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San Diego Ships to Depart with USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS041018-08
Release Date: 10/18/2004 3:44:00 PM

From U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group arrived in San Diego Oct. 16 and will depart Oct. 19 to support Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet potential contingency operations and theater security cooperation initiatives.

The Lincoln Carrier Strike Group will deploy with the following San Diego-based ships: the cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), commanded by Capt. Joe Harriss; and the destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), commanded by Cmdr. Don Hornbeck. Other ships deploying with the Lincoln Carrier Strike Group include the Everett, Wash.-based destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86), led by Cmdr. Alexander T. Casimes; the Pearl Harbor-based attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724), under the command of Cmdr. David Kirk; and the fast combat support ship USS Rainier (AOE 7), based in Bremerton, Wash,.  

Abraham Lincoln is the flagship for the strike group commander, Rear Adm. Doug Crowder, commander, Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group. On deployment, Abraham Lincoln will also be home to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 9, commanded by Capt. Jon W. Kaufman; and commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, commanded by Capt. Craig Geron.

Capt. Kendall L. Card of Fort Stockton, Texas, commands Abraham Lincoln at the center of the strike group. Abraham Lincoln carries approximately 3 million gallons of fuel for 70 aircraft and three escort ships, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment. The massive flight deck covers 4.5 acres and looms almost seven stories above the water.

"Because of our surge capabilities under the new Fleet Response Plan, our deployment will actually result in having spent less days at sea overall," explained Crowder. "We will continue to train for this mission, becoming progressively more ready as we depart the West Coast and head across the Pacific."

This is the first deployment for Abraham Lincoln since the ship and crew returned from their historic 10-month deployment in May 2003 supporting Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Abraham Lincoln's embarked air wing consists of the following types of aircraft: F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, E-2C Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound and SH/HH-60 Seahawk. These aircraft can be used to conduct strikes, support land battles, protect the strike group or other friendly shipping, and implement a sea or air blockade. This will be the first deployment of a carrier air wing without the F-14 Tomcat and the S-3B Viking. This is also the first deployment of an SH-60B Seahawk squadron aboard a carrier; the helicopter is typically deployed on surface combatants.

Also deploying with the Lincoln Strike Group are the following units:

- Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2, the Bounty Hunters, is the Air Wing's air superiority and interceptor squadron. Flying the F/A-18F "Super Hornet," VFA-2 is based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Calif.

- Strike Figher Squadron (VFA) 151, the Vigilantes, is one of the three air wing squadrons that flies the Navy's newest Night Strike Fighter version of the F/A-18 Hornet. VFA-151 is based at NAS Lemoore.

- Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137, the Kestrels, is also an F/A-18 Hornet squadron, fulfilling the strike fighter role. VFA-137 is also based at NAS Lemoore.

- Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 82, the Marauders, is also an F/A-18C Hornet squadron, fulfilling the strike fighter role. VFA-82 is based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.

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