The first commanding officer of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) visited Newport News to speak to Lincoln Sailors attending ballast training July 25.
Ballast training is designed for at risk junior Sailors to help push them back in the right direction during their Navy career.
Retired Rear Adm. Bill Hayden visited the training to reflect and share his wisdom about Lincoln’s current refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Hayden was there for a monumental moment in Lincoln’s history called “acceptance,” the moment when the Navy takes responsibility for the ship.
“We got to raise the flag at the stern of the ship for the first time,” said Hayden. “At that moment I became the commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit.”
Hayden reflected on receiving honors after crossing the quarterdeck after acceptance of the aircraft carrier.
“I remember the morning they first rendered me honors,” said Hayden. “I looked around for this big tall guy with a top hat on and realized they meant me.”
Hayden said that coming back to Lincoln after so many years has brought back many memories of the shipyard and he plans on continuing to support the carrier and its Sailors.
USS Abraham Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of US national defense.
Press Release, July 30, 2013