Dear Everett Friends of Abraham Lincoln,
Our deployment continues on schedule, with the ship and air wing presently on station in the Arabian Gulf enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions.
First, I would like to thank the Mayor and the City of Everett for the kind remarks concerning the tragic loss of Lt. Bruce Donald. Although we are all fully aware of the potential dangers inherent in the type of work we do, this understanding does not lessen the blow to the crew and the air wing. Your thoughts and support are greatly appreciated.
The loss of our fellow shipmates on board USS Cole has been another sad event not only for our crew but also for the entire nation. We pray for the families and surviving shipmates of USS Cole and are thankful for the tremendous support offered by our Navy family during this difficult time.
As we steam toward the middle of November, the ship and crew have been performing superbly. We spent 45 days underway enroute without a port visit, but still maintained a great attitude while completing all missions flawlessly and safely.
In early October, we had the fortune to make our first port visit in the ports of Jebel Ali and the nearby city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While on liberty, every crewmember was an outstanding ambassador of the United States, the state of Washington, and the city of Everett. Our clown troupe and choirs made hundreds of new Abe fans during their community relation projects to local schools and churches. The ship donated more than $7,000 in books, food, and other personal use items.
The next three months of our deployment will test the ship and air wing. As we continue our operations in the Arabian Gulf, we still have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us.
We are challenged every day – by the heat and humidity, by the long hours of work to accomplish the mission, and by the monotony of a long at-sea period. We continue to support our allies in the region by enforcing the Iraqi no-fly zones while supporting United Nations sanctions through maritime interception operations. With the support of our friends and family, we look forward to safe and successful operations in the Arabian Gulf.
Captain, U.S. Navy
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