SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Thailand military and embassy staff members visited USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to tour the ship and meet with the crew Sept. 11.
The visitors included Deputy Chief of Staff, Royal Thai Navy, Vice Adm. Soopakorn Booranadiloak; Royal Thai Navy Foreign Liaison Department Capt. Chonlathis Navanugraha; Col. Joe Corso, U.S. Embassy; and Col. Jacques LeBlanc, Canadian Embassy.
Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9 Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk welcomed the guests.
"Welcome aboard and thank you for coming. It's an honor to have you here," Van Buskirk said. "Thailand's naval forces and those of the United States have many shared traditions. Working together with partner nations is critical to ensuring peace and stability in the region. We look forward to our ongoing professional exchanges and the continued development of our Pacific Rim relationship."
The distinguished visitors were shown flight operations on Lincoln's flight deck, a static display of an SH-60F helicopter from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 2 and an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Kestrels of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137.
Soopakorn said he enjoyed flight operations and the visit as a whole.
"It's great to be here," he said. "It was great to see the aircraft take off and land. I think the visit went very [well]."
Soopakorn also said he would like the Royal Thai Navy and the U.S. Navy to work together in the future.
"I appreciate your time," he said. "We found it [gave my staff and I] a lot of information, and I hope that we can understand your Navy and coordinate in the future."
The visit was a prelude to Lincoln's port visit to Thailand, where Lincoln will host several other distinguished visitors during a banquet and scheduled tours.
Lincoln is deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Operating in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets covering 52 million square miles, with approximately 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.