USS Abraham Lincoln ready to return to fleet after four years

Illustration: A November, 2014, US Navy photo of USS Abraham Lincoln during a flooding dry dock and undocking evolution at Newport News Shipbuilding

U.S. Navy’s fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed its official “fast cruise” last week and is now ready to return to the fleet. 

The ship is set to return to the fleet this month after spending the last four years in Newport News undergoing its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH).

The fast cruise was Lincoln’s last training simulation before departing Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The purpose of the fast cruise was to have the full focus of Lincoln’s crew on training, drills and ship-wide evolutions designed to allow Lincoln and her crew to build the confidence and proficiency to return to sea.

“The fast cruise helped us to solidify team work and processes within our damage control, engineering and medical response teams as well as identify and repair any defects within our operating systems,” said Lincoln’s training officer, Lt. Cmdr. Paul Henderson. “Our ship is ready to return to the fleet, but what is even more imperative is that our sailors are ready to get underway and respond to casualties to protect our ship and our crew.”

Since February, the crew has been simulating various underway emergency scenarios to include general quarters, man overboard, abandon ship, propulsion plant casualty drills and fire drills all focused on ensuring Lincoln sailors are performing as an operational team before returning to the fleet.

The various simulations have allowed Sailors a more hands-on experience to familiarize themselves with their underway responsibilities, take ownership of their spaces and equipment and continue to increase shipboard knowledge and damage control effectiveness.

Abraham Lincoln is the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to complete RCOH, a major lifecycle milestone at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News. She returns to the fleet as one of the most modern and technologically-advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in service and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense for an additional 25 years.

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