwin. "Bringing B-2 bombers and carrier strike groups together is unusual, but exercising these capabilities helps ensure an integrated American air, sea and land force capable of an overwhelming and decisive response in any future contingency."
Prior to the exercise, Lincoln hosted foreign observers from the nations of India, Japan and Russia, as well as media from the Armed Forces Network, Guam, Japan and National Public Radio.
The exercise began with a photo exercise as the three strike groups conducted a passing exercise, sailing in a formation that brought the ships within 500 yards of one another as a flight of F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets, lead by an Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber, flew in formation overhead.
Operations then began in earnest, as the carrier strike groups began flying three days of sustained air strikes jointly with Air Force aircraft.
At the same time, the groups' helicopter squadrons began anti-submarine warfare exercises, and detachments went ashore to Guam to perform Naval Special Warfare missions with SEAL Team 1 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5.
To learn more about Valiant Shield, visit the Web site at www.pacom.mil.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.