LISBON, Portugal (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (CVN 65) arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, Jan. 26, to conduct its first port-of-call in Europe.
The U.S. ambassador to Portugal will host a reception aboard the ship for local officials, and the crew will participate in three community relations projects and visit the capital city of one of America's strongest partners.
Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is transiting toward the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, where theater security cooperation efforts and maritime security operations increasingly rely on strong bonds between partner nations.
"We have been conducting exercises with our Portuguese allies and have been very impressed by our longstanding military-to-military connectivity and integration," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, Enterprise CSG commander. "Our ability to seamlessly work together at both tactical and strategic levels is necessary, and has been very successful."
Portugal, a member of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, was recently praised by President Barack Obama during his November visit to Lisbon, for being "a key partner in Afghanistan" during the president's remarks at the NATO summit.
Portugal currently has 250 troops in Afghanistan deployed to ISAF headquarters, Kabul International Airport and the Regional Command Capital, and is a founding member of NATO.
Enterprise has more than 5,000 Sailors and Marines embarked aboard and is underway on its first deployment since 2007.
"The crew is very excited to be visiting this beautiful and historic city," said Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, USS Enterprise commanding officer. "Many Sailors join the Navy to see the world, and for nearly half of the crew, Lisbon will be their first overseas liberty port visit. We have lots of tours scheduled and are looking forward to seeing everything that Portugal has to offer."
USS Enterprise is currently on its 21st deployment.
Enterprise Strike Group consists of Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87); USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.
For news regarding Enterprise Strike Group's deployment, visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USS.Enterprise.CVN.65.
For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.