- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
USS "Abraham Lincoln" (CVN-72), nicknamed "Abe", is the fifth "Nimitz"-class
supercarrierin the United States Navy. She is the second Navy ship named after former president Abraham Lincoln. Her home port is Everett, Washington.
"Lincoln"'s contract was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding on 27 December 1982; her keel was laid 3 November 1984 at
Newport News, Virginia. The ship was launched on 13 February 1988 and commissioned on 11 November 1989. She cost $4.5 billion in 2007 dollars.
1990 to 1999
"Abraham Lincoln" was transferred to the
Pacific, in September 1990. Her maiden Western Pacific deployment came unexpectedly on 28 May 1991 in response to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
While heading toward the
Indian Ocean, the ship was diverted to support evacuation operations after Mount Pinatuboerupted on Luzonisland in the Philippines. In support of Operation Fiery Vigil, "Lincoln" led a 23-ship armada that moved over 45,000 people from the Subic Bay Naval Stationto the port of Cebu in the Visayas. It was the largest peacetime evacuation of active military personnel and their families in history.
After Fiery Vigil, "Lincoln" steamed toward the
Persian Gulf, to run reconnaissance and combat air patrols in Iraqand Kuwait, assisting allied and US troops involved with Desert Storm.
In early 1992, the ship supported
Operation Southern Watch, the United Nations-sanctioned "no fly zone" over southern Iraq.
In October 1993, the carrier was ordered to the coast of
Somaliato assist UN humanitarian operations. For four weeks, "Abraham Lincoln" flew air patrols over Mogadishuin support of Operation Restore Hope.
"Abraham Lincoln" was to be the first carrier to integrate female aviators into the crew after the
Combat Exclusion Lawswere lifted on 28 April 1993. The ship left San Diego on 24 October 1994, to begin refresher training. The next day, Lieutenant Kara Spears Hultgreen, first female F-14 Tomcatpilot, died when her plane crashed into the sea on final approach due to a combination of engine malfunction and pilot error.
"Abraham Lincoln"'s third deployment began in April 1995 when "Lincoln" was sent to the
Persian Gulf, where the ship assisted in Southern Watchand in Operation Vigilant Sentinel. During an underway replenishment, the "Lincoln", trying to position itself for flight operations, caused an incident where it ran into the port side of the USS "Sacramento", crushing the M-frames, partially crushing a female crew berthing area, and punching a large hole in the "Sacramento"’s superstructure. (TACAN room) The "Lincoln" was able to continue on with her mission while the "Sacramento" had to dock at Jebel Ali, U.A.E. for several weeks for repair.
"Abraham Lincoln" began a fourth deployment in June 1998. Once again, the ship headed for the Persian Gulf in support of Southern Watch. The ship spent three months in the gulf during one of the hottest summers in recent years. Temperatures on the
flight deckwere reported at 150 degrees Fahrenheit(66 °C).
In 1999 the ship participated in several internal Navy exercises and underwent an upkeep at
Puget Sound Naval Shipyardin Bremerton, Wash.
2000 to date
The carrier's fifth deployment commenced in August 2000 when "Abraham Lincoln" again traveled to the Persian Gulf in support of Southern Watch. On this deployment, the carrier, air wing and battle group ships earned the Navy
Meritorious Unit Commendation. Additionally the ship earned the prestigious Arleigh Burke Awardas the most improved command in the Pacific Fleet.
"Abraham Lincoln" was in port on 11 September 2001. She was put to sea on 20 July 2002 to support
Operation Enduring Freedom. She took up station once more in support of Operation Southern Watchbefore taking a port visit to Perth, Western Australia. It was during this time that the "Lincoln" was ordered to the Persian Gulfto take part in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This forced the Navy to extend "Lincoln"'s stay from 20 January 2003 to 6 May 2003. The news of this extension was delivered to the ship's crew by the then Battlegroup Commander, RADM Kelly, with the famous words, "Get over it". "Abraham Lincoln" and the carrier battle group and airwing helped deliver the opening salvos and air strikes in Operation Iraqi Freedom. During her deployment, some 16,500 sorties were flown and 1.6 million pounds of ordnance used. Sea Control Squadron 35, the "Bluewolves", was instrumental in delivering over 1 million pounds of fuel to these strike aircraft, one of the largest aerial refueling undertakings by a carrier aviation squadron in history. The carrier returned home in May 2003, in the process receiving a visit from President George W. Bushbefore officially ending "Lincoln"'s deployment by docking at San Diego before returning to homeport in Everett, WA. Bush delivered a speech that day announcing the end of major combat operations in the War on Iraq. A large sign in the background for his speech read " Mission Accomplished". The White Housesaid their services constructed the banner. As explained by Cmdr. Conrad Chun, a Navy spokesman, "The banner was a Navy idea, the ship's idea. The idea popped up in one of the meetings aboard the ship preparing for its homecoming and thought it would be good to have a banner, 'Mission Accomplished.' The sailors then asked if the White House could get the sign made. ... The banner signified the successful completion of the ship's deployment," Cmdr. Chun continued noting that the Abraham Lincoln was deployed 290 days, longer than any other nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in history.
"Abraham Lincoln" departed for her next voyage on 15 October 2004. The carrier was on a port call in
Hong Kongwhen a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck southern Asia on 26 December 2004. To help with the international relief effort and assist with search and rescue efforts already underway, the "Lincoln" deployed to the hard hit western coast of Sumatrato provide humanitarian assistance for Operation Unified Assistance.
In mid-January 2005 the carrier left
Indonesiaafter the Indonesian government refused to allow fighter pilots assigned to "Lincoln" to conduct air patrols and training flights. By law, US carrier-based pilots must practice at least once every two to three weeks to remain "fit," otherwise they are grounded. Despite the move into international waters, "Lincoln" continued to provide support to the region until 4 February. During the carrier's 33 days on station, she and her strike group delivered 5.7 million pounds of relief supplies. The 17 helicopters attached to group flew 1,747 relief missions along the western coast of Sumatra. The carrier's departure coincided with the arrival of the hospital ship"Mercy".
At the end of February 2006, "Abraham Lincoln" went underway as part of a scheduled "WestPac" deployment. The carrier returned to Naval Station Everett on 8 August 2006 and on 27 August, relocated to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for an upkeep/overhaul period.
On 18 December 2006, the USS "Abraham Lincoln" left dry dock at the shipyard ahead of schedule and under budget. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) completed ship tank maintenance in less then half the scheduled time. In 89 days, 18 tanks were completed. The Tank Value Stream Team achieved this partnering with Ship’s Force and the Lincoln Project Team. While in dry dock, the whole ship was painted by the crew at nights and on weekends rather than waiting for contractors to do the job. [ [http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=28368 Deck Department Gives Abe “That New Ship Look” ] ]
The refit was completed 26 March 2007, when Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk assumed command of CSG9(Carrier Strike Group Nine) from Rear Adm. Bill Goodwin.
On 13 March 2008, the USS "Abraham Lincoln" departed from Naval Station Everett as it embarked on a seven month deployment to the Persian Gulf. It is expected to return to Everett in October 2008.
Notable popular culture
* The Tom Clancy novel "
Debt of Honor" featured the "Abraham Lincoln" along with the USS "Eisenhower" as part of a task force assigned to the Indian Ocean.
* The 2005 movie "Stealth" features a trio of US Navy pilots that are assigned to "Abraham Lincoln".
* "Abraham Lincoln"'s strike group makes a cameo appearance in the 2007 film "Transformers".
List of aircraft carriers
List of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy
* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/aircraft_carriers/uss_abraham_lincoln_cvn_72_page_1.htm Maritimequest USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72 pages]
* [http://www.lincoln.navy.mil/ Official USS "Abraham Lincoln" website]
* [http://www.uscarriers.net/cvn72history.htm USS Abraham Lincoln history at U.S. Carriers]
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