USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Abraham Lincoln Strike Group transited the Suez Canal, July 16, departing the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) and entering the U.S. 6th Fleet AOR en route to the United States to complete an eight-month deployment.
The strike group transited the Suez Canal after five months in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and combat flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
While in the 6th Fleet AOR, the strike group will conduct a full range of maritime operations and theater security cooperation efforts in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other partners in order to improve maritime safety and security.
"This team has worked long and hard in support of OEF and other NAVCENT (U.S. Naval Forces Central Command) initiatives over the last five months," said Rear Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9. "As we depart 5th Fleet and pass the baton to the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, we are confident that they will continue our efforts, and we leave the AOR knowing we did everything in our power to promote security and stability in the region and to support our troops and forces on the ground in Afghanistan."
The Suez Canal connects the Arabian Sea, where CSG-9 was supporting OEF, with the Mediterranean Sea by way of the Red Sea. Enabling ships to sail between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, it is one of the world's most heavily used shipping lanes.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) is the flagship for CSG-9, which is also comprised of embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9.
Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Dec. 7, for a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AORs. Following an upcoming port visit in the Mediterranean Sea, Lincoln will head for her new homeport of Norfolk, Va., where the ship will undergo a four-year periodic refueling complex overhaul.
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