Kuwait, USA Fortify Military-to-Military Relations
Kuwaiti Air Force and U.S. Embassy officials met with USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 leadership aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, May 9.
The Kuwaiti Ministry of Defence Director of Operations and Plans, Kuwaiti Air Force Maj. Gen. Abdulrazaq Al-Awadhi, and the Defense Attaché of Kuwait City, Brig. Gen. Rick B. Mattson, a U.S. Embassy senior defense official, joined several other Kuwaiti military officials to tour Lincoln and observe maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf.
The visit was designed to strengthen military-to-military relations and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to long-term stability and security in the region.
From the ship’s flag bridge and vulture’s row, Kuwaiti military officials and cadets viewed fly-bys as Kuwaiti pilots rode in the backseats of two F/A-18F Super Hornets assigned to the Bounty Hunters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2. The guests also viewed an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Kestrels of VFA 137 in the ship’s hangar bay.
Al-Awadhi said the visit would increase the cadets’ understanding of the importance of Lincoln’s mission in the region.
“Many of the cadets in this group have recently graduated,” Al-Awadhi said. “We have been involved with exchange programs in the past, and this embark is to operate with friends in the area. It’s also a great opportunity for the cadets to come out and see this ship.”
Lincoln is currently deployed with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, which also includes embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, guided-missile cruiser Cape St. George (CG 71) and Destroyer Squadron 9, comprised of guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). CSG 9 is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and combat flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Naval Today Staff , May 18, 2012; Image: US navy