After extra long deployment USS Abraham Lincoln arrives in Pearl Harbor on final leg of journey to new homeport San Diego
by MCSA Julia Brockman, USS Abraham Lincoln
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), along with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 8.
Abraham Lincoln has been underway in support of maritime security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation since April 1, 2019.
“I am proud of all of the hard work and dedication shown by the entire crew throughout the deployment,” said Capt. Walter Slaughter, commanding officer of Abraham Lincoln. “Hawaii is a strategic, historic location that presents a well-deserved opportunity for rest and relaxation, and for the crew to honor the sacrifices of those who have gone before us during the attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Abraham Lincoln’s around-the-world deployment, which includes a homeport shift to San Diego has spanned several theaters of missions. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group operated in the U.S. 5th Fleet for more than seven months fostering freedom of navigation and commerce in some of the world’s most consequential waterways. The strike group also participated in numerous interoperability and partnership-building exercises with sister services and allied navies in both the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets, demonstrating the U.S. Navy’s capability to rapidly aggregate power across combatant commands to meet emerging missions and contingencies. As it transited through U.S. 7th Fleet, the strike group also conducted flight operations in the South China Sea in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Before the ship departs Hawaii, Abraham Lincoln family and friends will have the rare opportunity to embark on a Tiger Cruise to experience life at sea with their Sailors. Tiger Cruises are a time-honored tradition during which civilians are given the chance to spend time underway learning about their Sailors’ jobs, ship, and shipmates.
In a report from U.S. Naval Institute News, the last leg of Lincoln’s lengthy deployment could break records. The ship departed Norfolk, Va., for a deployment and homeport change on April 1. As of Jan. 8, the ship has been deployed for 283 days - just one week shy of the post-Vietnam War carrier deployment record of 290 days, according to USNI News records.
USNI reported that Lincoln deployed with a strike group of surface ships that have all since returned back to Norfolk, while the carrier remained in U.S. 5th Fleet outside the Persian Gulf as tensions with Iran have remained high since May. Lincoln rushed to the North Arabian Sea in May when tensions first ratcheted up, and it remained there outside the Persian Gulf until a Nov. 19 transit through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Gulf.
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was sidelined in late August due to electrical system malfunctions, and so Lincoln remained on station in the Middle East until Truman arrived in U.S. Central Command waters in mid-December.
Lincoln’s destroyer escorts - USS Bainbridge, USS Mason and USS Nitze - departed the Middle East in the fall and returned to Norfolk on Nov. 5, acording to USNI News. Cruiser USS Leyte Gulf remained in the Middle East longer and just returned to Norfolk over the weekend, on Jan. 4.
According to the Navy, the 290-day deployment for Lincoln was the first deployment of nine months or longer since 1973.
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