USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) hosted six members of the Australian Parliament July 9 as a part of biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises in the Hawaiian operating area.
The Distinguished Visitors (DV) saw various parts of the ship, including medical spaces, the mess decks and the flight deck.
"I've always had a desire to visit a Nimitz-class carrier," said Kim Wilkie, Parliament member for Swan, Western Australia. "These visits are important to enhance the relationship between the U.S. and Australia. Since we're both involved in RIMPAC, it gives us an opportunity to work with more than our allies; it gives us the opportunity to work with our friends."
The visitors came aboard as a part of the Australian Defense Force Parliament Program, which allows members of Australia's Parliament to get a better understanding of how the U.S. Navy operates.
"The program is designed to get the members a better understanding of what life at sea and shore is like," said Australian navy Lt. Jillian Brownlie. "It's a great opportunity to learn and appreciate how tough military life really is. They get to interact on a normal basis with service members of all ranks."
Brownlie said the visit to Abe was to gain a better understanding of how an aircraft carrier fits into an international exercise.
Abraham Lincoln is currently participating in the month-long RIMPAC exercise. RIMPAC includes ships and personnel from the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom. This exercise trains U.S. and allied forces to be interoperable and ready for a wide range of potential combined operations and missions.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.