EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- A feeling of anticipation swept the crew of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as the ship entered its homeport of Everett June 30, after nine months away.
Much of Lincoln's crew has been commuting five- to six-hours each day from homes in the Everett area, taking a Navy-contracted ferry service across Puget Sound. In August, 2006, Lincoln entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., three weeks after completing a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Eric Turnbull said it felt great to be back. "I'm originally from the Everett area, so it's awesome for me. I'm going to be taking some leave, and spending time with my family."
Turnbull said getting the ship out to sea for sea trials was a relief after the lengthy dry-dock planned incremental availability (DPIA).
"When we're out at sea, it feels like we're actually doing the work that Sailors are supposed to do," he said.
Lincoln and crew spent the last five days being put through their paces, conducting numerous drills, high speed turns and stops, weapons tests, tests of anchoring, boats and other ship's systems, and communications, navigation and radar checks.
Airman Matthew D. Jenkins, an aircraft handler aboard Lincoln, said he has been anticipating getting back underway for a while.
"It's really good being out to sea. Now I can do my job, and there's no better feeling. We have to be at sea for me to do my job," said Jenkins.
Chief Corpsman Bernie C. Guinto said the ship is meant to be out to sea.
"I'm excited to be underway. We were in DPIA for nine long months. The ship belongs out at sea."
According to Guinto, being at sea always brings the crew together as a team.
"Underway, the departments have to work together. Like the Supply Department, we work hard to support the rest of the ship. We work quickly to help the rest of the ship get the job done," said Guinto.
Lincoln was scheduled for visits throughout the July Fourth week, including public visiting on the fourth arranged through Naval Station Everett, before it begins an intensive pre-deployment work-up cycle.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.