USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 departed Antalya, Turkey, July 22, following a scheduled port visit.
The visit provided Sailors the opportunity to experience the Turkish culture and traditions, take tours of the surrounding areas, interact with Turkish citizens and unwind following an at-sea period.
"It was great to have the chance to experience another culture," said Fireman Samantha Vitali. "The people were very hospitable, and the country was beautiful."
Lincoln's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office provided Sailors with a host of available tours such as a tour of the city of Antalya, and rafting and boat tours.
"This was, in my opinion, the best port visit we have had this entire deployment," said Seaman Brianna Suits. "We were able to go out and see more thanks to the efforts and organization of MWR."
While in Turkey, Lincoln also hosted a reception in the ship's hangar bay to welcome Turkish leaders in an effort to strengthen the bond between the U.S. Navy and the local community.
"The reception was an excellent opportunity for our Sailors to interact with the local community and vice versa," said Senior Chief Legalman Margaret Bagley. "The opportunity to hold this reception was an amazing window for building bridges between our two cultures."
Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Dec. 7, for a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility (AORs). Currently heading back to the United States to complete an eight-month deployment, Lincoln is changing homeports from Everett, Wash., to Norfolk, Va., for a periodic refueling complex overhaul.
Lincoln is the flagship for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, which is also comprised of CVW-2, guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and Destroyer Squadron 9. CSG-9 will operate in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOR in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the coming weeks before making its way home.
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