NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) celebrated Thanksgiving Day with the British sailors from HMS Queen Elizabeth (RO8), Nov. 22.
Capt. Putnam Browne, commanding officer of Abraham Lincoln invited more than 200 Queen Elizabeth sailors to celebrate the holiday with approximately 500 Lincoln Sailors.
“It’s wonderful to interact with our allies,” said Browne “The Sailors from both of our nations have worked together for many years. It’s great to be able to share and celebrate with them.”
Queen Elizabeth is the Royal Navy’s largest and most powerful ship in their fleet. She is deployed to the East Coast of the United States to participate in flying trials of the F-35 Lightning II, NATO’s joint-strike fighter aircraft. This is the first time F-35 jets have flown from the carrier’s flight deck. Their deployment is also to demonstrate the ship’s ability to operate with other nations.
“It’s something we didn’t anticipate being able to do, but given how closely our nations have worked together for so long now this further cements our very strong relationship,” said Cmdr. David Hedgecox, the commander weapon engineer aboard Queen Elizabeth. “It’s been a real privilege to share our navy’s experiences, and of course, we can continue to build that relationship.”
The British culture celebrates a harvest festival, which is similar to American Thanksgiving, where they celebrate what they are thankful for. The difference is that the British celebrate at the last day of their harvest, which is late September. Their festival is full of singing, shouting and decorating the town with foliage.
“It’s interesting because I’ve never actually done Thanksgiving before,” said Able Seaman Glen Sweetmin, a supply chain logistician aboard Queen Elizabeth. “I had the chance to come aboard and meet a different culture of navy.”
The camaraderie was evident as the Sailors shared meals, stories and created memories. The group compared navy experiences and sea stories while indulging in the traditional American Thanksgiving meal. Lincoln’s culinary specialists prepared a vast spread of turkey, ham, and other Thanksgiving classics.
“It is amazing on this thanksgiving day to come together,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Marshawnda Fuller, an Abraham Lincoln Sailor. “We have a lot of similarities, but we have a lot of differences too. It was good to be able to see different points of view.”
This year on the holiday for giving thanks, Sailors from different backgrounds found common ground and a new reason to be thankful this year.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.