By Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) 1st Class Joaquin Juatai, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs
USSABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) returnedto her homeport of Everett, Wash., Aug. 8 following a five-and-a-halfmonth deployment to the Western Pacific.
�All hands aboard are certainly looking forward to coming home toEverett,� said Capt. C. Andrew McCawley, Abraham Lincoln�s commandingofficer. �The crew is anticipating some well deserved leave andliberty, and we are all looking forward to rejoining our families andloved ones.�
Abraham Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Feb. 27,stopping in San Diego to load the personnel and equipment of CarrierAir Wing (CVW) 2 before heading west.
The ship and air wing participated in Operation Foal Eagle in the SouthChina Sea before making its first port call of the deployment in HongKong April 6.
Upon leaving Hong Kong, Abraham Lincoln participated in a PassingExercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Thai Navy and hosted the U.S.ambassador to Thailand, as well as many Thai distinguished visitorsaboard during the brief underway period between the Hong Kong andThailand port visits, before becoming the first aircraft carrier tomoor pierside in Laemb Chebang, Thailand.
Abraham Lincoln proceeded to Singapore for another port visit beforeconducting freedom of navigation exercises and a PASSEX in the Java Sea.
During the time Abraham Lincoln sailed in the Java Sea, the U.S.ambassador to Indonesia and several Indonesian officials flew out tothe ship to once again thank the crew for their efforts to providehumanitarian assistance during Operation Unified Assistance in theaftermath of the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami disaster.
Abraham Lincoln then sailed north to participate in PASSEX and trainingexercises with the Japanese Maritime Defense Force before conducting aport call in Sasebo, Japan.
The carrier sailed on to the Guam operating area to participate inExercise Valiant Shield 2006. Valiant Shield was the first exercise inmore than a decade to employ three carrier strike groups, as AbrahamLincoln joined USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).The joint services exercise showcased the United States� dedication topreserving security in the Pacific region, and its joint warfightingcapabilities.
At the end of Valiant Shield, Abraham Lincoln pulled in to NavalStation Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to enjoy the 4th of July holiday weekend,and to kick off Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2006. RIMPAC is amultinational exercise including the navies of Chile, Peru, GreatBritain, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The month-long exercise wasdesigned to continue the close relationships between U.S. forces andthose of the participating nations.
After a final port call in Hawaii, Abraham Lincoln headed for San Diego and then toward home.
According to McCawley, the deployment was a successful one.
�From the extremely important mission of projecting U.S. policy abroadto the equally vital mission of presenting an image of America as aglobal citizen who respects and enjoys the cultures of other nations,the Sailors of Abraham Lincoln have performed in an exemplary fashion,�McCawley said.
�Our participation in several exercises, our cooperation with thenavies of several of our allies in the western Pacific region and ourambassadorship in foreign ports was the perfect example of today�sprofessional Sailors performing their duties to the utmost,� he said.
During this Western Pacific deployment, the aviation boatswain�s mates(fuels) of Abraham Lincoln�s air department, V-4 division set a newrecord, handling 27,559,818 gallons of JP-5 fuel during 13 underwayreplenishments.
The aircraft of CVW-2 flew 7,871 sorties, with a total of 7,578 catapult launches from the flight deck.
The ship safely navigated more than 41,000 nautical miles during the deployment.