CVN 72 | USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN
President Abraham Lincoln
USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) is America’s fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship was named in honor of our nation’s 16th president and is the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear his name. The ballistic missile submarine ABRAHAM LINCOLN (SSBN 602) was in service 1961-81. ABRAHAM LINCOLN’s keel was laid Nov. 3, 1984 at Newport News, Va. Four years later the ship was christened and began a series of performance trials leading up to commissioning Nov. 11, 1989 at Norfolk, Va.
After completing shakedown and acceptance trials, ABRAHAM LINCOLN departed Norfolk in September 1990 for an interfleet transfer from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The ship completed a transit around South America with the naval forces of several South American countries including Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
On May 28, 1991, ABRAHAM LINCOLN made its maiden Western Pacific deployment nearly four months ahead of schedule in response to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. While enroute to the Indian Ocean, the ship was diverted to support evacuation operations following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on Luzon Island, Republic of the Philippines. Operation Fiery Vigil became the largest peacetime evacuation of active duty military personnel and family members in history. ABRAHAM LINCOLN led a 23-ship armada that sealifted 20,000 evacuees. The armada moved nearly 45,000 people from the Subic Bay Naval Station to the Visayas Province port of Cebu.
With Operation Fiery Vigil completed, the ship took up station in the Arabian Gulf in support of allied and U.S. troops remaining in the region for Operation Desert Storm. CVW-11, the embarked air wing, provided combat air patrol, reconnaissance and support air operations over Kuwait and Iraq. ABRAHAM LINCOLN remained in the Gulf for more than three months.
The ship spent early 1992 in a selected restricted availability (SRA) at Naval Air Station Alameda. It deployed again June 15, 1993 for the Western Pacific. After a brief port visit to Hong Kong, it returned to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch, the U.N.-sanctioned enforcement of a "no fly zone" over Southern Iraq.
In October 1993, ABRAHAM LINCOLN was ordered to the coast of Somalia to assist U.N. humanitarian operations. The carrier spent four weeks flying patrols over the city of Mogadishu and surrounding areas, backing American ground troops during Operation Restore Hope. After returning from deployment in December 1993, ABRAHAM LINCOLN spent several months in SRA and prepared for the next deployment.
In April 1995, ABRAHAM LINCOLN departed on its third Western Pacific deployment. The ship made visits to Hong Kong and Singapore on the way to the Arabian Gulf. In the Gulf, ABRAHAM LINCOLN lent support to Operation Southern Watch in response to renewed Iraqi military posturing. The ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group also participated in Operation Vigilant Sentinel.
Upon returning from deployment, ABRAHAM LINCOLN left Alameda, Calif., for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash. There the ship underwent a one-year comprehensive overhaul including a period in drydock. Following completion of the project, the ship moved to its current homeport of Everett, Wash. Jan. 8, 1997.
In June 1998, ABRAHAM LINCOLN commenced her fourth deployment, spending three months in the Arabian Gulf during the hottest summer on record. Apparent temperatures on the flight deck at midday sometimes reached 150 degrees Fahrenheit! Port visits enroute to the Gulf included Hong Kong and Singapore. After several visits to Jebel Ali, UAE, between Operation Southern Watch missions, Abe headed home by way of Perth, Australia, Hobart, Tasmania, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, arriving in Everett before the Christmas holiday.
Following a well-deserved break, the ship visited Santa Barbara, California and Victoria, British Columbia, then commenced a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) in Bremerton, Washington in April 1999. After completion of the PIA in September 1999, Abe participated in Fleet Week ’99 in San Francisco, California. The crew then began a nine- month Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC) during which the ship revisited Santa Barbara and Victoria before participating in RIMPAC 2000, a multi-national exercise conducted off the Hawaiian Islands. RIMPAC completed the IDTC and prepared the ship for WESTPAC 2000, a major deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf.
During deployment, the ship spent more than 100 days on station supporting Operation Southern Watch and maritime interception operations. For their performance, the carrier, air wing and battle group ships earned the Navy Meritorius Unit Commendation. Additionally the ship earned the prestigious Arleigh Burke Award as the most improved command in the Pacific Fleet.
In April of 2001, the ship moved to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for a scheduled six month Planned Incremental Availability. After completing PIA in October, ABRAHAM LINCOLN began workup exercises for its next deployment.
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