ARABIAN SEA (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) conducted a change-of-command ceremony on the flight deck while deployed July 29.
Capt. Walter M. Slaughter relieved Capt. Putnam H. Browne as the commanding officer of Abraham Lincoln in a ceremony attended by the crew.
“This crew is consistent and consistently better at every single milestone,” Browne said. “When I think about how much you have accomplished as a crew, I think about toughness. I think it epitomizes the personality of this crew. You rise to every new challenge, and I am truly proud.”
Browne assumed command of Abraham Lincoln in May 2017 and successfully led the crew through carrier qualifications, the board of inspection and survey (INSURV), tailored ship’s training availability and final evaluation problem (TSTA/FEP) and composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), culminating in the first half of Abraham Lincoln’s around-the-world deployment in 2019.
Browne was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service aboard Abraham Lincoln.
“It has been exceptionally rewarding to be on this journey with you,” said Browne. “We will continue to need the toughness in the days ahead, but I have faith in each and every one of you. I know Capt. Slaughter is the right leader to bring you through the rest of deployment and into the next chapter of Abraham Lincoln’s history.”
Browne will report to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Navy Manpower and Reserve Affairs, at the Pentagon.
“I’m here to congratulate Capt. Browne on being your leader, but also to congratulate you on all the work you’ve done to get the ship to this point,” said Rear Adm. Michael Boyle, commander of Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) and the ceremony’s guest speaker. “That doesn’t happen without the leadership of the guy driving the team from the front.”
Slaughter took command during a deployment with ABECSG.
“I stand up here this morning, incredibly humbled, honored and privileged to take the reins of this great warship,” said Slaughter. “Abraham Lincoln remains ready to fight tonight and win in combat, and I am fired up to join this team.”
Slaughter, a native of Austin, Texas, attended Texas A&M University before joining the Navy through the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. He recieved his commission and was designated as a Navy Aviator in 1991.
Slaughter’s aviation tours include assignments to the “Red Griffins” of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 38, Carrier Air Wing 9 as a landing signal officer and the “Fighting Checkmates” of Fighter Squadron (VF) 211. Slaughter has more than 4,750 flight hours and 1,155 carrier arrested landings.
Prior to taking command as Abraham Lincoln’s commanding officer, Slaughter was the executive officer of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) from August 2013 through September 2015 and assumed command of USS New Orleans (LPD 18) in November 2016.
Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs, ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12), Destroyer Squadron 2 (DESRON 2), USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW 7).
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.