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Lincoln Strike Group Changes Command

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 held a change of command ceremony aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Jan. 29.

During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Mark D. Guadagnini relieved Rear Adm. Scott Swift as Carrier Strike Group 9 commander.

Swift served as commander of CSG 9 since Oct. 9, 2008. During his tour Swift was instrumental in orchestrating and leading sustained operations in support of the Navy's fleet response plan and U.S. 3rd Fleet's theater security cooperation plan.

Also under Swift's leadership, Lincoln successfully completed a nine-month planned incremental availability ahead of schedule, during which the ship underwent a complete overhaul estimated at nearly $350 million.

In his farewell remarks Swift highlighted the support the people and civic leaders of the Puget Sound, Wash., area have shown the Navy, as well as the community and military leaders of nearby Canada.

"We receive tremendous support here in Puget Sound and it's because of their leadership," said Swift.

Before ending his remarks Swift called Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Eric Schmidt to the stage to express his gratitude for the dedication Schmidt has given the Sailors of the Lincoln and to give away his final command coin as CSG 9 commander.

Swift is scheduled to report to U.S. Pacific Command to serve as the director of operations.

Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt, commander, 3rd Fleet, was the guest speaker and he reflected on the strong bonds Swift has forged with the local community. Hunt noted the positive relationships Swift built within the Navy, Coast Guard, community and with Canadian partners.

"Trust cannot be surged, trust must be built over time," said Hunt. "I rely heavily upon [Swift] to forge relationships within the strike group and within the community. These relationships have resulted in the Puget Sound area warmly welcoming our Sailors into the community."

Guadagnini most recently hails from Chief of Naval Air Training, where he served as commander since August 2007. During the ceremony he revealed his top three guidelines: "winners have fun, take care of each other and be the best."

Guadagnini said that not only does the Navy depend on the strike group, coalition maritime forces do as well.

"We will be the best allies and partners to those who enjoy freedom of the seas," said Guadagnini.

Aircraft carrier Lincoln is the flagship for CSG 9, which is homeported in Everett, Wash. Lincoln Strike Group consists of Carrier Air Wing 2, Destroyer Squadron 9 and its associated ships USS Cape St. George (CG 71), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Momsem (DDG 92), USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Ford (FFG 54), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) and USS Ingraham (FFG 61).

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