COMPTUEX (Composite Training Unit Exercise) CompTuEx and CQ’s Nuclear Power Mobile Training Team (NPMTT) Drills, assessments and the pre-deployment ORSE off SOCAL OPAREA conducted by the NPMTT Team; conducting the Exercise Northern Edge, with CVW-14 CQ’s, en route to Alaska to conduct Exercise Northern Edge 2002, a multi-threat scenario acted out in Alaskan waters in the Gulf of Alaska and JTFEX off the coast of California during FEP-2 and Sixth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and 7th Fleet, her fifth Indian Ocean deployment, on her 1st North Arabian Sea deployment in support of her 1st Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), the "military response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, commencing on 7 October 2001, on her fifth Arabian/Persian Gulf deployment (two cruises to the area during deployment) in support of her 5th Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the no-fly zone south of the 32nd parallel in Iraq (24 July 2002 to 6 May 2003).

1 January 2002 to 6 May 2003

Chapter XV

Part I of III - 1 January to 31 December 2002

Part II of III - 1 January to 5 May 2003

Part III of III - 6 May 2003 - Section 1, 2 & 3


USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) 2002 YEAR END REPORT

Chapter XV, Appendix I, Section I of II


Abe’s Sixth “WestPac” deployment articles not included in the Narrative, Summary and Time Line presented in Chapter XV, relating to Crew Personnel Stories and Awards, Department and Division, in port crew activities other then arrival or departure articles to ports of call, Chapter XV, Appendix II

Chapter XV, Appendix I, Section 2 of 2 and Chapter XV, Appendix II






Abraham Lincoln completed an extremely successful year, culminating with more than 90 days of combat operations in direct support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. Throughout the year, the ship and air wing team expended more than 200 tons of ordnance, amassed more than 11,500 arrested landings and safely flew more than 7,978 sorties with an impressive 96 percent completion rate.


Abraham Lincoln conducted several major inspections and assessments during the year, and the results speak for themselves. AIMD received the highest allowable grade on 42 of 43 programs during the Aviation Maintenance Inspection; eleven programs were cited as "noteworthy." The Reactor Department received high marks on all graded areas during the Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination.


Board members noted it as "the best executed examination they had ever seen." The Supply department received a grade of "outstanding" in every category for the Supply Management Inspection. The Medical department achieved an overall grade of 91.2 percent during Medical Readiness Inspection, and a grade of 90.4 percent on the Birth Month Medical Surveillance Inspection; the highest attained by any west coast aircraft carrier in the past two years. Finally, the ship received an RAR score of 94.6 percent during the CNAP 3M Assessment. The senior inspector noted, "Material condition and ship's cleanliness overall were outstanding, well above the fleet average."




The Public Affairs Department managed a very aggressive external and internal information program while supporting the Navy's Distinguished Visitor and media embark programs throughout the entire workup and deployment cycles.


The shipboard journalists marketed 117 stories about Abraham Lincoln Sailors and the operations the ship and air wing conducted. These stories found their way to multiple Navy and civilian newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. Abraham Lincoln JOs also managed a Fleet Home Town News Center file of more than 600 participants generating stories to hometown newspapers across the country. They also produced 30 television and radio news packages for use on Navy-Marine Corps News, Daily News Update and Navy Radio News. Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs was the first carrier to submit radio news reports from the fleet and is considered the standard for others to follow. The director of the Naval Media Center and the radio manager both use Abraham Lincoln as the standard for this kind of reporting.


In March, the Public Affairs Office coordinated the onload and offload of 35 tons of motion picture equipment, coordinated base and ship access, provided extras, and arranged for logistical and administrative support for the movie crew of the 'The Core." In concert with the Navy Office of Information Los Angeles, Abraham Lincoln hosted the movie crew to shoot scenes for this film. While initial planning started several weeks in advance, actual loading and shooting efforts were completed just under three days.


Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs started deployment in July 2002 with completely digital radio and TV news editing systems. These new systems allowed the journalists to provide the crew with better radio and TV products, faster and with a much more professional look and sound. This also allowed PAO to provide support to national and international media in the forms of aerial file footage.


Throughout the calendar year, community relations were a huge effort for Public Affairs as it coordinated or hosted more than 1,000 visitors during its in port time at Naval Station Everett. Despite increased force protection postures and threat conditions, Public Affairs, NAVSTA, Everett PAO and NAVSTA Everett Security were able to coordinate tour for Navy-supported youth groups, educational institutions, and civic, state and national leaders.


During the deployment, Public Affairs coordinated and assisted with three receptions in Sasebo, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Perth, Australia, for more than 250 guests each. Additionally, the ship hosted tours for more than 10,000 host nation visitors.


News reporters took a great deal of deployment time for the Public Affairs Office during “WestPac” 2002. The Commander, Fifth Fleet public affairs program was very active during the debate over Iraq, so the carrier was a prime reporting spot for most U.S. and foreign journalists. PAO managed over 350 journalist visits while in the Gulf during 2002, which generated a tremendous amount of positive press for the ship, the U.S. Navy, and U.S. foreign policy.




Upon completion of an inport upkeep period during the Christmas holiday period, Reactor Department commenced an aggressive operational training schedule in conjunction with shipwide pre-deployment workups. Drill performance and day-today operations were stressed in an effort to increase underway proficiency following the lengthy shutdown period associated with the Planned Incremental Availability during the frnal months of 2001.


Underway workup efforts continued through the end of February, at which time the ship returned to Everett far more proficient at underway operations and casualty response. The March import period provided opportunity for the completion of routine and emergent maintenance within the propulsion plant and an opportunity to train on the lessons learned during the recently completed workups. Emphasis was placed on increasing the level of knowledge of the department in preparation for upcoming Nuclear Power Mobile Training Team (NPMTT) assessments and the pre-deployment Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination (ORSE).


Throughout April and May the ship was underway again, conducting the Exercise Northern Edge, during which Reactor Department conducted aggressive propulsion plant drill scenarios and further level-of-knowledge training. Prior to returning to homeport Reactor Department successfully completed the ORSE. The ship then returned to Everett and commenced the predeployment leave and upkeep period.


With final pre-deployment preparations during June and early July complete, the ship commenced a deployment to 5th Fleet. Reactor Department shifted emphasis to providing power and propulsion in support of air operations.


Although operational considerations were at the forefront of the daily routine, day-to-day operations, level of knowledge and casualty response continued to be emphasized, with propulsion plant drills being conducted throughout the night in an effort to eliminate any interference with flight operations. In addition to an aggressive intradepartment training and assessment program, multiple NPMTT assessments were conducted both en route to, and within, the 5th Fleet AOR. While on station in 5" Fleet in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch major maintenance and testing was conducted within the propulsion plants in preparation for the drydocking availability scheduled following return to homeport.


During "nofly" days, while the majority of the ship enjoyed a day of rest, Reactor Department descended into the plants to conduct vast amounts of maintenance that could not be otherwise conducted while supporting flight operations. In December the ship departed the 5" Fleet area of responsibility en route to Australia for Christmas prior to returning to homeport in late January. During the transit, training emphasis shifted to preparing the department for the upcoming availability and additional significant testing was completed.


The period in port Perth, Australia, proved enjoyable with minimal maintenance requirements and maximum liberty for the department. After Christmas the ship was again underway bound for home. 2002 ended north of Australia, while unbeknownst to the crew the order had already been issued to extend the ship on deployment indefinitely in support of possible combat operations against Iraq.




The year 2002 found the Religious Ministries Department (RMD) underway taking part in Exercise Northern Edge near the coast of Alaska. With the increased operational tempo everything was in place for immediate deployment. However, deployment to the Western Pacific did not happen until 20 July.


The start of “WestPac 2002 was greeted with newly assigned personnel to the RMD. LCDR Wesley R. Sloat relieved LT Bridget Goins as Principal Assistant and Protestant Chaplain. RPC (SW1AW) Richard L. Kleiner, a recalled Naval Reservist, relieved RPC (SW1AW) Anna Powell, as Leading Chief Petty Officer. That brought staffing levels to 2 - Protestant Chaplains and 1 - Catholic Chaplain. Additionally, LCDR William Milam, a Protestant Chaplain, the CVW 14 Chaplain, supplemented the number of Chaplain on board. Support staff consisted on 1 - RPC, 5 - RPs and one TAD Petty Officer.


Religious Ministries Department facilities consist of a Chapel, an E-Mail Lounge, Lending Library and Crew's Lounge with magazine and television sets. Service members can borrow game players, game cartridges and movie videos for use on those televisions. The hours of operation were expanded to 20 hours daily from a previous limited schedule. Accomplishments of this Department during the deployment included:


Provided worship opportunities for those of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Church of Christ, Upper Room Fellowship, Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints and Iglesia Ni Cristo faith groups. Provision for worship was also made available to other groups such as the Wicca Discussion Group. In all, 677 religious services were conducted using the chapel, crews' lounge and foc'sle. Other programs included Bible Studies and sacramental preparations were offered seven days a week. A Hebrew Reading Class, open to all Sailors was well attended In addition pastoral counseling was made available to more than 1700 Sailors.


This year, all major holidays occurred during the deployment. The Jewish Holy Days of Rosh Hashona and Yom Kippur were celebrated onboard. A total of over 75 service members attended these, including those from other ships within the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group. A number of these services were officiated by Captain Harold Robinson, a Naval Reservist. Captain Robinson also conducted a special dinner held prior to Yom Kippur with 24 service members in attendance. Prominent among those was RADM Kelly, Commander of the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group.


Thanksgiving was celebrated by a Catholic Mass, a General Thanksgiving Service and a Christian Thanks Giving Praise Celebration. The Christmas Holy Days were conducted while the ship was at anchor in Fremantle Australia. All services celebrated in the ship's chapel and well attended. The entire crew was invited to celebrate the 227th birthday of the Navy Chaplain Corps. The day was marked by brief remarks and a birthday cake that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Support was provided to LT Charles Crane, the DESRON Chaplain, in his ministry. Chaplains from the Abraham Lincoln provided additional religious worship opportunities and support by conducting 31 "Holy Helo" trips to other ships within the Battle Group.


Over 55,200 shipmates utilized the RMD facilities. This included service members using 5 e-mail computers to maintain familial relationships while underway. Additionally, library books, video games and learning programs were loaned out during the libraries 20 hour day operations. The Religious Ministries Department hosted the Family Literacy Foundation's "Uniting Through Reading" Program. There were over 400 service members participating in this program. Participation involves being video taped reading a storybook to one's children or grandchildren and then mailing that tape to them back home. This program helps keep family ties vibrant despite the distance between them.


Community Relations Projects were conducted in Sasebo (Japan), Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Over 300 Sailors freely gave of their off duty time to provide services to the needy, homeless and disabled of those nations. During this year, the Religious Ministries Department processed more American Red Cross Messages, assisted with emergency leave funding and personal financial problems through the RMD's association with the Navy & Marine Relief Society. RMD spaces were used 6 days a week for ESWS boards, FSA training and AIR WING special boards. Chaplains RPs from the other ships rode with us for a few days a time to conduct Chaplain Corps and RP rate training and take a break.


Conducted a modified Return and Reunion with facilitators, Maria Capogna from Region North West and Yvette Stevenson from Norfolk. Due to uncertain operational commitments, all classes were video taped. The facilitators taught classes and filmed their presentations from 31 December 2002 when they joined the ship in Freemantle, Australia through 6 January 2003 when they left the ship in Freemantle, Australia. Marie spent two days on USS Shiloh teaching 5 classes and spending 6 hours on the Mess Decks leading a question and answer session. All videotapes and printed materials were left on ABE for use when the return to CONUS happened.




The Abraham Lincoln began 2002 by completing a safe and successful Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) in the Controlled Industrialized Area of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS). Great milestones in Environmental Awareness and Industrial Safety were achieved by the Abraham Lincoln Safety Department and her crew through Operational Risk Management (ORh4) Training and awareness programs. A cohesive team effort resulted in the training of over 3000 Lincoln Sailors in the COMNAVAIRPAC Web-Based ORM University in 113 the recommended time. This effort resulted in the highest completion ratio of any sea-based command in the Navy for the program.


Upon leaving the Bremerton Industrial Area, the Lincoln began an extensive pre-deployment training regime to include Flight Deck Certifications, TSTA I/II/III, FEP-2, COMPTUEX, Exercise Northern Edge/JTFX and ORSE-2. The combination of diverse rates within the Lincoln Safety Department complimented by numerous Safety Standdowns enabled an expansive coverage throughout the ship and flight deck to ensure a safe and efficient work atmosphere existed which contributed greatly to an incident free predeployment work-up period.


On June 11, 2002 Abraham Lincoln crew and family members and personnel from Naval Station, Everett, enhanced a salmon-bearing tributary of Rehab Creek at Naval Radio Station, Jim Creek.


The volunteers removed an invasive weed known as canary grass from along the stream, removed other obstructive materials from the streambed, and planted over 245 trees and shrubs along the banks to inhibit further canary grass growth. On June 12, volunteers removed three truckloads of debris from the intertidal area of Naval Magazine Indian Island, including old mooring buoys, old boat parts and a broke down boat shed. Both projects improved the environment and will allow natural flora and fauna to flourish.


These efforts result in a tremendous benefit to both the Navy and the community.


In July, the Lincoln began a six-month Western Pacific and Persian Gulf cruise in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. The Safety Departments diverse team provided coverage for over 26,313 flight hours to include 11,380 launch and recovery evolutions, 44 underway replenishments transferring over 34,639,000 gallons of fuel, 3,430 tons of ammunition and 5,200,000 pounds of stores. Without a doubt 2002 has been a busy year with a superb safety record. This was only possible through the extremely impressive and safe working team effort of the sailors onboard the Abraham Lincoln and the Safety Department.




Supply Department had a busy and challenging year. The department ended 2002 with a new department head. CDR Michael Fabish relieved Captain Bill Munson, meeting the ship while it was en route to the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Supply Department's performance throughout the year was superb. Despite a challenging workup schedule and increased threat conditions which imposed significant logistics challenges, Supply Department provided exemplary support to the ship and air wing team, enabling outstanding readiness and mission accomplishment.


During the beginning of the year, each division busied itself preparing for the upcoming Supply Management Inspection (SMI) scheduled for May 2002. All twelve divisions completed the SMI with a grade of OUTSTANDING across the board with minimal to zero discrepancies. During this time, Supply Department was also busy preparing for deployment while maintaining support to CVW-14 during Exercise Northern Edge and JTFEX.


The Stock Control Division worked feverishly during Exercise Northern Edge and JTFEX to bring sustainability levels up to the highest standards in preparation for deployment. Over 55,000 requisitions for the new Consumable Aviation Consolidated Allowance List (CAVCAL) and other stock requisitions were diligently tracked from cradle to grave.


Additionally, Demand Level processing was meticulously reviewed to accurately record the ship's and air wing's actual repair part usage. Abraham Lincoln left on deployment with an AVCAL Range and Depth of 98/97, COSAL Range and Depth of 97/94 and no outstanding parts-related CASREPs. While in the Fifth Fleet AOR, the ZAP-IT supply program was fully embraced by passing over 12,000 requisitions for screening of the closest available asset.


Additionally, Abraham Lincoln was praised for exceptional participation and leadership within the Material Control Officer (MATCONOFF) program, processing 252 urgent material screens at a 97.8 percent effectiveness rate. The fiscal year was closed out after almost 1,200 credit card purchases valued at approximately $950,000.00. The final closeout balances were $13.3 million for OFC-20 and $39.4 million for OFC-50. The Aviation Stores Division maintained a perfect inventory of 100 percent throughout the year despite the challenging requirements from CVW-14 during the work-up cycle and deployment.


Other carriers have copied the division's inventory procedure, graphs and instructions in order to emulate the same success. First in Pacific Fleet carriers, S-6 Division maintained zero carcass charges for FY03, FY02 and less than one percent for FYO1. Throughout the deployment, issue effectiveness has been over 93 percent for RPOOL items and 85 percent for RAM. The average daily off-ship NMCS and PMCS count is 4, which is the best among all CNAP carriers.


The Material Division maintained exceptional LAP'S and inventories throughout the year, far exceeding TYCOM Goals. Early in the year, the division kept a steady strain fulfilling 100 percent of the on-hand requirements during JTFEX, an extremely fast-paced and challenging underway period. During the pre-overseas movement period, 8,000 line items of materials were received and properly stowed in preparation for the upcoming deployment. Abraham Lincoln left for deployment with a range and depth unmatched by any other carrier. By maintaining an aggressive inventory and shelf life program throughout the year, the Material Division provided flawless material support and sustained parts for Abraham Lincoln Battle Group.


The HAZMAT Division placed several new initiatives into action during this year. Plans were drawn up for construction of an improved HAZMAT issue area during the DPIA 2003. In the interim, S-9 Division provided unparalleled support to all CVW-14 squadrons, including the first ever deploying F/A-18E Super Hornet squadron. The division was tasked to collect usage data that will be employed by all future deploying Super Hornet squadrons.


Supply Department had a busy and challenging year. In February 2002, the Food Service Division was announced as the winner of the 2001 Captain Edward F. Ney Award for Food Service Excellence. The department ended 2002 with a new department head. CDR Michael Fabish relieved CAPT Bill Munson, meeting the ship while it was en route to the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Supply Department's performance throughout the year was superb. Despite a challenging workup schedule and increased threat conditions which imposed significant logistics challenges, Supply Department provided exemplary support to the ship and air wing team, enabling outstanding readiness and mission accomplishment in preparation for next NEY competition.


During the deployment, the ship hosted command receptions for over 3,000 area civic and military dignitaries in Sasebo, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The Disbursing Division made it through the year with flying colors - improving DJMS accuracy and document processing time to all-time highs. Internal surprise audits confirmed perfect accountability in cash and strict adherence to Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations. The disbursing office started the deployment with $9.5 million in cash, and cashed over $1.8 million in checks, made $2 million in voucher payments per month, and deposited $1.5 million monthly. During deployment, the MWR Division sold over $90,000 in tours and $180,000.00 in hotels during port visits in Sasebo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahrain, and Perth. From Services to Readiness, across the board, material condition, inventory management, and services provided to the crew were nothing less than outstanding.




In 2002 the Training Department greatly increased its value added ship' s services and TAD capabilities. While maintaining all travel and budgeting requirements the Indoc division held 11 Senior, and 21 Junior indoctrination classes for the 1,558 new crewmembers reporting aboard. Abraham Lincoln. The department incorporated several Basic DC initial qualification and requalification classes into the monthly class schedule, which enabled Abe to qualify an additional 100 Senior and 320 Junior personnel in Basic Damage Control.


College courses, both through a computer-based curriculum and by professors from Central Texas College offered much sought after higher education learning opportunities. Our Reserve augmentation program provided much needed support for many departments aboard the ship. The Training Department was actively involved in the augmentation process, gainfully employing over 62 Reservists from various reserve units throughout the country. For this, Deputy Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet, recognized the department for expert logistic and communication support for our embarked Reserve staff.


During “WestPac 2002/2003 Training was the command expert in the movement of personnel throughout the world. Over 1,358 personnel were smoothly transported from the ship to points throughout the US, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Through the tracking of all PCS, Emergency Leave and Beach Detachment TAD personnel the department was able to provide unmatched individualized customer service and efficiently process TAD orders and travel claims. With a TADTAR budget of over 1,070,000 dollars, the Training Department sent over 380 personnel to various schools throughout the country, thereby enabling each of the 18 departments onboard the ship to properly maintain their qualification requirements through the extended “WestPac 2002/2003 deployment.




The year 2002 was an exciting and busy year for the Weapons Department. It marked the embarkation and first operational deployment of the new FIA-18E Super Hornet as well as Abraham Lincoln’s deployment to “WestPac in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. March saw the arrival of the current Weapons Officer, Commander John P. Geisen, who relieved Commander Finnegan. The Weapons Department had a highly successful work-up cycle that included supporting Carrier Air Wing Fourteen's Fallon Weapons Detachment. During the pre-deployment phase Weapons flawlessly completed numerous inspections. The extraordinary combined efforts of the entire department resulted in zero discrepancies for the Conventional Ordnance Safety Review (COSR). One evaluator remarked," Lincoln has the best looking weapons magazines on the West Coast."


G-1 distinguished itself by receiving outstanding marks during COMNAVAIEWAC's Armament Maintenance Inspection. The division completed more than 2,300 planned/unplanned Armament Weapons Support Equipment maintenance actions on 5,440 line items totaling more than 10,175 maintenance man-hours resulting in a 100 percent ready-for-issue (RFI) condition.


G-1 also saw a turnover in leadership in November with Gunner Parmley taking over for Gunner Deniz.


G-2 led the charge on qualifying and safely training more than 500 personnel in small arms and weapons qualifications including the 9mm, M-4 Carbine, M-240G machine gun, M-16 and M-14 rifle, and M-79 and M-203 grenade launchers. The division provided invaluable training in preparation for the ship's pre-deployment Force Protection Exercise and played a key role in six SWARMEX'S with the embarked helicopter squadron. Gunner Turner turned the division over to Gunner Bodine in April.


G-3 provided the majority of personnel supporting CVW-14's Fallon Weapons Detachment. Led by Gunner Dosen the division's 29 personnel assisted in the safe and efficient assembly of more than 106 tons of ordnance. G-3 also assembled and deployed the first 1,000 lb class Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) used with the FIA-18E Super Hornet. G-3 stowed, handled, and assembled over 6,884,539 pounds of conventional ordnance throughout the year, all mishap free.


G-4 was instrumental in guaranteeing the safe and efficient movement of all the ordnance in Lincoln and lived by its creed, "All nine UP & UP!" More than 75,000 maintenance manhours were required to maintain and sustain the finest weapons elevators in “WestPac.


G-4 qualified 54 personnel as weapons elevator operators and 208 personnel were qualified or requalified as 'EE' forklift operators. The division was also able to replace seven door hatch operating cylinder rods and 42 hydraulic gland seals resulting in a savings of over $34,000.00 for the Navy. G-4 Division's changed in November with CW02 Eady taking over the division from Gunner Parrnley.


G-5 provided outstanding technical and administrative support to the entire department. G-5 tracked 100 Conventional Ordnance Deficiency Reports and updated 350 publications. The division skillfully managed the department's limited TAD budget, obtaining critical schools and training for 278 personnel. They also handled and routed over 9,300 pieces of inter and intra office correspondence. Warrant Officer Eady turned the division over to Gunner Klaphake in December.


Security continued to provide outstanding force protection and internal ship's physical security throughout 8 port visits on “WestPac2002. The division provided key training for the Ship's Self Defense Force and also maintained 100 percent Anti-Terrorism Level 1 training for all personnel embarked in Lincoln. The Division performed superbly on COMNAVAIRPAC's LEPs inspection and the pre-deployment Force Protection Exercise conducted by COMTHIRDFLT.


Throughout 2002 Weapons Department distinguished itself as the standard by which the rest of the fleet measures itself. The department achieved an unprecedented level of efficiency and mission accomplishment, which greatly contributed to Abraham Lincoln’s overall mission” (Ref. 378B-2002).



Abe’s Sixth “WestPac” deployment articles not included in the Narrative, Summary and Time Line presented in Chapter V, relating to Crew Personnel Stories and Awards, Department and Division, in port crew activities other then arrival or departure articles to ports of call.

Chapter XV

Appendix II



Abraham Lincoln Battle Group Remembers Sept. 11


“A year ago on the morning of Sept.11, millions of Americans and citizens around the world could not believe what they were hearing on their radios or seeing on their televisions. Stories of passenger airliners being used as weapons of mass destruction, toppling the World Trade Center, smashing into the E ring of the Pentagon, and crashing into an open field in Shanksville, Pa., made many of us wonder what was happening, who was doing it and why. Sailors stationed aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at the time of terrorist acts on the east coast, were either traveling to the ship or onboard as part of the duty section.

No one could believe it was actually happening, and suddenly the ship was in a temporary lockdown as the base was secured to let no one in or out until word was given no more potential threats or bombings would happen that day. With about a month left until the ship would complete its
Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), rumors were flying that the ship would deploy right away and head to various regions of the world to thwart additional terrorist acts. Other carriers deployed or about to deploy went to the Arabian/Persian Gulf and sent a message to members of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan that America and our allies would not stand by and let these acts go unanswered. After a 10-month workup cycle, USS Abraham Lincoln, Carrier Air Wing Fourteen and ships in the battle group now have their chance to respond to the tasking and send a message to all those who wish us harm.

A year has passed and it is definitely safe to say, the events of Sept. 11 have changed each and every one of us. On Sept. 11, 2002,
USS Abraham Lincoln in-chopped to Fifth Fleet in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Several ceremonies were held to honor and remember. Shortly after the carrier entered the operating area, 1,200 crewmembers massed on the flight deck to spell out the words “Ready Now.”  Those words have deep meaning. When President Bush addressed the Joint Session in Congress in September of last year, he looked to his Joint Chiefs of Staff and he said, “I have message for the United States military. Be ready.” Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln want the world to know, especially those meaning to do the world harm, we are “ready now.”


Later in the day, a solemn ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay, attended by Sailors from the ship and air wing, included the folding of two flags, one from the site of the World Trade Center and one from the ship which will be sent to the Pentagon. The two flags were flown over Abraham Lincoln earlier in the day. At the conclusion of the folding, they were presented by CMDMC John O'Banion, the ship’s command master chief, CMDMC Evelyn Banks, the air wing command master chief, to Rear Adm. John Kelly, Abraham Lincoln Battle Group Commander. Capt. Doug Dupouy, Abraham Lincoln’s Commanding Officer, gave introductory remarks.


“As Abe Lincoln would have said – ‘it is altogether fitting and proper’ that we commemorate this first anniversary of September 11, 2001. It reminds us of our purpose. It re-enforces our resolve. Continually fueled by the horrific acts of September 11, we’re a nation determined to win this war against terrorism. And never doubt, we will win.” He continued. “Early this morning (September 11), we reported to Commander, Fifth Fleet for duty.


It is an honor that we on USS Abraham Lincoln, a ship named in honor of one of our greatest presidents who’s legacy to the world was freedom, it is an honor that we enter this war on terrorism on the first anniversary of September 11, 2001. It is a privilege that on this day we can now respond and honor our lost shipmates, countrymen and friends.” CAPT Dupouy concluded his remarks with a brief note from New York Port Authority Police Officer Tom Kennedy included with a flag flown above Ground Zero at the World Trade Center. “The flag which we sent to you was flown above … the place where we lost 37 of our fellow officers. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department officers were the first to respond up into the towers on 9/11.”

“Now, we stand for America,” Kelly said as he addressed the officers and crew during the remembrance ceremony. “Look around you – shoulder to shoulder with you stand your fellow citizens, each a volunteer, each heart good and true, each brave enough to put themselves at enormous risk to protect our families, our nation, and our way of life. Where else better could you stand? “We are enough—more than enough, to serve the cause of freedom, to sustain the commitment to our fellow citizens at home, and to remain the beacon of hope that America is and shall always be to the world”” (Ref. Story Number:
NNS020919-12 - Release Date: 9/19/2002 2:01:00 - PM By Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Bender, USS Araham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


Natives of Former Soviet Union Call Abe Home


As reported on 19 September 2002, “the melting pot -- America is known for this because it is a mixture of cultures and ethnicities from every country and continent on Earth. America is home for millions who are either descendents from immigrants around the world, or in many cases, immigrants who just recently arrived, looking for a new home. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is representative of the rich cultural diversity found in America. In addition to those from Asian, European, African and Latin American countries, there are also Sailors who were born in and once lived in what is now known as the former Soviet Union.

Like their shipmates from other lands, these Russian-American Sailors are an integral part of the Abe team. One such Sailor, 23-year-old Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class Mikhail Vasilevsky, a Moscow native, was only about six months old when his parents left Russia for America. Vasilevsky, a plane captain for the “Cougars” of VAQ-139 based out of Whidbey Island, Wash., said their decision to go to the United States was difficult, yet the benefit of living in the “land of the free, home of the brave” outweighed their desire to live in the Jewish homeland. “Instead of going to Israel, we flew to Italy.


My mom told me stories of how hard it was because they didn’t have much -- they would sell their personal items just to get food and diapers,” said Vasilevsky. “The majority of my family lives in the United States. I’m the last one of my generation to be born in Russia. My sister was born in the States. She will be 19 in July,” said Vasilevsky. His parents wanted Mikhail to have a better future without the mandatory military service required in Russia and Israel. As fate would have it, 20 years later Mikhail joined the U.S. Navy. “I was going to join the Marine Corps when I was 17, but my parents wouldn’t let me. Both of my grandfathers were in the Russian Army during World War II.


One fought at the front lines. My other grandfather worked in intelligence. He also engineered certain parts for aircraft,” he said. Vasilevsky is anxiously waiting to find out if he will get selected for Cryptologic Technician ‘A’ school. “When I get out of the Navy I want to work in the intelligence field with the FBI, CIA or maybe NSA. You can’t get that training anywhere else. I’d like to get my degree in criminal justice and then apply for an intelligence job,” he added. Another Sailor from the former Soviet Union, Airman Anton Moyseyenko, of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, a plane captain who works with the F/A-18E Super Hornet squadron, VFA-115 “Eagles,” knows what it’s like to live a life very different from that which he is living today. Moyseyenko came to the United States when he was 18 years old. Not terribly interested in school at the time, and looking for something to do, he stumbled onto an idea while walking down a New York City street.


“Over there [in Kazakhstan] it’s mandatory to join the military and people don’t get paid for it. Here you get paid and get to travel and get college benefits. I really didn’t know what to do with my life and I didn’t feel like studying. “I saw a Sailor walking down the street in New York. The same day I went to a Navy recruiter and the next week I was gone [to boot camp],” said Moyseyenko. Like Vasilevsky, Moyseyenko’s parents wanted their children to have a better life. His 23-year-old sister attends college in Brooklyn.


As for her younger brother, he plans on furthering his education with PACE courses and plans to go to college after his stint in the Navy. Drawing yet another parallel to Vasilevsky, Moyseyenko is also considering the same educational and career path. “I want to go to college in New York after the Navy. I want to study criminal justice and get a job with the FBI,” said Moyseyenko. His grandfathers also fought in ‘the Big One.’ “My grandparents were in World War II. My uncle fought in Afghanistan,” Moyseyenko said. “My parents are proud of me -- I can’t let them down.” As for his new “comrades” on board Abe, speaking Russian is a good way to keep in touch with his roots.


“We speak the same language but it’s a little different, like if you are an American from Texas you can hear the accent,” Moyseyenko added. Another Sailor from the former Soviet Union, Aviation Structural Mechanic [Equipment] 3rd Class Nikolay Grigoryev, of the VF-31 “Tomcatters,” likens his hometown of Moldavia to the lush orchards of Northern California, while his shipmate Moyseyenko hails from a drier, Texas-like climate. According to Grigoryev, whose homeland lies between Romania and Ukraine, near the Black Sea, leaving to come to the United States at age 11 was bitter sweet. “I miss my friends from there, and my grandparents, they died in the early 90’s. My Aunt, Uncle and cousins still live there,” said Grigoryev.


Like many Jewish people from Russia, Grigoryev’s family wanted a life without worrying about poverty, persecution, or simply the everyday difficulties that arise from the struggling economy and fractured politics. Joining the Navy in 1999 was something Grigoryev did to improve his life, and to allow him the opportunity to get a college education while serving his new country. “The main reason that I joined is so I could go to college. I couldn’t accept the scholarships that I got because I wasn’t a citizen, and I didn’t want to work and go to college at the same time. I want to study computer science or graphics,” said Grigoryev. As for what the Navy has done for Grigoryev, he plans on using it to his advantage when he goes to school. It has given me discipline and to that attention to detail is important. Getting back. I’ll take some college courses before I get out in one year,” Grigoryev” (Ref. Story Number: NNS020919-11 - Release Date: 9/19/2002 1:08:00 PM - By Chief Journalist (SW) David Rush, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


Dental Technician Named Abraham Lincoln's Blue Jacket of the Quarter


As reported on 20 September 2002,Dental Technician 3rd Class Rebekah Middleton wakes up day after day on the same aircraft carrier and does the same job as most Sailors on board. The difference between Petty Officer Middleton and most Sailors is what motivates her to get up out of that rack, get dressed, and go to work each day. “I think about the people at home living their lives every day, not knowing what we go through out here,” said Middleton. “I am doing what I can to help the Sailors on board, and I am doing what I can so my family can go on living their lives in freedom.” The Versailles, Mo., native has achieved a lot in the past few months. Recently selected as Bluejacket of the Quarter for USS Abraham Lincoln and command advanced to 3rd class petty officer, Middleton takes her job as a chair-side dental technician seriously.


“I work very hard because the patients are depending on me to get the job done right,” said Middleton. She believes she also benefits from helping her dental patients. “I like knowing that I can make people feel better,” said Middleton. “When they leave the clinic, they are healthier and more confident with their appearance.” Her daily duties in the Dental Department consist of managing patient-contact surveys and scheduling appointments. She is also the chair-side assistant to the dental officer. In the past, Middleton was hand-selected to serve as a side boy for COMNAVSURPAC and also coordinated the long-term parking program for her department before deployment. Middleton has been on board for two years. She advises other junior Sailors to play an active role in their careers and keep a constructive attitude. “Find a positive role model and make sure you follow the commands given to you,” said Middleton.


“If you have any ideas or suggestions, let your chain of command know what is on your mind, and always have confidence in your ability and appearance.” The leading chief petty officer of Dental Department, Chief Dentalman Thomas Countryman, is proud of Middleton for being selected as the Junior Sailor of the Quarter. “She is the future of the Dental rating because she can do anything that is asked of her and lead people to do the same,” said Countryman. Countryman hopes that one day, Petty Officer Middleton will replace him, and he believes that encouraging his Sailors is good for Navy retention. “Senior Sailors should motivate their junior Sailors to replace them,” said Countryman. Middleton plans to re-enlist in the Navy for shore duty and is also considering a career as a Naval officer in the future” (Ref. Story Number: NNS020920-03 - Release Date: 9/20/2002 1:06:00 PM - By Journalist 3rd Class Heather Stanley, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


Dental Technician inspects a patient’s dental x-rays for signs of tooth decay


021201-N-5362F-003 - At sea aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Dec. 1, 2002 - Dental Technician Seaman Manila M. Mercurio from Hercules, Calif., inspects a patient’s bitewings for signs of tooth decay. Bitewings are x-rays of the molars and pre-molars showing areas between the teeth that cannot normally be seen from regular visual observation. Abraham Lincoln is deployed on a regularly scheduled deployment conducting combat missions in support of Operation Southern Watch. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Bernardo Fuller. (RELEASED)


USS Abraham Lincoln Families Celebrate Their Sailors


As reported on 7 December 2002, “part of the dynamic of a military family is coping with separation. It is simply one of those hard facts of life. One of the hardest jobs in the military is laid at the feet of family members who have to deal with separation, coping with problems alone, dinners with an empty chair at the table, and celebrating birthdays and anniversaries with a missing guest. To recognize the sacrifices of family members, the Department of Defense names Thanksgiving week Military Families Appreciation Week to honor those supporting the service members who defend and protect the nation.

And the forward deployed aircraft carrier,
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) (Abe), made certain its families back home were not forgotten by working with the spouses to put together the “Fall Festival” last month. “This was an opportunity for Lincoln families to come together and celebrate,” said Stacey Tucker, the co-chairperson of the Fall Festival. “Although we would much rather [our Sailors] be here with us, [they] will be close to our hearts. We would not have this opportunity if it weren’t for all the hard work [they were] doing each and every day,” she said. The Fall Festival brought together the crew’s families for an afternoon of fun, food, and solidarity. Along with fun for the children, they gathered to support each other. I definitely believe this brings all of us together in a very positive way. We are all experiencing the same types of things throughout this deployment and this gives us time to share laughs and stories,” said Tucker.

Abe Sailors had a chance to say “thank you” to their families, too. The ship’s administrative officer, Lt. Cmdr. Jim Felty, and the photo lab team arranged for Sailors to videotape a short message that played for the families throughout the event.
Abe’s newest Sailor, Commanding Officer Capt. Kendall L. Card, sent his videotaped thanks and appreciation to the families as well. The Fall Festival planners made November a memorable month for more than 500 partygoers ranging from newborns all the way to 18 year olds. Activities ranged from X-Box competitions, bubble-blowing contests, raffle drawings and plenty of arts and crafts. There was something available for all ages.


According to Tucker, the videotaped messages carried back from the ship are always a hit. “I guess it depends if you ask the children or the parents what their favorite part was. It’s always fun to receive the video messages from everyone on the ship,” she said. “We had a ton of great prizes donated to us for the raffle drawings. The children had an opportunity to take home boom boxes, gift certificates, and season tickets to various local attractions, even a zoo adoption,” she said. According to the carrier’s Command Master Chief, (SW/AW) John O’Banion, family support is crucial to any deployment, and while the crew could never thank their families enough, setting aside November as a month of family appreciation is a fantastic idea.


“We ask a lot from our Sailors,” said Master Chief O’Banion. “And while they have demanding jobs, the sacrifices their families make are just as demanding. Our Sailors are the best in the world because of the tremendous support and love from their families. The Fall Festival is just a small token of our appreciation for all they do for us.” Many Sailors say family is one reason they chose to serve in the military. They serve to provide for and protect their families as well as give service back to the nation.

Even though
Abraham Lincoln is forward deployed this holiday season, efforts like the Fall Festival go along to show the families back home how much their sacrifice is appreciated” (Ref. Story Number: NNS021206-15 - Release Date: 12/7/2002 2:28:00 AM - By Journalist 3rd Class Heather Stanley, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


USS Abraham Lincoln Sailors Get the “Right Spirit”


As reported on 19 December 2002, “USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN-72) command Drug/Alcohol Program Advisor (DAPA) sponsored a “Right Spirit” party on 7 December 2002 at Naval Station Annex Bahrain’s Desert Dome to promote the idea that Sailors don’t need alcohol to have a good time.

The two-hour party centered on a talent show, but also included giveaway prizes ranging from 150 T-shirts to three mink blankets, three walkmans and a few perfume sets. Keeping with the theme of non-alcohol beverages, water and soda were available at a stand near the stage at no cost. The “Right Spirit” Campaign, adopted by the Secretary of the Navy in 1996, is designed to deglamorize alcohol use and prevent binge drinking.

The “Right Spirit” Campaign isn’t about prohibition, however. The motto for “Right Spirit” says it all - “It’s about choice.” It’s also about reminding all hands, from seaman to admiral, of leadership, responsibility and accountability, and to support an individual’s choice not to drink. Chief Storekeeper William Bell,
Abe’s DAPA representative, coordinated the event with the help of departmental and squadron DAPA representatives as well as the Chief Petty Officer, 1st Class Petty Officer and Mustang Associations. The talent show featured Sailors out of their usual uniforms doing everything from singing, rapping and playing guitar to hula dancing.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Glenn Young has been in the Navy for 19 years, but a Navy-sponsored alcohol-free event was something new for him. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “A party where it says it’s okay not to drink and still have a good time and be yourself. “I think it’s a great idea ... promoting that you can have a good time, you don’t need to drink alcohol, and still enjoy yourself in today’s Navy.”

After the party finished, Bell had nothing but positive things to say about the event. “We accomplished what we wanted to,” he said. “It was about choice – it wasn’t about prohibition. Everybody had a great time, and I think it worked out fantastic. (The party) was a great promotion for the ‘Right Spirit’ campaign, and that’s what we set out to do.”

The next “right spirit” party is scheduled to be sometime during
Abraham Lincoln’s upcoming planned incremental availability” (Ref. Story Number: NNS021218-24 - Release Date: 12/19/2002 6:58:00 AM - By Journalist 2nd Class Ryan Hicks, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


Small Texas Town Gives Abe Two Helmsmen


As reported on 18 December 2002, “Quartermaster Seaman Jeremy West joined the Navy to see what the world outside of his small hometown of Borger, Texas, had to offer. He graduated high school in a class of less than 250 people and says many of his classmates shared his dream of wanting to leave home. “Most teenagers who live back home talk about getting out of Borger. It usually doesn’t happen, and I didn’t want to be another statistic,” said West. “So I joined the Navy to see the world.” West knew he would meet people from different parts of the world when he joined the Navy. He anticipated seeing different cultures and learning new things, but he didn’t expect to find someone from his neck of the woods serving aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). That changed when West met Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Timothy Culwell, also a Borger native, standing in line at the ship’s store.

“I overheard a conversation between two guys in front of me,” said West, “and Culwell was telling the other guy where he was from. I was like ‘Wow! Me, too!’” Culwell had been aboard for almost a year and a half when he met West. He said that even though they both grew up a town with a population of less than 16,000, their age difference kept them from meeting. “I went to school with his older brother,” said Culwell, “but I had never met Jeremy until he got here.” Culwell and West both agreed that there wasn’t much to do growing up in Borger. “Hanging out in Borger consisted of driving around and hanging out in front of the local grocery store,” said West. “We used to drag Main Street, and if you were old enough, you could go to the bars,” said Culwell.


Since their days of driving around Borger, the two Sailors are now on to driving bigger and better things. Culwell is now a master helmsman - qualified to drive the ship in restricted evolutions like underway replenishments and pulling into ports. West is training to do the same. Now the Borger natives spend many hours of evolutions side-by-side behind the helm console on the bridge. Culwell wants to use his helmsman qualification for future experience. “I wanted to be a master helmsman because I want to drive ships for the Merchant Marines when I get out of the Navy, and I can get the experience here,” said Culwell.


West, who works on the bridge as a quartermaster, said it was watching other master helmsman that made him decide to get qualified. “(Quartermaster 3rd Class Christopher) Shans is the best driver on the ship,” said West. “I learned watching him drive that it is very challenging work, and you get a lot of respect for it.” Maybe it is all a coincidence that two Sailors from a small town in Texas are on the same ship doing the same job almost everyday, but they think otherwise. “It just proves that this world isn’t as big as it seems,” said Culwell” (Ref. Story Number: NNS021218-01 - Release Date: 12/18/2002 7:28:00 AM - By Journalist 3rd Class Heather Stanley, USS Abraham Lincoln Public AffairsAt Sea (NNS)).


USS Abraham Lincoln Exceeds CFC Goal


As reported on 19 December 2002, “every year, the U.S. Navy joins together with hundreds of local, national and international supporters to aid charitable organizations through sponsorship of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). This year, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors contributed $158,481.00 to the CFC, surpassing last year’s mark by nearly $50,000.00. Ensign Jim Pederson, V-3 Division’s assistant division officer and this year’s CFC coordinator, said that the record numbers reflect the commitment of the Sailors aboard Lincoln.

“I think this is just great, it’s really a direct reflection of the kind of people we have here,” said Pederson. “Our efforts are to continually make us an example for others to follow. We have done that here.” CFC helps thousands of local and national charities every year. Many of the funds donated by the Sailors will directly support charitable activities in and around their home port area in Washington.

“Sailors should contribute to CFC, because this is a great way for the military to give a little back to the community that welcomes us,” said Pederson. Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Benjamin Freeman, a member of engineering department’s A Division, added his financial support to the CFC this year.

“These days, a lot of national parks are being torn down, so I gave to help restore some of the land in these areas,” said Freeman. “I want to provide an opportunity for our future generation to have and enjoy the same things we have.”

Like Freeman, other Sailors aboard
Lincoln contributed to CFC because they trusted the organization. “I know that my money is going where I want it to,” said Personnelman 3rd Class William Boudreaux. “I gave to two charities that help children with cancer. Who deserves it more than little kids?” Boudreaux says he gives to CFC because of the personal rewards. “Good things come back to you,” he said, “and at the end of the day, you can feel good knowing that you did a little more.”

For more information on the Combined Federal Campaign visit” (Ref. Story Number: NNS021219-14 - Release Date: 12/19/2002 8:13:00 PM - By Journalist 3rd Class Heather Stanley, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


USS Abraham Lincoln’s Dental Department Keeps Battle Group Sailors Smiling


As reported on 8 January 2003, “Dental care is one quality-of-life issue USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors don’t have to worry about. The dental department aboard has just about everything any civilian dentist’s office would have. Personnel here can have everything done from simple procedures such as routine cleanings to major surgeries like getting wisdom teeth pulled. Sailors on other ships in the battle group aren’t so lucky. Because of the other ships’ limited size and capacity, most only have one independent duty corpsman, or IDC, that has the training to handle simple dental emergencies.


Sailors aboard smaller ships generally get all of their dentistry done before going on deployment, and barring an emergency, have to wait until returning to have any other work done. In rare cases of emergency, Sailors from other ships must be airlifted via helicopter to Lincoln for surgeries or cases of major pain. This deployment, Abraham Lincoln’s dental department offered a service for the first time that helped to alleviate some of the logistical pain of distant sore teeth -- instead of having the Sailors fly to the Lincoln, the Lincoln flew to them.

With a set of equipment resembling the type used by Marines in tent cities, seven local Sailors went to USS
Shiloh (CG-67), USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) and USS Fletcher (DD-992) to offer any takers the chance for some more technical toothy expertise. Lt. Anurag Patel, dental department’s division officer, Lt. David Haugen, Abe’s assistant dental officer, Dental Technician 3rd Class (SW/AW) Robert Willis, Dental Technician 3rd Class Debra Green, Dentalman Connell Fead, Dentalman Greshawn Kendrick and Dentalman Quang Huynh all took part in the “Have Chair, Will Travel” operation recently.

For three days in October, Haugen, Willis and Fead went to the
Mobile Bay; for four days in November, Patel, Willis, and Kendrick went to the Shiloh; and for five days in December, Green and Huynh went to Fletcher to help spread the smile that is mobile dentistry. Together, they saw more than 130 patients and performed tasks ranging from routine cleanings to repairing fillings to examinations. The ships prepared for the dentists’ arrivals with notes in their plan of the days and announcements over the 1-MC.

“Clean and happy teeth – arriving.” With the gear aboard and unpacked, within 20 minutes, the traveling dental crews could unfold and set up the unit, generator, chair and instruments and be ready to go. Patel and Haugen did their work in medical spaces and a training classroom, respectively, and worked with the IDCs who set up appointments for annual exams. They also handled any emergency that happened during their stay.


“We were a little limited as to what we could do,” said Patel, “because we didn’t have an X-ray machine available, but that said, we did as much as we could in the time available.” The two officers were impressed with their treatment aboard the other ships. “Some of the ships really rolled the red carpet out for us,” said Haugen. “It almost felt like we were being treated like distinguished visitors.” “It was good to break the monotony of the carrier and experience something new,” said Patel. “But after a few days out there,” added Haugen, “it was good to be back.” For the times the dental teams were away from the Lincoln, there were no real setbacks aboard, as the trips had been planned and scheduled to prevent any low manning.


“Our ship really is supposed to support the dental needs of the entire battle group,” said Patel. “Our trip away did nothing to compromise the mission we have aboard the Lincoln,” added Haugen. “Our travel just went to help our battle group’s collective dental readiness numbers to improve.” Overall, the trip left a positive impression with the dental crew. It was the first time personnel had ever used the mobile dentistry unit, and its success will help determine the options for the future. No other trips are planned out specifically this deployment, but the possibility is out there. “It was good to get the chance to give more Sailors the opportunity to get the dental care they wanted,” said Patel. “And I’d definitely be willing to do this again”” (Ref. Story Number: NNS030108-04 - Release Date: 1/8/2003 12:23:00 PM - By Journalist 2nd Class Ryan Hicks, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


USS Abraham Lincoln Observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day


As reported on 27 January 2003, “USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) American Heritage Committee held an observance for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the aft mess decks. The theme of this year’s observance was “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off.” Ensign Theodore Scott gave the opening remarks and introduced Abraham Lincoln Battle Group Commander Rear Adm. John Kelly to the stage. Kelly noted a lot of younger people don’t recognize the significance of the events that Martin Luther King Jr. helped to happen because they weren’t old enough to appreciate it at the time. He emphasized that the theme of the ceremony was significant because the message was for everyone, old and young, to remember the importance the contributions King made. After Kelly’s opening statement, Electronics Technician 2nd Class Michael Robinson, Master Chief Machinist’s Mate George Walz, and Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate Thomas Johnson all gave speeches associating with a segment of this year’s theme.

Between speeches, Draftsman 3rd Class Adrian Sims and Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Kenneth Mahone added their vocal talents to the observance, singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome,” respectively. At the beginning of the ceremony, a few dozen Sailors were present, but by the end, a few hundred had gathered to see what was going on. Included in the audience were the commanding officer, executive officer, carrier air wing commander and deputy carrier air wing commander, who collectively remarked that it was one of the best observances they’d yet seen on the ship. Scott said he volunteered to make the opening remarks to convey his feelings about the importance of observing the day. “The progress that Martin Luther King Jr. made during his lifetime and for our time was very important and the extent of the changes he helped move forward has even made a difference to us as Sailors.” Chief Personnelman William Bell was the chairperson of the American Heritage Committee for the event and did much of the organizing for the ceremony. “I really want to thank S-2 (food service division) for loaning us the mess decks and for the cake,” said Bell after the conclusion of the celebration.


“And I’d like to thank the volunteer speakers and performers as the participants in the event. We all came together to have a successful observance of an important event that the whole command could enjoy. This year’s event was more pepped up and colorful than any I’ve been to yet on board, thanks to the efforts of everyone involved.” The event was particularly special to Bell because it was his last as the equal opportunity advisor. At the conclusion of the ceremony, he turned the title over to Master Chief Hospital Corpsman P.K. Ryan. “It was a perfect opportunity for a good turnover,” said Bell. “I left those particular duties on a positive note”” (Ref. Story Number: NNS030127-05 - Release Date: 1/27/2003 9:13:00 AM - By Journalist 2nd Class Ryan Hicks, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


CARIT Instructor Teaches Benefits Aboard USS Abraham Lincoln


As reported on 28 January 2003, “everyone in the military is entitled to know their benefits, yet many people make the transition from the military to the civilian world without proper knowledge of these benefits. Navy Counselor 1st Class Melody Doremus recently came aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) to ensure that those separating or retiring within the next 12 months have this vital information in their hands prior to the time they separate.

In her 19 years of experience in the military, especially with the last two as a career counselor, Doremus feels she can help others learn how to make the mental switch from military to civilian, necessary for Sailors to be successful after they separate.
“After talking to several people who have either separated or retired from the military, I have learned that a good majority of those people weren’t fully aware of their benefits or options at the time of their separation,” said Doremus.

My goal and one of the goals of the Career Information Team Trainer brief is to establish a timeline for Sailors to know when they should start preparing for certain events, such as applying to school or applying for a V.A. (Veteran's Assistance) loan.”
The class, typically lasting for about two to three hours, allows Sailors the opportunity to ask questions and get guidance.

“During the first part of the class, I try to give them as much useful information as possible and emphasize how important it is to understand the material I discuss, and the rest of the time is open to questions,” said Doremus. Doremus originally had orders to stay aboard for about a month, but due to a major change in the ship’s schedule, her time was shortened.

“They asked me if I was going to take liberty while in Australia,” Doremus said, “but since I only have a few days to hold classes, I would really like to get as many people through this brief as possible. I know how important this information is, and I would rather be able to share it with those who choose to come to the class than go out for a few days of liberty.”

Doremus strongly encourages Sailors to attend the class, whether they plan on getting out of the military at their separation date or not. “It’s just really good information to know no matter what you decide to do, because it makes you aware of the benefits you never knew you had,” she said” (Ref. Story Number:
NNS030128-02 - Release Date: 1/28/2003 10:38:00 AM - By Journalist 2nd Class Barbara Silkwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).


Seven Lincoln Sailors Reach Pinnacle of Their Career


As reported on 18 April 2003, “two stars above an anchor collar device can now be seen on the uniforms of seven newly selected master chiefs (CM) who were recently frocked on USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN-72) forecastle. The promotion to the highest level in the enlisted ranking structure came as a complete surprise to a few of the master chiefs, like Master Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Jim Huskey, whose rate is extremely competitive and the chances of making master chief are fairly slim.

“Since the AS (Aviation Support Equipment Technician) rate recently dropped to 12 billets Navywide for ASCM, I thought I had a better chance at being struck by lightning in a subway than to make master chief,” Huskey halfway joked. Huskey said it’s impossible to know why he was chosen out of the other candidates, but he is thankful for all those who have helped him achieve this goal. “It is a great honor to be selected over the numerous other well-qualified candidates,” he said. “This was my most competitive year, but we also had the lowest quotas in the last five years at 6 percent,” said Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Rose Frances. Much like Huskey, Master Chief Fire Controlman David Kirk hadn’t expected to be among the few names selected for master chief, especially since his 18 years of experience was competing with some senior chiefs who had more than 20 years time in service.

“It was my first time up and the numbers were pretty competitive, so I was very surprised that a board of complete strangers selected me based solely on what they saw in my record,” he said. The promotion is significant to Kirk in the sense that his record speaks for itself. His commitment to go above and beyond the expected requirements throughout his naval career paved the way for him to excel through the enlisted ranks quickly. He attributes part of his success to his determination to take on the more difficult job assignments. “You have to be prepared to be the 10 percent that does 90 percent of the work and take on those collateral duties that help you stand out,” Kirk advised for those who are interested in advancing.


The following morning, the captain made the official announcement over the 1-MC to congratulate the new master chiefs. As a new master chief, Kirk feels his contribution to the community of master chiefs will be his youth and exuberance, as well as inspiration to junior Sailors. On the flip side, Rose brings her wisdom and 26 years of experience to the table. “Well, my contribution certainly isn’t youth,” she joked. “I guess if I were to say I could add anything, it might be tenacity. I don’t give up easily on things I want, believe in or want for my Sailors,” said Rose” (Ref. Story Number: NNS030418-11 - Release Date: 4/18/2003 11:44:00 AM - By Journalist 2nd Class Barbara Silkwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS).


Abe Sailors Watch the Skies


As reported on 23 April 2003, “picture thousands of miles of sky stretching above you with a few hundred planes flying through that space every couple of hours, each on their own mission and course. Now imagine a much smaller space, about 50 miles in each direction, and add a couple hundred more aircraft - all flying relatively close to each other, on almost the same course, either to or from almost the exact same mission.

That is what the airways looked like for air traffic controllers aboard
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), as well as USS Constellation (CV-64) and USS Kitty Hawk (C-63), who for the last three months have been operating very closely to one another in the Arabian Gulf in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Every carrier “owns” a 50-mile radius of air space, and with three of them all operating within 25 miles of each other, that air space overlaps, and the amount of aircraft flying within that space is tripled. At any given time, there were about 70 aircraft flying. Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Shea Bickerstaff said his job is to sequence
Lincoln’s aircraft in the air and separate them, so they remain a specified distance apart to avoid collision during recoveries.

Bickerstaff briefly explained the numbers and circles displayed on the large flat screen in front of him. He said when an aircraft approaches the 50-mile radius that is designated as our air space, the standard military mode of the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system tracks that aircraft unit. IFF recognizes and identifies the specific type of aircraft approaching and who it belongs to by using a discreet code, which appears on a radar screen in Air Operations where the traffic in the sky is monitored.

Friendly aircraft will check in with the air traffic controllers if a mission calls for them to fly through our designated air space. On it could be imagined that this job would become much more difficult in a real war-time situation, especially with three times as many aircraft in the sky at the same time, but Bickerstaff said he and the other air traffic controllers have not had to change gears at all due to the war or the crowded skies.

“We train for a war-time situation every time we fly,” Bickerstaff said. “The only difference since the start of the war has been the accelerated pace. Actually, the only factor that has had any effect on our daily operations is the bad weather. “Most of the time, we are operating on Case I flight ops, when it is fairly sunny and visibility is above 3,000 feet," Bickerstaff said. "But during the last few weeks of flying, we have been at Case III flight ops.”


Pointing to all the different screens in Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC), Bickerstaff explained Case III flight operations occur when visibility is less than 1,000 feet. During these conditions, instead of having only a few people at their stations like normal, the entire office has to be manned up. “We all have to be in here in front of radar screens and underneath blue lighting for 12 to 14 hours a day,” he said.

Aside from bad weather, one minor problem the air traffic controllers potentially faced with so many planes flying at the same time was the possibility of the other carrier’s aircraft launching into the same air space our airplanes were stacked up for recovery. Bickerstaff said since the weather was really bad, all three carriers would end up grouped together where the weather was decent, making each carrier’s designated air space overlap quite a bit.

“The only time there was really any conflict was when an aircraft had a specific mission that required it to ascend very close to where our marshal stack was set,” Bickerstaff said. He further explained there are set restrictions that require the aircraft to remain at certain altitudes prior to recovery.

“We managed to eliminate any potential problems with the other carriers prior to the start of launching or recovering aircraft,” he said. “And overall, our operations have been very successful” (Ref. Story Number:
NNS030423-07 - Release Date: 4/23/2003 6:28:00 AM - By Journalist 2nd Class Barabara Silkwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, At Sea (NNS)).



Abe’s Sixth “WestPac” deployment articles not included in the Narrative, Summary and Time Line presented in Chapter XV, relating to Crew Personnel Stories and Awards, Department and Division, in port crew activities other then arrival or departure articles to ports of call, Chapter XV, Appendix II

Chapter XV, Appendix I, Section 2 of 2 and Chapter XV, Appendix II


Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)


A Sailors Tale of His Tour of Duty in the U. S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983) Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw

(24 April 1980)


Book - ISBN NO.


EBook - ISBN NO.



Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)


Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to 2016)










(10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975) -










25 August 1981) -
















USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. I (27 December 1982 to 6 May 2003)


USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. I  (27 December 1982 to

6 May 2003)


Book - ISBN NO.

To Be Announced

EBook - ISBN No.



USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. II (7 May 2003 to 13 January 2010)


USS Abraham Lincoln

(CVN-72) History Vol. II

(7 May 2003 to 13 January 2010)


Book - ISBN NO.

To Be Announced

EBook - ISBN NO.



USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. III (14 January 2010 to 31 December 2012)



USS Abraham Lincoln

(CVN-72) History Vol. III

(14 January 2010 to

31 December 2012)


Book - ISBN NO.

To Be Announced

EBook - ISBN No.



USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History of Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH)  (1 January 2013 to 2017)


USS Abraham Lincoln

(CVN-72) History of

Refueling and Complex

Overhaul (RCOH)

(1 January 2013 to 2017

Sea Trials) Volume IV


Book - ISBN NO.

To Be Announced

EBook - ISBN No.







Book - ISBN NO.


EBook - ISBN NO.


Library of Congress

Control Number: 


(Book Version)









(1953 to 2016)




EBook - ISBN NO.


Library of Congress

(Book Version)







Book - ISBN NO.

To Be Announced

EBook - ISBN No.