VICTORIA, British Columbia (NNS) -- Guests from Victoria, British Columbia, as well as visiting Sailors from Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Calgary (FFH-335) were welcomed to a reception in the hangar bay of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Oct. 3.
"The U.S. and Canadian Navies have had a long-standing tradition of mutual support and cooperation in the defense of our homelands," said Capt. Patrick D. Hall, Lincoln's commanding officer. "This relationship has sustained our two countries through exercises, military exchanges, and helped tremendously in humanitarian efforts and the preservation of peace and stability around the world."
Lincoln stopped in Victoria for a port visit on her way back to her home port of Everett, Wash., after being underway nearly three weeks.
"It's truly great for our Sailors to be able to come here and enjoy a few days in this wonderful city," said Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, who is commander of Carrier Strike Group 9. "It's been 20 years since I've been here and the great thing is it hasn't changed. Some of our other ships from our strike group have been able to come up here and enjoy the wonderful hospitality as well and see great things. We really do appreciate it."
One of the guest speakers for the evening was Rear Adm. Tyrone Pile, commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, Joint Task Force Pacific who welcomed Lincoln to Canada.
"Warships off the shores of your country mean many different things," Pile said. "To us, seeing the Lincoln is a welcome sight. We work with you; we've been partners for many years and we look forward to many years in the future."
For some, this was their first time attending a reception of this magnitude on an American ship.
"Although I've operated with the Americans many times before, I'm always impressed with your standards for ceremony and putting on a good show," said Lt. Blair Saltal, operations officer on board Calgary. "I've never met an unfriendly servicemenber that wouldn't go the extra mile for us."
During the festivities, entertainment was provided by Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Jose Villanueva as he played San Francisco flamenco on his guitar.
Many of the visitors during the event took the opportunity to go on a guided tour led by Lincoln's Sailors.
"It was wonderful to get to visit with our Canadian brothers and sisters in their Navy and some of the people that serve with us in our carrier strike group," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Eric Schmidt, Lincoln's command master chief. "This is the ground work for the ambassadorship that we preach. Each and every one of us is an ambassador, not only of our Navy, but for our country."
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.