USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN At Sea (NNS) -- Members of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) serving in Bahrain visited USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) June 19 while conducting operations in the Arabian Gulf.
Coalition liaison officers -- 16 in all -- from various countries including Italy, New Zealand and Pakistan came aboard Lincoln to gain insight into the ship's capabilities and experience life aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9, Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, and Lincoln's Commanding Officer Capt. Patrick D. Hall met the officers to welcome them aboard.
"As coalition maritime leaders, we have a special kinship and espirit de corps," Van Buskirk said. "It's a great opportunity to learn from and interact with our coalition partners."
The officers toured the ship, viewed flight operations and spoke with members of the crew.
Danish Cmdr. Per Petersen, director of future CMF operations and senior representative for Denmark, said the visit gave him an opportunity to learn about the capabilities of an aircraft carrier in the region.
"CMF puts a lot of emphasis on maritime security in the region," Petersen said. "There is a lot of smuggling of illicit drugs, persons and piracy. It is of great importance to the welfare of all countries that we have a stable region here."
Petersen also said visiting Lincoln was a very positive experience.
"We're collaborating with different regional representatives from coalition countries, and it helps us better understand why things are the way they are," he said. "We have a different way of doing business in Europe and getting down here, talking to people helps us understand how we can help and what they need."
Director of Coalition Coordination Center at CMF, Cmdr. Paul Bunnell, said CMF aims to have all coalition countries work together as one.
"We want to work as one cohesive unit to further the goals of CMF and U.S. Naval Central Command," Bunnell said. "There are approximately 20 countries that are part of the Coalition, and 15 are represented here today by the senior person from each country."
USS Abraham Lincoln is deployed to the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet area of operations to support Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) News page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.