NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, April 1, for a regularly scheduled deployment.
The strike group, which consists of aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW 7), USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and destroyers from Destroyer Squadron Two (DESRON 2), has been deployed to support maritime security operations in international waters across the globe, along with other coalition maritime forces.
Carrier strike groups have ready capabilities to respond wherever and whenever required through a variety of mission sets, in addition to possessing the flexibility and sustainability to fight major wars and ensure freedom of the seas.
“We live in a complex and rapidly changing world, and today I’m exceptionally proud to be leading the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group as we get underway in support of our Navy and our nation,” said Rear Adm. John Wade, commander, ABECSG. “This team of teams, with her ships, aircraft and over 6,000 sailors, serves as a visible and powerful symbol of the U.S. Navy's commitment to carrying out any mission our nation calls us to do, anywhere around the globe.”
For Lincoln, the deployment follows almost two years of intense training and preparation that began when the ship completed its refueling complex overhaul availability in May 2017, and will culminate in the execution of the homeport shift from Norfolk, Virginia to San Diego, California.
“For the last few years, this team of Lincoln Sailors has worked incredibly hard to get this warship ready for operational deployment,” said Abraham Lincoln Commanding Officer Capt. Putnam H. Browne. “As we leave to bring Abraham Lincoln back home to the west coast, I want to express our gratitude to the family members farewelling us today, as well as the people of Hampton Roads, for supporting us every step of the way as we brought this amazing ship back to life.”
As part of DESRON 2, the guided-missile destroyers USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Nitze (DDG 94) also departed their homeports. The Alvaro de Bazan-class Spanish frigate ESPS Mendez Nunez (F 104) will join the ABECSG and operate as part of the strike group for the entire deployment.
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, commanded by Capt. William Reed, embarked aboard Lincoln include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 25 “Fist of the Fleet”; VFA-86 “Sidewinders”; VFA-103 “Jolly Rogers”; VFA-143 “Pukin’ Dogs”; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140 “Patriots”; Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 “Bluetails”; Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79 “Griffins”; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 “Nightdippers”; and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”
USS Abraham Lincoln, named in honor of the 16th U.S. President, was commissioned Nov. 11, 1989, as the 5th Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship completed its most recent deployment in 2012.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.