USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Following their return from Operation Unified Assistance in March and a brief in-port period, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 will return to sea for readiness training in early June.
While pierside at Naval Station Everett, Wash., Abe spent the three-month maintenance availability period upgrading and sustaining ship systems to better serve the Navy as the Pacific Fleet's "surge carrier."
"A typical target manning for a carrier is 90-95 percent during a one-and-a-half year span," said Personnelman 1st Class (SW) Robert Bywater, Abe's personnel accounts supervisor, "but to keep up with surge status, we're working to keep Lincoln at the same 90-95 percent for a three-year span."
Abe's Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD), along with its Sailors, upgraded in significant ways their abilities to serve. In addition to new equipment in many of AIMD's divisions, Sailors received in-depth training from technical representatives. They gained proficiency in multiple Consolidated Automated Support Systems (CASS). They also were trained on Radar Communication (RADCOM) and Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF), test stations and had all of the workbenches recalibrated in anticipation of the next underway period.
Lincoln has seen a higher-than-average crew turnaround of approximately 300 Sailors this spring.
"We've spent a lot of money sending strikers to 'A' schools and rated personnel to 'C' schools and beyond," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Dustin Shead, Abe Training Department's order writer.
Shead also noted Training Department's further success with "I Division." Since 2003, the division has served as a jump-off point for new Lincoln Sailors, mainstreaming their basic shipboard qualifications and familiarization to life on the "world's greatest warship."
"We've welcomed almost 200 new Sailors to Lincoln since we've been in port," said Shead. "Whether it's getting them trained-up on necessary qualifications, or just showing them around their new home port, we've done our best to make them feel at home."
Though the Navy has yet to call upon the Pacific Fleet's surge carrier a second time, Lincoln Sailors remain ready to answer the call.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72.