USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) welcomed more than 50 shipmates from two sister carriers, May 1, for temporary assigned duty (TAD) to gain sea experience as the ship conducts missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The TAD personnel, from the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), are also embarked with Lincoln's crew to earn qualifications.
"We have at least 50 Sailors TAD to departments throughout the ship" said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Mike Hopkins, who is himself TAD to Lincoln's flight deck. "It's a great experience to be on a ship that's actually operational and not in a shipyard right now."
Many of Lincoln's TAD personnel are deployed aboard a ship for the first time. Of the 15 Sailors TAD to the ship's Deck department, only two have been deployed before.
"When I came aboard, I was amazed that the ship actually had things inside of it," said Seaman Haley Sahr. "When we arrived on the Roosevelt, our ship was stripped down to just bulkheads."
Seaman Alton Young, a maintainer of one of Lincoln's fueling stations, said he is glad to be able to deploy to further his naval career. "It takes some time getting used to a deployed environment, but it's a very rewarding experience," he said.
Serving aboard Lincoln grants the TAD personnel opportunities they wouldn't have in a shipyard environment.
"Being deployed allows a lot of our personnel to work on warfare pins as well as work in their professions," said Hopkins. "It also benefits Lincoln in the fact that the ship's crew has extra help on deployment."
Sahr said that wherever they work, all their efforts ultimately serve the same goal.
"At the end of the day, we're all in the same Navy regardless of what ship we serve on," Sahr said. "We all support the same mission."
The TAD personnel will return to their respective permanent duty stations when Lincoln's arrives at her new homeport of Norfolk at the end of the deployment.
Lincoln is the flagship for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, which also includes embarked Carrier Air Wing 2, the guided-missile cruiser Cape St. George (CG 71) and Destroyer Squadron 9, comprised of the guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). CSG 9 is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and combat flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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