|The USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72 is the second US Navy vessel to be named after the former president.|
The USS Abraham Lincoln is a conventionally-designed aircraft carrier with an island on the starboard side and an angled flight deck to port. Four hangar elevators service her flight deck with three located on the starboard and one to port. The starboard three are divided with one sitting abaft of the island and the remaining two forward. Four steam catapults allow for quick response off the flight deck. Like other Nimitz-class carriers, the USS Abraham Lincoln can field up to 90 aircraft of various makes, models and types including helicopters. As such, the vessel's offensive punch plays an important part to US Navy Pacific operations in the region and should remain so for some time to come.
Lincoln is defended by twin Mk 57 Mod3 series Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile launchers and two RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile short-range surface-to-air missile launchers. Additionally, the crew can call upon three 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems for anti-missile/anti-aircraft defense. Power is derived from two Westinghouse brand A4W class nuclear reactors, powering four steam turbines which, in turn, propelled four shafts to 260,000 shaft horsepower. Due to the nature of nuclear reactors, the range of the Abraham Lincoln (and the entire Nimitz-class for that matter) is essentially unlimited.
Sensors, radars and systems abound on this floating city. The ship features some three air traffic control radars, powerful air search radars, landing aid radars and guidance systems. Countermeasures revolve around the SLQ-32A(V)4 suite and the SLQ-25A “Nixie” torpedo countermeasures systems. Crew complement is an impressive 3,200 sailors along with 2,480 airmen.
The Lincoln was called to immediate service almost as soon as she was deployed at the time of Operation Desert Shield (eventually to become Operation Desert Storm). She served in a humanitarian role in evacuation operations after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on her way to the Gulf region (before supporting Desert Shield/Desert Storm). The volatile 1990's also saw tensions erupt to all-out conflict in Somalia, prompting the US to send the Lincoln to the Horn of Africa. Beyond that, the vessel supported elevated status operations in Southern Watch – enforcing the No-Fly zone over the southern portion of Iraq. In all, the Lincoln made a total of five deployments, to this point - all to the Persian Gulf. The new millennium would see the USS Abraham Lincoln called into action in the War on Terror with operations encompassing Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, her air arm being among the first to strike in the latter. More humanitarian assistance roles were asked of the Lincoln in the years following and she currently remains in operations in the Persian Gulf.
The Lincoln was first ordered in 1982 and laid down in 1984. She was launched in 1988 and commissioned a year later. She makes her home port at Everett in Washington state and fights under the unofficial banner of "Shall not perish, get over it!". The USS Abraham Lincoln is affectionately known simply as "Abe" and is in active service as of this writing. The Lincoln is also the proud recipient of the following honors: Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy "E" Ribbon, National Defense Services Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Kuwait Liberation.