USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) returned to her homeport of Everett, Wash., Aug. 8 following a five-and-a-half month deployment to the Western Pacific.
"All hands aboard are certainly looking forward to coming home to Everett," said Capt. C. Andrew McCawley, Abraham Lincoln's commanding officer. "The crew is anticipating some well deserved leave and liberty, and we are all looking forward to rejoining our families and loved ones."
Abraham Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Feb. 27, stopping in San Diego to load the personnel and equipment of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 before heading west.
The ship and air wing participated in Operation Foal Eagle in the South China Sea before making its first port call of the deployment in Hong Kong April 6.
Upon leaving Hong Kong, Abraham Lincoln participated in a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Thai Navy and hosted the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, as well as many Thai distinguished visitors aboard during the brief underway period between the Hong Kong and Thailand port visits, before becoming the first aircraft carrier to moor pierside in Laemb Chebang, Thailand.
Abraham Lincoln proceeded to Singapore for another port visit before conducting freedom of navigation exercises and a PASSEX in the Java Sea.
During the time Abraham Lincoln sailed in the Java Sea, the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia and several Indonesian officials flew out to the ship to once again thank the crew for their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance during Operation Unified Assistance in the aftermath of the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami disaster.
Abraham Lincoln then sailed north to participate in PASSEX and training exercises with the Japanese Maritime Defense Force before conducting a port call in Sasebo, Japan.
The carrier sailed on to the Guam operating area to participate in Exercise Valiant Shield 2006. Valiant Shield was the first exercise in more than a decade to employ three carrier strike groups, as Abraham Lincoln joined USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The joint services exercise showcased the United States' dedication to preserving security in the Pacific region, and its joint warfighting capabilities.
At the end of Valiant Shield, Abraham Lincoln pulled in to Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to enjoy the 4th of July holiday weekend, and to kick off Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2006. RIMPAC is a multinational exercise including the navies of Chile, Peru, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The month-long exercise was designed to continue the close relationships between U.S. forces and those of the participating nations.
After a final port call in Hawaii, Abraham Lincoln headed for San Diego and then toward home.
According to McCawley, the deployment was a successful one.
"From the extremely important mission of projecting U.S. policy abroad to the equally vital mission of presenting an image of America as a global citizen who respects and enjoys the cultures of other nations, the Sailors of Abraham Lincoln have performed in an exemplary fashion," McCawley said.
"Our participation in several exercises, our cooperation with the navies of several of our allies in the western Pacific region and our ambassadorship in foreign ports was the perfect example of today's professional Sailors performing their duties to the utmost," he said.
During this Western Pacific deployment, the aviation boatswain's mates (fuels) of Abraham Lincoln's air department, V-4 division set a new record, handling 27,559,818 gallons of JP-5 fuel during 13 underway replenishments.
The aircraft of CVW-2 flew 7,871 sorties, with a total of 7,578 catapult launches from the flight deck.
The ship safely navigated more than 41,000 nautical miles during the deployment.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.