MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) departed Bahrain, Feb. 5, following a four-day port visit.
While in Bahrain, Abraham Lincoln hosted a reception and Sailors participated in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)-sponsored tours and volunteered for several community relations events (COMRELs).
"It's always good for the crew to take a few days to relax in port and recharge their batteries," said Capt. John D. Alexander, Lincoln's commanding officer. "Our Sailors do outstanding work when we're out to sea, so it's important they get the opportunity to take a break, see new places and experience a wide range of cultures with our partners in the region."
Abraham Lincoln hosted a pierside reception for U.S. and partner nation dignitaries and distinguished guests, Feb. 2, including Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
Sailors assigned to Abraham Lincoln and guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) experienced the local culture by partaking in MWR tours and events, including guided tours to Bahrain's Grand Mosque and the Tree of Life. Crew members also swam with dolphins, fished and raced go-carts.
"I really loved swimming with the dolphins," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airman Larry R. Manning. "It's always been a dream of mine, and it's finally happened."
Engineman Fireman Alisha K. Owens said she appreciated the opportunity to visit with the locals and participate in a COMREL at the Kingdom of Bahrain Filipino Women's Club.
"It's a wonderful thing that we had time to give back to the community," Owens said. "We were only there for a short time, and it really shows that-no matter where we are-we can lend a helping hand."
Bahrain marks the second port visit of Abraham Lincoln's 2012 deployment following a visit to Pattaya, Thailand. The ship departed Everett, Wash., Dec. 7, on a cruise that will take the ship around the world and to its new homeport of Norfolk, Va.
Lincoln and Cape St. George are part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ALCSG), which also includes embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Destroyer Squadron 9, comprised of guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). ALCSG is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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