Abraham Lincoln Strike Group
Abraham Lincoln Battle Group
CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln
"Abe" / "Shall Not Perish"
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.
Abraham Lincoln boasts all the amenities found in any American city with a comparable population. These include a post office (with its own ZIP code), TV and radio stations, newspaper, fire department, library, hospital, general store, barbershops, and more. The ship has enough electrical generating power to supply electricity to 100,000 homes, food and supplies to operate for 90 days, and the capability of distilling more than 400,000 gallons of fresh water from the sea each day.
Keeping the ship ready at all times is critical. This requires repair shops to maintain machinery and aircraft, heavy duty tailor shops to repair parachutes and other survival gear, and electronic shops to keep communication, navigation, and avionics equipment up and running.
Of course, there are a few things that are unusual for a city of 5,000 people. For example, Abraham Lincoln is a floating airport, capable of launching as many as four aircraft every minute. In fact , the ship hosts seven different types of aircraft which perform a variety of missions. During flight operations, the 4.5 acre flight deck is the scene of intense activity, with crew, aircraft, and other equipment functioning as a well-rehearsed and carefully choreographed team to ensure efficiency and safety.
The various functions of the flight deck crew are identified by the colors of the jersey they wear. For example, yellow is for officers and aircraft directors purple for fuel handlers green for catapult and arresting gear crews blue for chock and chain runners and red for crash/salvage teams and ordnance handlers. Four aircraft elevators, each the size of two average city lots, bring aircraft up to the flight deck from the hanger bays below. Aviation fuel is pumped from the tanks below and bombs, rockets, and missiles are brought up from the magazines.
Powerful steam catapults (affectionately known as "Fat Cats" can accelerate a 37-ton jet from zero to 180 miles per hour in less than three seconds while traveling nearly the length of a football field. The weight of each aircraft determines the amount of thrust provided by the catapult. In recovery, pilots use a system of lenses to guide their aircraft "down the slope" (the correct guide path for landing). Four arresting wires, each consisting of two-inch thick wire cables connected to hydraulic rams below decks, snag the arresting hook, stopping the aircraft from 150 miles per hour to zero in less than 400 feet.
High in the island, seven stories above the flight deck, the "Air Boss" and his staff coordinate the entire operation, carefully monitored from the flight deck as well as from the Captain on the Navigation Bridge.
When deployed, Abraham Lincoln is the nucleus of a carrier battle group which includes guided missile cruisers, destroyers, frigates, replenishment ships, and submarines.
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.
Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died in 1818, and his stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnson, inspired the ambitious but unschooled boy to discipline and educate himself. The legendary stories of Lincoln reading by firelight enabled him to overcome a very limited formal education to become one of the greatest statesman this country has ever known.
By 1830, the Lincoln family had moved to Illinois. Following two trips to New Orleans on a flatboat, Lincoln settled in New Salem, Illinois, and held down modest jobs while studying law on his own. In 1835, he entered the Illinois State legislature, where he served four terms. His political career led him to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1847, but it was his eloquently stated antislavery views, expressed during his famous senatorial debates with Stephen Douglass, which gained Lincoln a national following.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln received the presidential nomination of the new antislavery Republican Party. Although he had stated a willingness to tolerate slavery where it existed, Lincoln's election as the 16th president of the United States on November 6, 1860 precipitated the secession of the southern states and the formation of the Confederacy.
In the years of the civil war that followed, the inexperienced Lincoln proved to be one of the most extraordinary political and moral leaders the nation has ever seen. He first defined the war as a fight over secession rather than slavery. However, when the time was right, Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation (Sept. 1862), turning the war into a crusade against slavery. With his immortal Gettysburg Address, Lincoln further defined the war as a struggle for the preservation of the democratic idea, defined by a "government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Abraham Lincoln served his country during one of its most bloody and trying times. As Commander in Chief, the victory of the Union over the confederacy was his, and he had every right to treat the southern states with malice and contempt. Instead, he treated them with dignity and honor, gladly accepting their return to the union. He did not view them as enemies, but as brothers. He did not exalt in their defeat, but glorified that the nation "Shall not perish."
Abraham Lincoln will be forever remembered for his vital role as the leader who preserved the Union and began a process that led to the end of slavery in the United States. Master of both biblical eloquence and a homespun vernacular, and a natural at combining practical politics with moral principals, in just four short years as president, Abraham Lincoln established why he is one of the few Americans who truly "belongs to the ages."
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|