USS Abraham Lincoln Arrives in Turkey

Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 arrived in Antalya, Turkey, for a scheduled port visit, July 17.

The port visit will provide 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.

The ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team organized several tours for the crew to enjoy, including visits to the ancient cities of Aspendos, Perge and Heiropolis. Lincoln Sailors will also enjoy whitewater rafting tours, golf tournaments and horseback riding.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing a thrill in a foreign country,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Jennifer Brenke, who is planning to go whitewater rafting while the ship is in port. “How many people can say they’ve been able to do this kind of thing in Turkey?”

In addition to sightseeing and tours, Sailors will compete against local teams in soccer and basketball games organized by the ship’s Religious Ministries department.

Lt. Gregory R. Coates, a Navy chaplain who helped organize the contests, said they will provide the participants with memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

“We are also going to take more Sailors with us to cheer on the teams while we play these friendly matches against the Turkish military sports teams,” Coates said. “It allows us to build relationships and friendships with the host nation.”

Lincoln’s visit to Antalya follows the ship’s departure from the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), July 16, when the ship transited the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea.

Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Dec. 7, for a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AORs. Following this port visit, Lincoln will be 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, the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 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 her way back to the United States to complete an eight-month deployment.

Naval Today Staff, July 18, 2012