Embarking CVW-2 at San Diego, California, for a scheduled routine deployment to the 7th and 5th Fleet Areas of Responsibility, on her transfer to the East Coast operating with the Fleet Forces Command upon departure from the Mediterranean Sea, for Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News (NGSB-NN), on her 11th “WestPac” deployment and her fourth North Arabian Sea deployment in support of her 3rd Maritime Security Operations (MSO), to protect offshore infrastructure, including Iraqi oil platforms, which provide a critical source of income for the new Iraqi government and supporting operations that are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States’ commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity; to ensure that ships could "operate freely while transiting the world's oceans" during the Global War on Terrorism, on her 4th 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 ninth Arabian/Persian Gulf deployment (7 December 2011 to 7 August 2012)
Part I of IV - 7 December 2011 to 20 March 2017
Part II of IV - 21 March to 11 June 2012
Part III of IV - 12 June 2012 to 6 August 2012
Part IV of IV - 7 August 2012 and
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) 2011 YEAR END REPORT
Chapter XXVIII, Appendix I and
Abe’s 11th “WestPac” deployment articles not included in the Narrative, Summary and Time Line presented in Chapter XXVIII, 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 XXVIII, Appendix II
Chapter XXVIII, Appendix I - II
Section I of II - 20 December 2011 to 1 June 2012
Section II of II - 2 June to 3 August 2012
120713-N-VY256-089 - RED SEA (July 13, 2012) - Damage Controlman 3rd Class Ryan Collier receives his enlisted surface warfare specialist pin aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG-71). Collier is the 99th Sailor to qualify for the pin during the ship's 2011-2012 deployment. Cape St. George is on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher S. Johnson/Released) http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=127869
99 Cape St. George Sailors Earn Surface Warfare Designation
“Ninety-nine Sailors from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG-71) qualified as Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists (ESWS) on 13 July 2012. Chief Cryptologic Technician Harold Allen, the ESWS coordinator for Cape, said this was a major milestone for the entire crew. "At the start of deployment, about 30 percent of the crew were qualified ESWS," said Allen. "Now, we're more than 60 percent qualified. This means Cape can fly the silver ESWS pennant." Ships may fly the ESWS pennant when all eligible Sailors have either achieved their ESWS qualifications or are currently enrolled in the ESWS program. The ESWS qualification process is designed to provide Sailors with a broad range of operational knowledge across platforms throughout the ship. Sailors must show proficiency in 45 different subjects and conduct 22 walkthroughs of spaces and describes those areas of the ship to ESWS qualifiers. Spaces covered include the ship's bridge, engineering machinery rooms and the Combat Information Center (CIC).
Once all of these steps are completed, candidates must pass a 200-question written exam and two verbal boards. First, they undergo a "murder board" led by first class petty officers, then a final board led by chief petty officers. "ESWS training is difficult, but it is very rewarding to see Sailors learn and take pride in being surface warriors," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Dylan Evjen, who helps conduct ESWS training in Combat Systems. "It isn't an easy process, especially my board, but when they're done, they can wear their pins with pride knowing they truly earned them." Cape also has an ESWS incentive program. When Sailors earn their ESWS qualifications, they are pinned by their ESWS mentors, recognizing those Sailors who spend their time teaching and training. In addition, divisions compete to see which of them can make the most progress in the program each week. Winners earn head-of-the-line privileges in the galley for the week.
A division that is 100 percent qualified receives a plaque to post in their space. Currently, Cape has four such divisions, with many others just one or two Sailors away from earning their plaque. "I'm just doing my part to help my fellow Sailors get qualified," said Logisitics Specialist 2nd Class Jeremiah Edwards. "I think of it as returning the favor, since not too long ago, I was in their position." Cape's goal is to qualify 142 ESWS Sailors by the end of deployment, doubling the hull number of 71. Cape St. George is currently deployed as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9. CSG-9 is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts” (Ref. Story Number: NNS120716-14 - Release Date: 7/16/2012 12:54:00 PM - By By Ensign Lexi Dauernheim, USS Cape St. George Public Affairs, USS CAPE ST. GEORGE, At Sea (NNS)).
110203-N-5328N-140 - PENSACOLA, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2011) - The Center for Information Dominance (CID) has become the first non-operational shore command approved for the newly created Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialty pin. (U.S. Navy photo by Gary Nichols/Released) http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=97329
Lincoln Pins Its First Enlisted Information Dominance Warriors
“Three Sailors assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) became the first Lincoln personnel to earn the Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialty (EIDWS) pin on 14 July 2012
Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Daniel Jacobs, Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Johnny Cullum and Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Michael Dorobiala completed the new program in an attempt to lead the way forward for their respective ratings.
"It's a great feeling and an honor to be among the first of three to receive the EIDWS pin," said Jacobs. "I got a lot out of this experience. And it's something else to be triple-warfare qualified."
Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet authorized Lincoln to operate an afloat EIDWS program and awarded the ship its final certification, July 2. Later that day, Lincoln held its first-ever EIDWS final board, from which three EIDWS-qualified Sailors emerged.
U.S. 10th Fleet granted the certification after a required, complex planning and administrative review was accomplished. Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Darcella Coopersanders said Lincoln started getting the program together in January and had it in place by March. After a curriculum was established and class setting selected, the program awaited little more than the certification.
"After we knew how we were going to train, it wasn't long until we put it into practice," Coopersanders said. Capt. John D. Alexander, Lincoln's commanding officer, said the newly pinned Sailors will help develop other Sailors' knowledge of the program and help the program to grow and to move forward.
"It's been a long time coming," Alexander said. "The EIDWS is a warfare pin that will continue to ensure the continuous modernization and information dominance of this command. Now that Lincoln can bring information dominance to the fleet, we are now able to train and qualify to handle the new threats brought on by the modern age."
Lincoln is the flagship for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, which is also comprised of embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG-71) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9. CSG-9 is operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the coming weeks as the group makes its way back to the United States to complete an eight-month deployment” (Ref. Story Number: NNS120722-03 - Release Date: 7/22/2012 9:35:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mason Campbell, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS)). http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=68520
120714-N-KQ416-041- RED SEA (July 14, 2012) - Culinary Specialist 1st Class Christopher R. Williams sprinkles paprika on deep-fried shrimp tortillas during the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group Culinary Showdown aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). Abraham Lincoln is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary S. Welch/Released) http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=127768
Lincoln Cooks Compete in Culinary Showdown
“Culinary specialists assigned to Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 faced off in a cooking contest aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on 14 July 2012.
The Abraham Lincoln Strike Group Culinary Showdown event pitted Culinary Specialist 1st Class Christopher Williams, Culinary Specialist 1st Class Aldan Johansen, and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Timothy McDowell against one another in a test of the competitors' culinary skills. The contest required the Abe cooks to prepare a meal complete with appetizer, entire, dessert and involving one random, mandatory ingredient in each course in 20 minutes or less.
"We put on this competition to showcase the talents of our top culinary specialists in the strike group," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Harrison Wright, Lincoln's food service officer. Williams said he was excited to show his stuff. "I've been cooking since I was young, and I love getting a chance to show what I can do," he said. After the contestants completed preparing the meals, the dishes were presented to a panel of seven judges, who evaluated the food based on presentation, originality, taste and creativity.
When the judges had scored the first two courses, all three contestants were within two points of one another. To decide the overall winner of the competition, the cook-off came down to the dessert round, where Williams' homemade fried ice cream confection proved good enough to earn a near-perfect score from the judges. With that, Williams was announced the top chef of the competition.
"This is the first time I participated in a competition like this," said Williams. "It feels amazing to win on my first try and this only motivates me to compete more in the future." "I had high hopes for what we could do today," said Capt. Don Gabrielson, commanding officer of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG-71) and a judge for the event. "But what we actually did blew me away."
Lincoln is the flagship for CSG-9, which is also comprised of embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Cape St. George and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9. CSG-9 is operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the coming weeks as the the group makes its way back to the United States to complete an eight-month deployment around the world” (Ref. Story Number: NNS120722-01 - Release Date: 7/22/2012 9:24:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zachary Anderson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS)).
“Sixty-two Sailors from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 qualified as enlisted aviation warfare specialists (EAWS) while deployed with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, as of 16 July 2012. VFA-34's EAWS completion rate is now 92.2 percent of all eligible personnel, up from 61.2 percent when the Blue Blasters left for deployment in December 2011.
The qualification program recognizes those enlisted Sailors who have achieved a significant level of professional skill, knowledge and experience in direct support of naval aviation and the VFA-34 mission. Requirements for the program include completing a warfare qualification card consisting of five phases; demonstrating practical knowledge during walk-arounds of VFA-34 aircraft; completing a comprehensive written exam; and completing an oral board presided over by four EAWS-qualified board members.
The Blue Blasters' EAWS program coordinator, Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate John Connelly, and assistant coordinator Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Steven Gifford started the deployment tasked with qualifying as many Sailors as possible and meeting the requirements for the squadron to hang the EAWS pennant. To fly the pennant, a squadron must have 75 percent of its Sailors EAWS-qualified. VFA-34 earned the right to fly the pennant, April 8.
Connelly said the success of his program lies with the qualifiers themselves. "The achievement of the EAWS pennant is a testament to the hard work and dedication that the young Sailors displayed," said Connelly. "Most of the people who completed their qualifications out here did so after they had already put in 10-12-hour shifts on the flight deck, which is amazing." Typically, the Sailors putting in the longest days are among the most junior in the squadron, said VFA-34 Command Master Chief Kevin Martin. "Their drive and determination have put us over 90 percent qualified, an amazing accomplishment when you consider that more than 100 of our Sailors are E4 and below," said Martin.
VFA-34 is one of nine squadrons deployed with CVW-2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, which is also comprised of guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG-71) and Destroyer Squadron 9. CSG-9 is on a regularly scheduled deployment conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility” (Ref. Story Number: NNS120725-06 - Release Date: 7/25/2012 8:12:00 AM - By Lt. j.g. Chelsea Decker, Strike Fighter Squadron 34 Public Affairs, USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Remember Passed Grandparents
“Sailors gathered in the forecastle of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on 30 July 2012, to memorialize grandparents who passed away while the ship was deployed.
Lincoln's Religious Ministries Department hosted the service to recognize the loss of these Sailors' important family members and to celebrate their lives.
"When a grandparent passes away, it doesn't meet the requirements for emergency leave," said Lt. Greg Coates, a chaplain assigned to Lincoln. "We hold memorials like this to try to help Sailors say goodbye and move toward the final stages of grieving."
Following the memorial message, participants were invited to place pictures of their loved ones on a table in the front of the room and say the names of those they were honoring. The ceremony ended with a final prayer and the sharing of stories about their passed family members.
"When we are underway, we are each other's family," said Coates. "This was an opportunity to come together and help our family grieve."
Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Dec. 7, for a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility. Currently heading back to the United States to complete an eight-month deployment, Lincoln is changing homeports from Everett, Wash., to Norfolk, Va., for a periodic refueling complex overhaul.
Lincoln is the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 9, which is also comprised of Carrier Air Wing 2, guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG-71) and Destroyer Squadron 9.” (Ref. Story Number: NNS120806-03 - Release Date: 8/6/2012 1:19:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zachary Anderson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affaire, USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS)). http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=68838
Lincoln Sailors Prepare for Return to Life Ashore
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) attended a series of Return and Reunion training classes from 23 July to 3 August 2012, following eight months at sea and just prior to the ship's arrival in Norfolk. The Norfolk Fleet and Family Services office coordinated classes focusing on financial well-being, family reintegration, and building healthy relationships with both children and spouses.
Fleet and Family Services offered the classes to ease service members' transitions to home life following an extended deployment period. Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Kyle L. Smith said he gained insight into some of the changes he will face after an eight-month deployment.
"The instructors did not sugarcoat what to expect when we are with our loved ones at home," Smith said. "They talked to us about how to deal with the different levels of stress and anger that are to be expected."
In addition to the relationship classes, Virginia State Police Trooper Mark S. Walden visited the ship to educate Sailors about Virginia laws and how they apply to service members. Walden covered topics ranging from vehicle safety to newer state laws and existing laws he said many people aren't aware of.
"As a retired boatswain's mate, I understand exactly where every Sailor on board is at right now," said Walden. "My suggestion would be to ride around with someone for the first few days so you can have time to acclimate yourself to traffic and the rules of the road. Norfolk is far stricter on state laws than other cities because of the high military traffic that comes through the city."
Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Dec. 7, for a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility (AORs) and to change homeports from Everett to Norfolk for a periodic refueling complex overhaul.
Lincoln deployed as the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 9, which was also comprised of Carrier Air Wing 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG-71) and Destroyer Squadron 9, composed of guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG-92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104)” (Ref. Story Number: NNS120804-04 - Release Date: 8/4/2012 8:45:00 PM - By Seaman Phylicia Sorenson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS)).