Sunday, April 16, 2006

7,000 Sailors

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- The men and women of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (ALCSG) wrapped up a port call in Hong Kong April 10 after four days of liberty.The ship pulled into Hong Kong April 6, after successfully completing the Reception, Staging, Onward-movement & Integration and Foal Eagle 2006 (RSOI/FE 06) exercises off the coast of South Korea, March 31.During their four days in port, ALCSG Sailors toured the Hong Kong area, played soccer and rugby, lent a helping hand in community service projects and even found time to squeeze in a run with a local chapter of the Hash House Harriers.Lincoln’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office sold tickets for more than 1,230 tours of the area. Additionally, more than 350 Sailors took advantage of the opportunity to stay in hotel rooms in Hong Kong and Kowloon.While Sailors explored places such as Lantau Island and the New Territories, Lincoln’s soccer and rugby teams played local clubs, getting a taste of international competition. A few other Sailors spent time either playing basketball - both men's and women's teams - or golfing.ALCSG Sailors participated in six community service projects, including work for the Salvation Army, the Banayihan Trust and other local charities. They assisted in preservation, moved supplies and contributed to other projects to extend good will.According to Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Jon Westrum, these projects are “a great chance to give back to the community [and] spend time with friends.”Westrum is a member of Lincoln’s First Class Petty Officer’s Association (FCA). The FCA volunteered to repaint a classroom at the Banayihan Trust, a Hong Kong charity.“We’re part of a military organization, and with our primary job being what it is, it’s nice to do something a little bit different, something where we’re giving back in a positive light and showing good citizenship,” he said.Many Sailors also took advantage of offers of in-home meals with local residents. In all, amidst the shopping, tours, food and local nightlife, ALCSG Sailors had the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Hong Kong before returning to sea. Abraham Lincoln is currently on a Western Pacific deployment. Hong Kong was the ship’s first port call in a foreign port during its deployment.
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