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Pacific edition, Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ships with the USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group were to make a port visit to Guam this week, the Navy said Tuesday in a news release.

Ships that were to arrive Wednesday are the Kitty Hawk, USS Curtis Wilbur, USS Mustin and USS Cowpens, the Navy said.

The vessels have been in the area to participate in the Valiant Shield 2007 exercise.

While on the island, sailors will participate in a variety of community service projects, including the removal of non-native, invasive plant species with the Guam National Wildlife Refuge and helping clean and repair a power facility, the release said.

As Valiant Shield drew to a close, its joint forces air component commander pronounced it a success.

Lt. Gen. Lloyd “Chip” Utterback, also commander of the 13th Air Force at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, said the tactical, technical and procedural lessons learned at last year’s exercise were put to use this year.

“For the most part, from what I’m seeing, they were lessons learned,” Utterback said Monday at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.

The next step is to analyze progress made in this year’s Valiant Shield — a process that will take months, he said.

Participants will be debriefed, tapes reviewed and the results of engagements recounted, and then decisions will be made about what to incorporate into the next Valiant Shield, which will take place in 2009.

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