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U.S.S Abraham Lincoln

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U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)

U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln is a Nimitz class supercarrier. She is currently assigned to the U.S. Pacific fleet

Design and Construction

Abraham Lincoln was laid down in Newport News Shipyard on 3 November 1984 and was launched on February 13, 1988. She was the fifth Nimitz class nuclear-powered supercarrier.


Commissioned on November 11, 1989, Lincoln transferred to the Pacific fleet in September 1990. Her first deployment was moved up to May 28, 1991 so she could support Operation Desert Storm. En route, the ship was diverted to the Philippines in support of evacuations following the explosion of Mount Pinatubo. She commanded a force that evacuated over 45,000 people from Subic Bay naval base. Following this great feat, “Abe” continued on her previous mission, running reconnaissance flights and combat air patrols in the Persian Gulf.

Lincoln was assigned to Somalia in October 1993 to assist a UN humanitarian operation. She remained there for four weeks. On the 27th, she became the first carrier to integrate a female combat pilot into her air group. This honor was sadly cut short, however, as Lt. Hultgreen was killed in a landing accident off San Diego.

In 1995, the supply ship U.S.S. Sacramento lost control of her rudder while she was replenishing “Abe”. The two ships collided and while Lincoln was able to continue with her deployment, Sacramento was heavily damaged and had to divert to a nearby port for repairs.

During her deployment in 1998, she participated in Operation Infinite Reach, a pair of retaliatory strikes intended to avenge the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. For her actions, Lincoln received the Armed Forces Expeditionary medal.

The carrier returned to the Persian Gulf in 2000 and earned the Navy Meritorious Unit commendation and the Arleigh Burke award. She was in port during the September 11 attacks and put to sea in July 2002 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On her way back home from this deployment, Lincoln was ordered to return to the Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This extended her deployment by four months. Consequently, she was at sea for 290 days, the longest deployment ever made by a nuclear-powered carrier.

On her return from this deployment, then-President Bush made his controversial landing and speech aboard the ship. Contrary to popular belief, the “Mission Accomplished” banner displayed on the carriers island during the speech was the idea of her sailors and was meant more to reflect the record-setting deployment she had just returned from than the conflict in Iraq.

In December 2004, Lincoln was sent to Sumatra to assist in relief efforts following the devastating tsunamis in the area. Despite the refusal of the Indonesian government to allow her pilots to train in their waters, “Abe” remained on station, moving to international waters so she could continue to support relief efforts.

Lincoln has since been temporarily transferred to Norfolk for a scheduled overhaul. During this time, her two nuclear reactors will be refueled and her landing arrestor gear will be updated. She departed for her around-the-world cruise in December 2011.

Risk of asbestos exposure

Abraham Lincoln was built after navy regulations involving asbestos use on ships took effect, meaning that use of the substance in her construction was tightly restricted. However, some parts used in the construction of the ship may contain asbestos, so there is still some risk of exposure for those involved with the ship.

Asbestos exposure has been proven to cause a malignant cancer in the lungs. Though there is no cure, treatments like chemotherapy are available. If you or someone you know has contracted this disease after exposure to asbestos during service on the Lincoln or while working on her in a shipyard, you can fill out the form at the bottom of this page. We will send you a free information packet regarding your legal options.

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