USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) departed Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, July 29, after the final weekend of the biennial Rim of the Pacific 2006 (RIMPAC) exercise.
More than 1,000 guests, including Sailors from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom joined U.S. Navy personnel for a final pierside reception aboard the carrier July 28.
Lincoln served as the command and control hub for the multination task force during the exercise.
According to Rear Adm. Bill Goodwin, commander, Carrier Strike Group 9, the training received on the part of all the participating navies was invaluable.
"We (the U.S. Navy) take every opportunity to train and hone our warfighting skills," Goodwin said. "Adding the challenges of interoperability with foreign navies gives us a great opportunity to expand those capabilities and the capabilities of those participating navies. Interoperability is a perishable skill."
"Exercises such as RIMPAC help ensure that we will be capable of handling any contingency in the Pacific region in cooperation with the navies of nations throughout the area," he added.
During the exercise, embarked Destroyer Squadron 9 (DESRON) and helicopters of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 2 and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 47 from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 conducted anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare training as the fixed-wing aircraft of CVW-2 provided Combat Air Patrol (CAP) support for the multinational fleet.
"Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) is the United States Navy's top warfighting priority for the Pacific region. RIMPAC is a key part if the Navy's efforts to focus on ASW and support the proficiency of Sailors in this challenging skill," said Lincoln's Commanding Officer, Capt. C.A. McCawley.
"Our participation in this exercise provided an opportunity for us not only to practice our ASW skills, but to work in conjunction with the very nations we would assist in alliance with if the worst happened in the Pacific region, and our services as defenders of freedom and open navigation of the seas were threatened," said Capt. Jeff Harley, commander, DESRON 9.
As RIMPAC came to a close, Lincoln embarked 750 "Tigers," friends and family members of the crew, for the return trip to San Diego and the homecoming of CVW-2. Lincoln will then proceed to its homeport of Everett, Wash., to end the ship's routine deployment to the Western Pacific.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.