Thursday, October 16, 2008

USS Abraham Lincoln Returns Home After Successful Deployment to 5th, 7th Fleets

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon C. Wilson and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Geoffrey Lewis

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) returns to its homeport of Everett, Wash., Oct. 12 after a successful seven-month deployment supporting Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and maritime security and coalition operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

While supporting OEF and OIF from the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea, Lincoln and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 flew approximately 7,100 sorties -- including 2,307 combat sorties, providing more than 22,000 flight hours -- and dropped 255,963 pounds of ordnance.

"We traveled over 60,000 miles, 2.3 times around the world," said USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN 72) Commanding Officer Capt. Patrick Hall. "We flew over 7,000 sorties -- 26,000 hours total -- and supported Sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines on the ground in both Afghanistan and Iraq."

Hall said that with all the miles traveled and missions flown, Lincoln's crew always had safety in mind.

"The good thing is that all the Sailors who left on deployment with us are coming back off deployment," he said.

Lincoln also re-enlisted more than 180 Sailors, collectively equaling more than 700 years of new service to the Navy. Other individual achievements include 749 Sailors completing 20 different college classes.

Along with five months of combat operations, Lincoln hosted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and dignitaries and military officials from Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, France, Bahrain and Pakistan. Lincoln's embarked distinguished visitors totaled more than 230 from 20 different countries.

During deployment, Lincoln conducted two burials at sea for 40 veterans and family members.

After successfully completing operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR where Sailors enjoyed port visits in the Persian Gulf region, Lincoln sailed to the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR and participated in 16 community relations projects with 400 volunteers, contributing more than 2,000 hours to communities in Singapore and Thailand.

The total distance steamed during deployment was 58,370 miles, or approximately 2.3 times around the world. Electrical power generated during deployment totaled 52,000 megawatt hours, enough to power the entire downtown Seattle network for roughly two weeks. Fresh water produced totaled 58,240 gallons, enough to support more than 1 million showers for crew personnel.

With the deployment completed, Lincoln and its crew will enjoy some time off before heading out to sea again for an upcoming sustainment period.

Hall said the returning Sailors have earned some well-deserved time off from the 214 days at sea.

"It's tremendous coming home to all the friends and families, they're all so excited and looking forward to going home and relaxing" he said.