The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, is now in the Philippines with its 3,000 crew that includes about 300 Filipinos.
Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, CVN 72 commanding officer, said the USS Abraham Lincoln’s first deployment in the Philippines was during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in Pampanga, moving nearly 45,000 people from Subic Bay Naval Station to the Port of Cebu.
The ship is staying “until further notice” and the officers committed “to helping, fostering, and continuing the strong relationship” with the Philippines. It was at the Manila Bay on Friday. Of its around 3,000 sailors, about 10 percent are Filipinos.
Chief Petty Officer Rommel Pasive said the mission opened an opportunity for him to visit his family and relax while visiting the sites here.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Romero, 22, is excited to see her siblings and relatives again after moving to the US in 2018.
“I am committed to fulfilling the ship’s mission as a proud representative of the Filipino people,” she said in an interview on Thursday with select journalists who were taken to the ship on the West Philippine Sea by a CMV-22 Osprey military aircraft.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Michael Canta, in charge of the jets’ maintenance, said despite their busy roles, Filipino workers still find ways to hang out and comfort each other.
“Just like in the Philippines,” he said in Filipino.
The US Navy’s “global deterrent presence” is aimed at strengthening partnerships among nations; ensuring freedom of navigation and access, as well as providing countries of destination with humanitarian aid and disaster response, according to Rear Admiral Jeffrey Anderson, commander of the carrier’s Strike Group 3.
The visit is also part of the close cooperative ties of the Philippines and the US to conduct combined military exercises and sustain efficiency and sharpen command control skills while challenging participants to adapt to dynamic environments, added Anderson.
A series of military training exercises with the Armed Forces of the Philippines will be conducted during the visit duration of the CVN 72, which left her homeport in San Diego, California on January 23.
The ship is staying “until further notice” and the officers committed “to helping, fostering, and continuing the strong relationship” with the Philippines. It was at the Manila Bay on Friday.
“These exercises showcase the teamwork and integration between the Navy, the marine corps, our allies and partners in the Asia Pacific,” Anderson said, adding that the Philippines and the US have maintained strong cooperative military and people-to-people ties for 75 years already.
“Our presence and engagements demonstrate our commitment to the region as we continue to protect our collective interest, enhance our security and safeguard our shared values,” he added.