Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) activities at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), an American Fortune 500 shipbuilding company formed on March 31, 2011 as a spin-off of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News (NGSB-NN)
(1 January to 31 December 2013).
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) 2013 YEAR END REPORT
Chapter II, Appendix I
2013 Articles not related to Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH)
Chapter II, Appendix II
Part I of III - 1 January to 20 August 2013
Part II of III - 21 August to 24 October 2013
Part III of III - 25 October to 31 December 2013
Lincoln Sailors Attend Habitat for Humanity Dedication, Celebrate Home Completion
“Volunteers, including Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), gathered in the living room of a house built by the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity in Hampton, to dedicate and celebrate its completion on 24 October 2013.
Lincoln Sailors contributed more than 600 hours of volunteer labor into helping construct the house and the house next to it over the last three months.
"I think that it is an awesome experience to be able to come out and give back to the community," said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Taylor Denett. "Even if I was only able to put 16 hours into this house, knowing that what I did helped out a family in need and to see their smile on their face is an amazing experience."
The home Lincoln Sailors helped to construct is part of the Habitat for Humanity Building on Faith project. More than 25 area congregations of all denominations combined forces to sponsor a home for Cynthia Owens and her two sons.
"I enjoyed the opportunity to come out and volunteer on such a great project," said Chief Logistics Specialist Dianne Brathwaite. "Knowing that I was able to help give this family a home that would allow them to care for their son is an amazing feeling."
The house was built for a family with special needs, including accommodations for a wheelchair.
"I am blessed to have the opportunity to purchase a house that will give me the ability to care for my son easier," said Owens, who helped build the house.
Local officials witnessed the ribbon cutting, including Hampton Mayor George Wallace.
"I have been present for a few other homes that Habitat for Humanity has built in the neighborhood and I know that you are moving into a very warm neighborhood," said Wallace.
Since arriving in Norfolk in August 2012, Lincoln Sailors have volunteered more than 10,000 hours in various communities in the Hampton Roads area” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131028-16 - Release Date: 10/28/2013 2:01:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathon L. Lockwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, HAMPTON, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailor Logs 10,000 Volunteer Hours, Receives Sixth Volunteer Service Award
“Chief Warrant Officer 4 Gregory Collins, assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), logged his 10,000th hour of community service, marking his sixth Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Award from the Navy, which was announced on 26 October 2013.
Collins, the assistant Damage Control Assistant aboard Lincoln, has been helping in the community for more than 18 years of his 26 years in the Navy.
"Making the time to volunteer, while it is a challenge, is a necessity," said Collins. "Volunteering allows me to connect to my community and make it a better place."
Collins has volunteered at the Salvation Army, World Vision, the Join Hands Day program, the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, and is also a community youth leader.
"It all comes down to caring," said Collins. "That's really what it's all about. When you care about people it doesn't feel like community service it just feels like you're doing your part."
Collins has received many awards for his community service over the years.
"There are too many for me to remember," said Collins. "But it's really not about my recognition, it's all about the people being helped and how they thrive and prosper."
His family also volunteers their time to community service.
"It's a bonding experience with my sons," said Collins. "I want to show them that helping the community has a tremendous impact on their lives, and if they can donate their time to other people, there's no telling how far they can go."
Collins said that his job allows him to have direct contact with Sailors every day.
"Being able to have a direct line to my Sailors allows the mentoring process to be extremely effective," said Collins. "The mentorship process helps guide Sailors to the best possible path they can go down"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131115-14 - Release Date: 11/15/2013 1:14:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class B. Thomas Liston, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Participate in AIMD Costume Contest and Fun Run
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) got a jumpstart on Halloween by participating in a costume contest and fun run at Noland Trail in Newport News on 30 October 2013.
AIMD's costume contest and fun run at the Mariners Museum was meant to support departmental moral and help bring together the Sailors in a non-work environment.
"It's a great opportunity for me to bring together AIMD," said Cmdr. Jacqueline Lapacek, AIMD maintenance officer. "We're quad sited, so we don't have enough time together having fun, and besides, it's Halloween."
Nearly 70 Sailors participated in the four mile-run; 14 competed in the costume contest. Prizes were awarded for the top three costumes.
Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate Kenneth Gaal took third place with his Joe Dirt costume. Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class Kristin Stennett was second with her flower child costume. Lt. Jaime Castro, as Poncho Villa, won the contest” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131031-35 - Release Date: 10/31/2013 3:30:00 PM - By Mass Communication Seaman Michael Raney, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors to Receive Thank you Cards from Deer Park, Texas
As reported on 7 November 2013, “Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) will receive letters of appreciation from members of the United Methodist Church in Deer Park, Texas in November during their "Month of Thanks-living" outreach effort.
Jean Ann Hardesty, a member of the congregation, has participated every year as a church member to write letters to military members.
"Each November the congregation makes a point to be thankful for the things we have," said Hardesty. "There is a different theme for each week."
The theme for the week of Nov. 10 is to be thankful for those who serve in the military, so the church is focusing on military members by sending letters to Lincoln Sailors as well as other service members.
"There are members of the congregation who have family members assigned to the Lincoln," said Hardesty.
Jane Frantz, another church member involved in the outreach effort reflected on the connections they make with military members stationed around the world.
"Packages of thank you notes will be distributed by Army officers in positions in Hawaii and Norway, a Marine in Afghanistan, and to a veteran serviceman who has returned from deployment," said Frantz.
Cmdr. Carl Koch, Lincoln's command chaplain, said that he sees such selfless measures on the part of civilians having a great impact on Sailors.
"I'm grateful that this congregation, along with many across the country, is remembering our active duty military," said Koch. "A thank-you note from a stranger may just be the thing a Sailor needs as motivation to do an outstanding job."
The letters being sent to Sailors aboard the ship are ones of support and appreciation for being in the Navy.
"The church is very supportive of its children that join the military," said Hardesty. "Even though they're not at sea right now, their work is still important because they're paving the way for future sailors aboard the Lincoln"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131107-05 - Release Date: 11/7/2013 7:52:00 AM - By Mass Communication Seaman Ellen E. Long, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Holds Holiday Safety Standdown
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) set time aside to stop and talk about the upcoming holiday season and different ways to stay safe over the holidays during a safety standdown in Norfolk, Va. on 7 November 2013.
Capt. Karl Thomas, Lincoln's commanding officer, said that the holidays can be a trying time for Sailors who are separated from their loved ones and asked the crew to look after one another during the upcoming holiday season.
"We need to be careful during this holiday timeframe," said Thomas. "While a lot of us may be celebrating with friends and family, we need to make sure that everyone is taken care of. Please look out for each other during this time."
Among the topics covered during the standdown, some of them include: Avoiding driving under the influence (DUI), sexual assault prevention, suicide awareness and prevention and general driving tips while navigating roads safely during the winter season.
Lt. David Duprey, assistant command chaplain, spoke with Sailors about suicide awareness and prevention.
"Suicidal thoughts start at just that, a thought, but they can lead to words or even more," said Duprey. "While thoughts may not always be expressed, when they are expressed, we as professionals need to intervene at this level before it goes any farther"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131118-04 - Release Date: 11/18/2013 11:34:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathon Lockwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NORFOLK (NNS)).
Lincoln's CFC Fund Drive Continues Strong
As reported on 7 November 2013, “Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) contributed more than $80,000 since the launch of the carrier's Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) fund drive.
The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee-focused, cost-efficient and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.
In 2012, the CFC campaign overall raised $258.3 million nationally, which includes total annual pledges, average gifts, and participation rates.
"However the true success of the program comes from the individual Sailor," said Lt.j.g. Barry Smith, Lincoln's CFC coordinator.
The CFC team of command coordinators set out to equip Sailors with the information necessary to continue the Navy's tradition of giving back to those in need, approximately, 30 percent of the crew contributing with an average donation of almost $115. Originally, the CFC team set a goal of $60,000 for the command to financially meet based on funds raised in previous years.
"I'd like to think our success aboard the Lincoln is due to our genuine concern for both our local and global community. It's humbling to know that our contributions are affecting so many people in such a positive way," said Smith.
The CFC is made up of 165 different campaigns that participate in an annual fund raising effort in federal workplaces in the U.S. and abroad. Expressed goals of the CFC are to provide all federal employees an opportunity to give to the charities of their choice” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131107-03 - Release Date: 11/7/2013 7:45:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeremiah Mills, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln's CO Recognizes Veterans at Hampton VA Medical Center Ceremony
“The commanding officer of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), recognized veterans at the annual Hampton Veteran's Affairs (VA) Medical Center Veterans Day ceremony in Hampton, on 8 November 2013.
During the ceremony, Capt. Karl Thomas spoke about the service and sacrifice by men and women in uniform and the bond veterans share with one another.
"That bond that is forged in shared service and an experience, which only a veteran can understand, doesn't weaken with time, but strengthens with each passing year," said Thomas. "Thank you for letting me share in this special day with you, and for showing your support for all those heroes gathered with us today, and to remember and recognize those heroes that have gone before us."
Veterans from every military service joined active-duty military members from the Army Training and Doctrine Command Band and Langley Air Force Base Honor Guard. In addition, students from nearby Phoebus High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps attended, and Tidewater Adventist Academy students dressed in red, white and blue school uniforms to sing "America the Beautiful" during the ceremony.
Retired Col. James Wire, senior Marine instructor for Phoebus High School's JROTC, reflected on the rich lessons his students gain from attending ceremonies to honor our past and present veterans.
"This ceremony recognizes those who have served and that in itself is a great lesson to teach them," said Wire.
Thomas was invited to speak at the Veterans' Day ceremony by Kuria Spindler, an employee of the Hampton VA Medical Center, to tie in an historical connection with President Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president and namesake of the ship he commands.
"President Abraham Lincoln is the founder of the Veterans Affairs," said Spindler. "When we were planning our Veterans' Day ceremony it was most fitting with USS Abraham Lincoln across the river to invite Capt. Thomas to speak." Michael Dunfee, director, Hampton VA Medical Center, introduced Thomas during the ceremony and reflected on the meaning of Veterans Day.
"For us, every day is Veterans Day. We trace our very existence to President Abraham Lincoln's devotion to veterans and his steadfast belief that their service must be justly recognized by a grateful nation," said Dunfee” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131108-33 - Release Date: 11/8/2013 3:47:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, HAMPTON, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Help Local Church Prepare for Winter
“Thirty-eight Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN 72) Air Department, helped Gleaming Light Baptist Church in Gloucester, prepare for the coming winter season on 8 November 2013.
The group cleared a few acres of trees and brush in the church's yard to accommodate a new playground, raked fallen leaves and debris from the cemetery, painted sections of the roof and sorted out an enormous pantry of dry goods that was collected by the Virginia Peninsula's Foodbank, which helped organize the event.
Stevens Burrell, a retired U.S. Army construction equipment mechanic, who has pastored the church for six years, expressed his gratitude.
"I was really pleased by the effort of the Sailors, and the closeness that they have with each other is beautiful," said Burrell.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman (Fuels) Brandon Hutton, who has participated in four community relations (COMRELS) projects such as this one since checking onboard three months ago, said he looks forward to these opportunities.
"I really enjoyed it because it was much more involved than the others I participated in," said Hutton. "I love giving to people and helping the community. It shows that Sailors are doing more than just serving our country."
Lt. Stephen Haggard, the Sailors' division officer, said that the event was valuable because the Sailors got an opportunity to go serve their community, which raises their morale.
"We get a lot of positive feedback from the division when we do these events. I've had several people come up to me saying that they want to do more COMRELS," said Haggard.
Haggard said that the shipyard environment makes it difficult to maintain closeness, compared to being underway, due to so many people being assigned to temporary billets.
"The COMRELs give u an opportunity to build camaraderie, which promotes team building," said Haggard” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131105-10 - Release Date: 11/5/2013 11:27:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danian Douglas, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, GLOUCESTER, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailor has Possible Ancestry Link to President Abraham Lincoln
As reported on 8 November 2013, “a USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailor, who recently checked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, has a possible linkage to our 16th president, President Abraham Lincoln. Yeoman Seaman Apprentice Victoria Brausch first learned of her family's possible ancestral connection to Lincoln at the age of 10. "President Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorite presidents," said Brausch.
"Growing up I wanted to model myself after him because he was not only inspirational, but he had a way with words." On Nov. 19, organizations such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation will commemorate Lincoln's way with words during the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
"On that November day back in 1863, President Lincoln was challenged to speak about the enormity of Gettysburg," said Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation CEO Carla Knorowski. "Today, some seven-and-a-half scores later, we still hold sacred its message." Brausch's mother, Tina, who is a Civil War history buff and fan of the Gettysburg Address, said folklore passed down from each generation has espoused the possible tie to Lincoln.
"There have been family members who have been named Abraham Lincoln dating back to the 1900s," said Tina. "Many of the other Lincoln lines did name their children after Abraham Lincoln. It is not uncommon to have that happen in a family as the generations have spread out." While no official documentation exists to confirm the lineage connection, Tina believes her family is a distant relative to one of Abraham Lincoln's uncles.
"We wish we had official documentation to prove the connection," said Tina, who added previous generations have passed down the possible connection like they would a keepsake heirloom. Despite the lack of genealogy records to confirm the connection, the Brausch family and previous generations share another striking feature to that of Lincoln - his mole.
"Many in my family, both male and female, on my mother's side has a distinct mole on their right side of their face, similar to that of Abraham Lincoln," said Victoria, who added the passed-down birthmark, has diminished as each new generation is born.
When asked about the coincidence and connection of having a Sailor serving onboard his ship that could be linked to the ship's namesake, Capt. Karl Thomas, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln was quick to state, "President Lincoln is a shining example of a leader that our entire country can rally around.
Every Sailor on this ship is proud to serve on a ship named after him, and having a new young crewmember that has this type of connection is just one more way of keeping the crew motivated and the ownership high during a difficult industrial environment." While the Bausch's continue to search for the genealogy connection, Tina and her family were thrilled when Victoria first found out she would report to USS Abraham Lincoln.
"Everyone in my family was excited and extremely proud when we learned she would be assigned to the Lincoln," said Brausch. "I always like to learn everything surrounding Abraham Lincoln because it is something fascinating in our family and our country's history"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131108-19 - Release Date: 11/8/2013 10:54:00 AM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Assist with Fort Monroe Beach Clean-up
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) cleaned up the beach at Fort Monroe during a community relations project on 8 November 2013.
Personnel Specialist 1st Class Mishell Brownlee, leading petty officer of Personnel Department on Lincoln, coordinated the event.
"It's important to let the community know that we're not just here for the shipyard," said Brownlee. "We're here to help with anything we can, from beach clean-ups to soup kitchens to whatever the community needs."
The group of Sailors cleaning up the beach came from various departments on board the Lincoln.
Seaman Jessica Nenninger from Deck Department is a regular participant in Lincoln coordinated community relations projects.
"I think it's good for us to be involved," said Nenninger. "We want the community to know we care."
Brownlee said she hopes that the Sailors get more out of this than just a day away from their regular job.
"We go to work every day and try to make a difference for our country," said Brownlee. "But we do this to try and make a difference for our community as well"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131114-03 - Release Date: 11/14/2013 9:10:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ellen E. Long, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, FORT MONROE, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Run to Help Wounded Veterans
“Three Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) travelled to Winnsboro, to run in the 2013 Spartan Beast Obstacle Run on 9 November 2013, to help raise awareness for Home For Our Troops.
Home for Our Troops builds homes for injured veterans who have served the nation.
"I encourage everyone to push themselves, not only for a good cause, but to have the pride knowing not only did they finish the race, but also contributed to the cause," said Chief Hull Technician Jonathan Fleshman, repair division production leading chief petty officer. "I would love to have more Sailors involved. It would not only be good for fitness, but would allow for more awareness towards causes like this."
Hull Technician 2nd Class Matthew Berg and Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Levi Goodman also participated in the 13-mile obstacle race.
"It is a good feeling knowing that you are able to help injured veterans provide for their families," said Goodman, who serves as the engineering auxiliaries leading petty officer on board Lincoln” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131114-23 - Release Date: 11/14/2013 4:18:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathon Lockwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, WINNSBORO, S.C. (NNS)).
Lincoln Officer Reflects on Family's Legacy of Service
As reported on 8 November 2013, “as the nation gives thanks to our veterans on 11 November 2013, a USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailor reflects on his family's legacy and service to our country dating back to the Spanish-American War.
"I think it is neat that we have a large military lineage with every male in my family since my grandfather serving in the Navy," said Chief Warrant Officer David Cheatham, who added his father, three uncles, grandfather and two cousins have all served in the U.S. Navy equaling more than 100 years of service.
During Cheatham's formative years he was reminded by his father of the sacrifices of previous generations to include a great, great uncle who served during the Spanish-American War to Rear Adm. Joseph Johnston Cheatham's service during World War I and II.
"Joseph Johnston Cheatham was the commanding officer of the Supplies and Accounts for the entire U.S. Navy in 1929," said Cheatham, who added his uncle died at the age of 70 and witnessed all of the major battles through World War II.
Cheatham explained the naming of a government installation as a tribute to his uncle's service. In 1942 with the outbreak of World War II the U.S. government opened the Annex as an avenue to assist with various ordnance handling and other related war efforts. A year later, in June 1943, the U.S. Navy renamed the Annex as FISC Cheatham Annex in honor of Joseph Johnston Cheatham's service, who was the fifth and eighth commanding officer of Naval Supply Depot Norfolk. Today, the Annex is a part of Naval Weapons Station Yorktown-Cheatham Annex.
"At the time I entered the U.S. Navy I had no idea this profound connection to my ancestor," said Cheatham, who has come to appreciate his ancestor's service to the U.S. Navy and nation. "It's a little strange to see my name on a government installation."
Cheatham's specialty in the U.S. Navy has a direct tie to his ancestor in that he chose the ordnance field when he first entered the Navy in 1987.
"There is definitely a call to serve that drives the family of Cheatham. It is a nice legacy to have an Annex named after your family," said Cheatham” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131108-18 - Release Date: 11/8/2013 10:52:00 AM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Utilize Skype to Participate in Veterans Day Event at Illinois School
As reported on 13 November 2013, “Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) participated in a Skype session on Veterans Day with students from Hanover Countryside Elementary in Lincoln's home state of Illinois.
Jack Shepherd, Hanover Countryside Elementary School principal, appreciated the Sailors' participation in their Veterans Day celebration.
"This will be our first opportunity at using our technology to connect directly with the outside world and learn," said Shepherd. "The ability of technology and how it can expand our world outside of our community to truly reach out to the corners of our world."
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary Welch assisted in the Skype session and enjoyed interfacing with the students to expand awareness of their role on board USS Abraham Lincoln.
"This was a great opportunity to interact with the students at Hanover Countryside on a day with so much meaning for those who have served and are serving our country," said Welch.
Candida Kyle, a teacher at Hanover Countryside Elementary School, coordinated the Veterans Day event, reflected on the meaning of service to one's country and passing that knowledge to her students.
"Our students, as most students, know some of the meaning of the day, but we want to ensure students understand the depth of sacrifice and commitment required to protect our country. We want our students to understand that the freedoms and liberties enjoyed by our citizens come at a cost that we should not take for granted," said Kyle.
In addition to the Skype session, retired Chief Boatswain's Mate Thomas Wold spoke at the school and was instrumental in introducing the school with Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln.
"When Ms. Kyle talked to me about having her class communicate with some of our armed forces, I thought it would be best to choose a ship that has an Illinois connection. When your Illinois licensed plate reads: 'Land of Lincoln' is an easy choice," said Wold” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131113-17 - Release Date: 11/13/2013 7:54:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Donate Non-Perishable Food Items to Homeless Organizations
“Sailors with USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)'s "Women @ Sea" program began collecting canned and non-perishable foods for local charities on 13 November 2013.
"Lincoln Sailors will donate the food to Virginia Supportive Housing and the Samaritan House to help people who are less fortunate than them for Thanksgiving," said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Patricia Dennis, a member of Women @ Sea.
Virginia Supportive Housing founded in 1988 provides permanent supportive housing to homeless single adults. Samaritan House provides emergency housing, transitional housing, and community outreach to victims of domestic violence and homeless families.
Lt. Jessica Woody, who spearheaded the Women @ Sea chapter on board Lincoln, reflected on the idea of collecting canned food items.
"W@S is a place for female Sailors to talk about unique issues and receive positive mentorship," said Woody, who believes volunteering is a great alternative to helping out in our local communities. "It's all about giving our Sailors a positive outlet for energy. We feel as though the canned food drive is an effective way to give back to those in need."
Representatives from Lincoln's Women @ Sea Chapter have been collecting canned food items through November and are making preparations to deliver the donations on Nov. 20, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
"The idea to donate food came up in a few of our meetings," said Woody. "I'm glad these Sailors care so much for their community and they're willing to give up their time and resources to show it"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131118-05 - Release Date: 11/18/2013 11:38:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonteil Johnson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Participate in Native American Heritage Fair
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) learned about America's first culture at a Native American Heritage Fair organized by the Diversity Council on 13 November 2013.
Capt. Randall Peck, Lincoln's executive officer, commented about the importance of learning about other cultures.
"Each ethnicity and diversity group brings something special to a team because of who they are," said Peck. "So taking time out to celebrate what each one brings to our team is important because it helps us realize why we're strong."
November is Native American Heritage Month, dedicated to recognizing the traditions and rich ancestry of Native Americans.
Lt. Kimberley Temple, first lieutenant aboard Lincoln, said she was trained to be a Shaman from the age of two.
"I've been practicing Shamanism my whole life," said Temple. "It means I'm very in tune with nature and I'm a spiritual healer."
Temple led the ceremony with a list of many accomplishments made by the Native American community followed by a traditional Shaman prayer.
Lt. j.g. Eric Gonzalez, Lincoln's diversity officer, said observances like the Native American Heritage Fair are important because they promote cultural awareness onboard the ship and give Sailors an open forum to celebrate their diversity.
"I joined the Diversity Council to encourage Sailors to learn from each other's backgrounds, cultures and differences," said Gonzalez. "I believe celebrating each other's differences together, unites our Navy."
The 2013 national theme for Native American Heritage Month, which is observed Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, is Guiding Our Destiny with Heritage and Traditions, which encourages the nation to reflect and celebrate the cultures, histories and traditions of the indigenous peoples of North America, including parts of Alaska and the island state of Hawaii” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131114-08 - Release Date: 11/14/2013 11:40:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ellen Long, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Learn Leadership Skills at FFSC
“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors attended a Deckplate Resource Awareness Training at the Fleet and Family Support Center in Newport News on 14 November 2013. The purpose of the Deckplate Resource Awareness Training is to educate second class petty officers in supervisory positions on how to identify problems, make appropriate referrals and when to alert the chain of command.
"It's helping me by showing me what I was doing wrong and how I can improve on myself," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Danae Moore, assigned to Lincoln's Air Department. "I'm getting a lot of leadership; a lot of information that I didn't know before, basically making me a better person. It's making me realize a lot of things I didn't know."
During the two-day workshop, several different programs were discussed to help second class petty officers be more efficient as leaders in their work center; conflict management; personal communication; financial management; sexual assault prevention and response program; the Thift Savings Plan; maintaining respect in the workplace; stress management; suicide prevention; counseling services; and resource training.
"Being second class petty officers, we're on the deckplates more, so we're training the future leaders of the Lincoln," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Steven Sibenaller, assigned to Combat Systems Department. "We're paving the path for the future. They helped show good leadership skills and resources to pass down to people who are going to be working for me."
The workshop trained Sailors about resources to help juniors Sailors, and where they can find the sources. Sailors were shown exercises on how to be leaders in their work centers. These exercises let the Sailors practice making good decisions without worrying about the effects on their Sailors' careers.
"It can benefit Lincoln Sailors by giving them more knowledge of things they didn't know and prepare them for the next rank and position they take and pass it down to their future Sailors," said Moore” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131120-25 - Release Date: 11/20/2013 8:23:00 PM - By Mass Communication Special 2nd Class William Blake, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln's CSADD Chapter Recognized as Regional Chapter of the Year for a Sea Command
“The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decision (CSADD) chapter has been recognized as 2013 Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (CNRMA) chapter of the year for a sea command. The regional chapter of the year awardees were mentioned in an official naval message on 18 November 2013. Lincoln's chapter, barely a year old, was launched by Electronics Technician 3rd Class Margaret Tate, who serves as a CSADD command advocate.
"I was really involved with CSADD when I was stationed in Great Lakes and I wanted to create an active chapter on board USS Abraham Lincoln after arriving on board," said Tate. "I wanted to bring CSADD to the ship to ensure our Sailors' voices would be heard." Chief Electronics Technician Jason Buonomo, Lincoln's CSADD mentor, fully supported Tate's enthusiasm to start a CSADD chapter on board Lincoln and assisted the command with forming the chapter.
"Petty Officer Tate's experience with CSADD at her previous command really assisted our chapter in gaining a secure foothold to full implementation," said Buonomo. Lincoln's Chapter motto, "The right decision at the right time," is committed to making a positive impact on the command by influencing and empowering the command's junior Sailors through an active and ongoing campaign to promote positive goal-setting and peer-to-peer mentoring.
"We really focus on helping junior Sailors to keep them from making mistakes and give them a way to voice their issues," said Yeoman 3rd Class Aisha Morgan, CSADD secretary. With nearly 100 members a part of the Lincoln's chapter, Sailors have been involved in a variety of events to encourage junior Sailors to make good decisions through positive examples and mentoring. "I'm excited for our CSADD Chapter. We have great Sailors on board who took the idea of a CSADD chapter and ran with it," said USS Abraham Lincoln's Command Master Chief Gregg Weber.
"They are having a positive influence in the lives of other Sailors and making a difference every day." Over the past year, the CSADD chapter has launched a series of opportunities for its Sailors to gain leadership opportunities, including briefing new check-ins to the command, organizing health fairs and coordinating weight loss competitions. "Our team strives to promote leadership through empowerment by letting our Sailors take their ideas and run with them," said Buonomo.
"This empowerment allows their voice to be heard and gives each member of the team a feeling they are truly able to make a difference." Naval Branch Health Clinic Groton's CSADD chapter, the shore chapter of the year for CNRMA, along with USS Abraham Lincoln, will represent the region in the Navy-wide competition” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131122-16 - Release Date: 11/22/2013 2:01:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Invited to Write Essays in Commemoration of the Gettysburg Address
“Sailors assigned USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) will "write" a part of history by providing their words for a commemoration event of the 150th anniversary of the writing and delivery of the Gettysburg Address on 19 Novemmber 2013.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is inviting people around the world, including USS Abraham Lincoln Sailors, to write their own "272 words" in honor of our 16th president's contributions to our nation's history.
"We currently are reaching out to select people, such as crew members of the USS Abraham Lincoln to each write 272 words in the hopes that what they write will inspire others," said Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation CEO Carla Knorowski.
Knorowski reflected on the meaning of the Gettysburg Address and how truly powerful those 272 words still are to this day.
"On that November day back in 1863, President Lincoln was challenged to speak about the enormity of Gettysburg," said Knorowski. "The loss and lessons of the battle were so great, so devastating, and so humbling that Lincoln used the fewest number of words with the fewest number of syllables to convey the greatest, most important message of the time-some say of all time. Today, some seven-and-a-half scores later, we still hold sacred its message."
Capt. Karl Thomas, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln reflected on the opportunity Lincoln Sailors have to contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime commemoration.
"I'm thrilled that we are able to partner with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Museum and Foundation to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. We are truly fortunate to have our ship named after one of our greatest presidents, and partnerships and challenges like this enable our Sailors to connect with our namesake and truly recognize his significant contributions to our nation," said Thomas.
Lincoln Sailors who take on this challenge are invited to write a short, 272-word essay on one of three topics, which include: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg or any cause-related topic which inspires their passion. Essays selected by the Foundation will be on display for the commemoration event on Nov. 19 in Springfield, Ill” (Ref. Story Number: NNS130809-01 - Release Date: 8/9/2013 12:01:00 AM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Recite Gettysburg Address at Lincoln's Cottage
“Ten Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) recited the Gettysburg address at the President Lincoln's Cottage, in the Washington on 19 November 2013, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the famous address.
The Sailors recited the address at the front of the cottage twice, first with members of the public and the visiting Nazareth Regional High School, from Brooklyn, N.Y., then, for the last reading with residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH).
Ollie Brown, a retired Air Force master sergeant, a resident at the AFRH, said he was happy to see the Sailors reciting the address.
"I come from Ohio and one of the requirements back then was to memorize the Gettysburg address," said Brown. "It's not mandatory today, but it is good to have service members perform the recital."
Executive director of President Lincoln's Cottage, Erin Carlson Mast, who is responsible for strategic planning for the organization, described the logistics behind the event.
"We're in the middle of the Civil War Sesquicentennial and we were looking for interesting ways to mark a lot of these major anniversary dates. We wanted to bring in a special dignitary but decided to invite various groups of people to participate together," said Mast.
Mast also expressed her feeling of fulfillment in having Lincoln in the area since the ship switched coasts to come into the shipyard in Newport News, Va., for an overhaul.
"When we found out that the USS Abraham Lincoln was coming to the east coast, we had an urgent meeting to discuss how we were going to get the crew involved in both the recital, as well as interacting with the AFRH residents," said Mast.
Chief Electronics Technician Christopher Kuwik, who works aboard the ship, appreciated the invitation.
"I felt honored that we were personally invited to participate in the recital," said Kuwik. "After seeing and reciting the actual words and reflecting on its meaning, it was evident that President Lincoln reaffirmed the nation's commitment to democracy, emphasized equal justice for all, made the people aware of their rights, and declared that the government is answerable to the people"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131120-24 - Release Date: 11/20/2013 8:22:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danian Douglas, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, WASHINGTON (NNS)).
Lincoln Holds CO's Call
“Capt. Karl Thomas, commanding officer of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), answered junior Sailor's questions during a CO's call at Langley Air Force Base's enlisted club on 21 November 2013.
"This is a meeting aimed at answering any questions my junior enlisted Sailors have for me," said Thomas. "I realize I may not get a chance to hear their ideas, so this is a chance for their voices to be heard."
Before Thomas heard from the junior members of the crew, he shared information, such as DUI and sexual assault statistics as well as crew morale and progress on the ship's Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH).
"I want to make sure you all understand my expectations," said Thomas. "I understand the message can get distorted when it comes down the chain, but you heard it from me. I care about all of you because you are what makes Abe so great." Thomas also talked about the work that needs to be done on the ship.
"When Abe first got back from deployment, it was our time to relax and spend time with our families," said Thomas. "Now, as we get well into RCOH we need to work harder. Sometimes that entails staying at work longer than we're used to, but we're doing great with our schedule thus far."
Master Chief Gregg Weber, Lincoln's command master chief, reinforced Thomas on the expectations of the crew. "Life can be difficult in the yards for Sailors. Most of us don't get to do much of what we joined the Navy for, and that can be upsetting," said Weber. "However, our mission is to get Abe back out to the fleet on time or sooner. We have to work hard so we make the transition for our relief easier."
After they spoke, Thomas and Weber opened the floor to questions from Sailors. "I'm proud of all the work you do and encourage you to keep it up," said Thomas” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131204-25 - Release Date: 12/4/2013 11:25:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonteil Johnson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, HAMPTON, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Donate Non-Perishable Food to Peninsula Foodbank in Hampton
As reported on 22 November 2013, “Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) have collected more than 1,900 pounds of non-perishable food items for a Hampton Roads food bank to be distributed in time for Thanksgiving.
Lt. Michael Sturm, assigned to Lincoln's Reactor Department, spearheaded a "Hunger Shutdown" initiative for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in Hampton to collect food items for those in needs especially around the Thanksgiving holiday.
"We have been collecting food over the past two weeks in preparation for Thanksgiving. I think as a whole we all can agree we have a great deal to be thankful for this holiday season, most especially the ability to take part in the tradition of sitting down and eating a hot meal with our families," said Sturm.
Many of the Sailors assigned to his department wanted to find ways to help out the community, especially those who might be struggling.
"We wanted to contribute and make the holiday season better for those around us," said Sturm. "So we came up with the idea for a food drive."
Sturm added that more than 300 Sailors from his department donated food items Nov. 3 - 22 for the local community food banks.
"Due to the exceptional generosity of our Sailors, we have far exceeded our goal of 1,000 food items. I was actually surprised by how motivated our Sailors were, especially our younger junior Sailors who were willing to give up part of their hard earned pay checks to give back to the community," said Sturm.
In addition to the food donation to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, Lincoln's Women @ Sea chapter also donated non-perishable food items to Virginia Supportive Housing and the Samaritan House” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131122-10 - Release Date: 11/22/2013 1:10:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Support Fellow Deployed Sailors Serving in IA Assignments
“Fifteen USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors supporting individual augmentee (IA) assignments around the world will get a little more in their stocking this holiday season when they receive holidays packages from fellow Lincoln Sailors on 22 November 2013.
USS Abraham Lincoln IA Coordinator Lt. Cmdr. Matt Myers is coordinating the delivery of holiday packages for deployed Lincoln Sailors as a way to recognize their service, especially during the holiday season.
"Although most of our IAs are in locations with access to some type of military exchange or other services, we felt it would be the right thing to do to send them a token of our esteem," said Myers. Myers added that every Sailor supporting an IA assignment will receive an assortment of items from T-shirts to snacks.
"Every Sailor will get a package that will include a Lincoln T-Shirt, snacks, discount cards from MWR and more," said Myers, who added the holiday packages are another way to recognize Lincoln Sailors who are deployed and to thank them for their service.
Lincoln Sailors are currently serving on IA billets around the world to include in the Philippines, Djibouti, Bahrain, and on other naval platforms. Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Lacey Hocutt, assigned to Lincoln's Supply Department recently returned from a nine-month IA in Bahrain and reflected on the importance of supporting deployed Sailors.
"Everyone likes receiving mail on deployment because it shows the appreciation people have for your service," said Hocutt, who jokingly added that fellow service members would tease her when she received care packages.
During her nine-month IA she maintained monetary allowances for day-to-day operations. Hocutt, just 22 years of age, will serve another year on board USS Abraham Lincoln before transferring to her next assignment and brings her experience from her IA to the junior Sailors she mentors on board Lincoln” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131121-07 - Release Date: 11/21/2013 11:17:00 AM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Ike and Lincoln Sailors Battle in Paintball
“Sailors from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) squared off in a paintball battle at the Chesapeake Sports Park on 22 November 2013, to promote camaraderie between the two ships.
The Armed Forces YMCA of Chesapeake sponsored the 40 participants from both commands. Chief Machinist's Mate Travis Bailey, Lincoln's command fitness leader, helped coordinate the event.
"Whatever the type of team, the core ingredient for success remains the same, making this group of people into a cohesive unit that can quickly build a foundation of trust, capitalize on the skill sets of the team members and capture the synergy of the group," said Bailey. "In this case, we utilized paintball to bring out these values that exist throughout our crew."
Lincoln's Command Master Chief Gregg Weber said that this fun event provided a unique opportunity for the Sailors of two carriers to build camaraderie.
"It gives our Sailors some command pride in the friendly competition amongst another great warship like the Ike," said Weber. "It is great that there are organizations like the Armed Forces YMCA out there that support our Sailors and we are grateful for their generosity."
Dwight D. Eisenhower is currently undergoing a scheduled Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131125-23 - Release Date: 11/25/2013 9:04:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ellen Long, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, CHESAPEAKE, Va. (NNS)).
131123-N-XP477-358 - GETTYSBURG, Pa. (Nov. 23, 2013) - Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Talitha Morgan, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), places luminary candles at the Civil War section of the Soldier's National Cemetery in the Gettysburg National Military Park. Eight Sailors toured the park and helped place luminaries at Civil War gravesites to commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Lincoln is undergoing a Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danian Douglas/Released)
Lincoln Sailors Honor Gettysburg's Fallen
“Eight Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) honored fallen soldiers of the Battle of Gettysburg by helping to place luminary candles at the 3,512 Civil War gravesites in the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park on 23 November 2013. The tour was part of the ship's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Led by Lt. David Duprey, a chaplain aboard Lincoln, the group joined forces with scores of civilian volunteers in the evening to receive instruction on setting up the luminaries, cleanup duties and were treated to an in-depth, expert tour of the entire park by a licensed battlefield guide. Debra Novotny, a Gettysburg National Military Park guide helped provide a tour of the park for the visiting Sailors.
"The Sailors visited Seminary Ridge with the Virginia Monument, Little Round Top, and drove throughout the entire park, identifying many sights including the Pennsylvania Monument which features Abraham Lincoln's statue," said Novotny.
This was a significant milestone for members of the ship's crew to participate in as a tie to USS Abraham Lincoln's motto, "Shall Not Perish" which is taken from the last line of the Gettysburg Address.
One of the most memorable experiences, according to Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Datrel Johnson, came on the hill overlooking the vast battlefield. "When the group stood on Little Round Top, the look in our junior Sailors' eyes manifested the importance of the sacrifices made in the valley and the impact of the devotion of the soldiers who died defending their beliefs and freedom," said Johnson.
Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Dianna Ortiz participated in the visit to Gettysburg and gained a valuable understanding of the sacrifices made by so many. "Being able to walk in Abraham Lincoln's shoes has given me more of an understanding of what his message was," said Ortiz. "This makes me even more proud to be able to serve on a ship that was named in his honor."
Johnson also said that a visit to Gettysburg's Battlefield is important for all Sailors and Americans alike, because pictures are perceptional, but a personal visit is overwhelming. "All of us were moved by the experience," said Duprey. "We left there with increased devotion to continue our service to our country, following the example of all who fought before us"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131127-22 - Release Date: 11/27/2013 6:09:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danian Douglas, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, GETTYSBURG, Pa. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Celebrate Promotions this Thanksgiving
“More than 200 USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors have one more thing for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving holiday after receiving promotion results on 25 November 2013.
"I am extremely proud of all our Sailors who were selected for advancement," said Command Master Chief Gregg Weber. "It is a great way for them to kick off the Thanksgiving Day weekend."
Of the 212 Sailors who will be promoted, 111 will be petty officers third class; 76 will be second class petty officers, and 25 will become first class petty officers.
"The hard work and dedication they displayed in preparing for their advancement exam during our challenging RCOH (Refueling and Complex Overhaul) environment paid off for them," said Weber” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131129-02 - Release Date: 11/29/2013 4:46:00 AM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Chiefs and Mustangs Support Lincoln Sailors During the Holidays
“Chief petty officers and mustangs serving aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) are providing gift cards for Sailors and their families this holiday season in Newport News on 25 November 2013.
Lt. Jaime Castro, who is assigned to Lincoln and a member of the Mustang Association, coordinated the annual gift card exchange for Sailors attached to the command as another way to assist the youngest Sailors and their families this holiday season.
"It is an ongoing tradition that the Mustang Association has coordinated every year," said Castro.
Castro also added that the association is giving away gift cards to 20 Sailors to purchase additional Thanksgiving-related food to celebrate the annual holiday.
Lincoln's Chief's Mess is also supporting younger Sailors and their families this holiday season by distributing commissary gift cards.
USS Abraham Lincoln's Command Master Chief Gregg Weber reflected on the generosity of the Chief's Mess.
"The gift cards are another way the mess can show our appreciation for our junior Sailors," said Weber. "Holidays can be challenging financially especially for our junior Sailors who are married with children. The gift cards provide these families with a little something extra to enjoy the holidays"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131125-24 - Release Date: 11/25/2013 9:08:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Participate in Captain's Cup Basketball
“Eight departments assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) competed against one another in Captain's Cup basketball games at Huntington Hall in Newport News Va. on 25 November 2013.
In the final games of the season, four departments, weapons, combat systems, transportation and Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD), won their matches.
Weapons beat Health and Services 15-9, Combat Systems beat Air Department 16-12, Transportation beat the Decking Team by an astonishing 23-10, and AIMD beat Administration 14-10.
Lincoln Sailors cheered for their respective teams as they watched players aggressively maneuver the court, fighting for the ball.
"Administration lost their game but because their team worked together, they made AIMD fight for their victory," said Yeoman Seaman Apprentice Victoria Brausch, a spectator.
"The game was rough and there were a lot of fouls, but that will happen when everyone is playing their hardest," said Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Lester Lewis, Lincoln's decking team.
The Captain's Cup playoffs begin on Dec. 2 and will determine who will win the Captain's Cup basketball trophy” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131128-06 - Release Date: 11/28/2013 6:49:00 PM - By Mass Communication Seaman Christopher Huot, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Enjoyed Thanksgiving Meal with their Families on board FAF
“More than 30 families dined on a Thanksgiving feast on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Floating Accommodation Facility (FAF) in Newport News on 28 November 2013.
Sailors serving on duty dined with their families during Thanksgiving filling their dinner plates with the seasonal fixings from turkey to yams.
"I think it was a great opportunity for the families, as well as a morale booster," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Jesse Charboneau, assigned to combat systems department.
Charboneau's wife Jenelle and their 2-year-old daughter attended the Thanksgiving meal and was thankful to be with her husband, but also thankful for skipping the usual holiday meal preparation.
"I was glad that I didn't have to cook," said Jenelle.
Electrician's Mate Fireman Malolos Emerson and his family also attended the Thanksgiving meal.
I would have rather had him home, but this was nice," said Mariecar Emerson” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131129-11 - Release Date: 11/29/2013 8:17:00 AM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailor Provides Moral Support to Families with Sick Children
“As reported on 4 December 2013, an officer assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is helping families of seriously ill children this holiday season. Lt. Mark Schneider and his family celebrated their daughter's first birthday last month after her recovery from a life-threatening condition by giving back to the hospital that saved her life. Now he is thanking those people by being part of a council that helps families that face what he faced a year ago.
In November 2012, Schneider's daughter Kiran underwent surgery to correct a congenital birth defect called omphalocele, which occurs when the intestines form outside the body and fail to return inside the body after birth, which required immediate care. "She spent more than a month at the Children's Hospital of the Kings' Daughters (CHKD) beginning on Nov. 14 of last year immediately after her birth," said Schneider.
"With more than a month of around-the-clock care, requiring at times two nurses solely dedicated to her wellbeing while my daughter's health was in jeopardy for about 72 hours," said Schneider. "She had two surgeries, three blood transfusions and at one point 21 separate lines attached to her little body." Schneider added that his daughter spent several days as the "sickest kid in the hospital" and on an oscillator when her lungs collapsed due to her post surgical swelling.
"I will say that for about three days during her recovery, it was touch and go, and as I drove into the hospital each morning to visit, my mind was on final planning. I expected the worst," said Schneider, who wanted to do something positive for families experiencing similar situations. As a tribute to his daughter and the many children who need care, Schneider has been appointed to the hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) Family Advisory Council, which works together to guide the NICU's priorities and planning and requires attending monthly meetings with CHKD staff and patient family members.
Through the Family Advisory Council, Schneider and his wife, Ashley, are assisting the hospital find and share similar stories about the power of strengthening families to assist the care of an ill child. "I wanted to help those family members that are hurting the way my family hurt one year ago," said Schneider, who will continue to assist with the hospital long after he transfers to his new command in January and continues his career in the U.S. Navy.
Kiran celebrated her first birthday last month with a special kind of party: a happy reunion with her nurses, complete with cupcakes and her favorite foods (grapes and cheese) at CHKD with the nurses who cared for her during the long days and nights.
"Kiran is an amazing little girl, who started this world with a battle cry, because one year ago she began the fight of her life," said Schneider” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131204-23 - Release Date: 12/4/2013 11:20:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Maintain Weapons Qualifications
“Security personnel aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) completed weapons qualifications on a rainy day on 4 December 2013. During the ships Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) personnel must maintain these qualifications to properly staff their security watches. "I feel that the M9 (9mm pistol) training conducted in inclement weather will better my marksmanship and watch standing awareness," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Nathanial Berrios.
Qualification on the M9 happens year-round regardless of the weather to better train Lincoln personnel. "It's good that Security is getting range time, that way they know exactly what they're doing and how to apply it when a situation happens," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Petergaye Gooden. During the 12-hour session, Sailors completed four basic types of qualifications: Handgun marksmanship, shotgun marksmanship, Handgun Practical Weapons Course and the Handgun Lowlight Course.
During the marksmanship qualification, Sailors shoot from a distance of three, seven and 15 yards. The majority of shooting is from a standing position with the strong hand. Each Sailor must also shoot with the weak hand and from the kneeling position. The categories for the M9 qualification are 180-205 for Marksman, 206-227 for Sharpshooter and 228-240 for Expert. The shotgun qualification involves different ways of loading the shells, firing from the regular shoulder position and firing from the hip.
The Handgun Practical Weapons Course entails shooting from the crouching, prone and standing positions as well as shooting from behind walls, through a window and parallel to a post while simulating live-fire situation. The Handgun Lowlight Course is conducted at dusk and also used to simulate a real-life scenario. While assigned to Security, Sailors must be qualified with small arms annually.
In addition to qualifying 23 Sailors, Lincoln's small arms qualification program was assessed by a team from Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet's (Air Lant) Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Office. Lincoln's Security Division Leading Chief Petty Officer, Master Chief Master-at-Arms Kevin Valente, said that his Sailors were ready for the assessment. The preparation paid off for the qualifications and the assessment.
"My Sailors spent hours preparing for this assessment, and I never doubted Lincoln would be assessed as having a Model ATFP Program. The Sailors were briefed by the team afterward and they came away knowing that Security hit a home run with Air Lant," Valente said. "I couldn't be happier for my highly motived team of security professionals” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131211-09 - Release Date: 12/11/2013 11:49:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Matthew Young, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS)).
USS Abraham Lincoln Promotes New Leaders
“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) promoted 213 of its Sailors at a frocking ceremony on 5 December 2013 at Huntington Hall Athletic Field.
Twenty-five Sailors advanced to petty officer first class, 78 to petty officer second class and 110 to petty officer third class. Slightly more E3s were promoted to petty officer third class than the spring 2013 cycle.
Lincoln's Educational Services Officer, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Telly Myles, reflected on the results.
"Advancement plays a key role toward retention and a service member's decision to make the Navy a career," said Myles. "When highly trained Sailors advance in pay grade, they tend to re-enlist, which helps the Navy's goals."
Newly frocked Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Kenneth Gilliam, is excited with being frocked after three tries.
"It feels amazing to be advancing my career," said Gilliam. "Now that I made it, I look forward to being stationed overseas."
Lincoln's Commanding Officer, Capt. Karl O. Thomas, presented each newly frocked Sailor with an authorization letter and words of encouragement.
"I enjoy rewarding hard work and I am looking forward to diffusing new, energetic leaders into our command," said Thomas. "I hope this motivates all of the Sailors that didn't advance this cycle, to study more and work hard during this difficult RCOH period"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131205-19 - Release Date: 12/5/2013 11:38:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danian Douglas, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Reactor Department Team Claims Captain's Cup Victory
“Sailors attached to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Reactor Department triumphed over Administration's Team "Stop Your Check" (SYC), a 53-41 victory, claiming the Captain's Cup basketball championship game at Huntington Hall on 9 December 2013.
SYC snagged the tip-off and immediately scored three points.
Reactor Department came back to tie the game at 12, then rang up 14 unanswered points in the last minute before halftime.
"The game was very aggressive with a lot of contact," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Michael Mills.
SYC put up a defensive effort, but their hopes of winning the coveted trophy reduced to ashes as Reactor broke through their defense and continued throughout the second half.
"We fought hard and worked as a team, but the height difference was a lot to compete with," said Yeoman Chief Ryan Bolton, assigned to Administration Department.
Reactor Department dominated the court, only stopping to take a quick 30-second timeout at the two-minute mark. With the score at 50-32, Reactor Department switched to a defensive posture, giving SYC a chance to make a comeback, but too late to help them win.
Accepting the Captain's Cup trophy from the Commanding Officer, Capt. Karl Thomas, Mills and his teammates raised the cup to the ceiling with a proud look on their faces.
"This trophy means a lot to us," said Mills. "It means a great deal to be able to have something like this to be proud of"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131212-10 - Release Date: 12/12/2013 10:39:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Huot, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Make a Difference One Coat at a Time
“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors looking for ways to impact the local community collected and donated hundreds of warm winter clothing to St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in Newport News on 11 December 2013.
Firecontrolman 2nd Class Meena Nelson assigned to Lincoln's Combat Systems Department regularly volunteers at St. Vincent De Paul and was informed of the need for winter clothing and decided to lend assistance.
"I knew there was a need of warm clothing from jackets to pants to blankets," said Nelson, who has volunteered at the non-profit organization for the past year.
Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AW/SW) Joanna Madrid, who assisted Nelson with the winter clothing collection, reflected on Nelson's volunteerism.
"Petty Officer Nelson is a great example for Sailors to follow and is evidently committed to the command and the Navy and consistently goes above and beyond in everything she does," said Madrid. "Her efforts are motivational."
Lt. David Duprey, USS Abraham Lincoln's staff chaplain who reflected on the Sailors' volunteerism.
"This is community service at its best," said Duprey. "These Sailors are not going to the other side of Hampton Roads. They are serving people at the doorstep of our ship. St. Vincent de Paul represents a vibrant outreach to Newport News, and our Sailors have been integrated in this work since our arrival last spring. This project is a key piece in our total community service effort"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131217-08 - Release Date: 12/17/2013 12:23:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
A Lincoln Sailor's Family Gets Their Holiday Wish: Daddy's Home
“A USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailor, serving on a one-year Individual Augmentee (IA), surprised his two young children with his homecoming just in time for the holidays on 11 December 2013. Damage Controlman 1st Class Kent Crouch, who returned to Virginia Beach from his IA assignment in Bahrain, wanted a unique way to reunite with his 6-year old son Teagan and 5-year old daughter Jorja.
Crouch, with aide from his wife Cheryl, surprised his two children at school only a few hours after his flight landed in Norfolk. "I have been looking forward to being home with my beautiful wife and my amazing kids," said Crouch, who was one of 15 Lincoln Sailors supporting IA assignments around the world. Crouch and his wife decided to surprise their two children in a unique way when they learned he would return in December.
"When I returned home during the half-way mark of my IA earlier this year, my wife and I had surprised my two young children," said Crouch, who added his two children had no idea he was coming home so close to the holidays. Cheryl began coordinating the reunion in late October and looked forward to having her husband home during the holiday season.
"I am thrilled beyond words to have my husband home," said Cheryl. "This has been a long year for us all especially our children; they both have a very special and close bond to their daddy. I couldn't think of any other gift better than that of a holiday reunion for my children." Lt. Cmdr. Matt Myers, Lincoln's IA coordinator, reflected on supporting Sailors during their deployments.
"We have always tried to let our IA Sailors know that, even though they may be half way around the world, they were still part of the Lincoln family," said Myers. "Nevertheless, reunions like this bring home the important link and value that keeping families involved brings to our Sailors' well-being."
Cmdr. Vincent Janowiak, Lincoln's chief engineer, reflected on Crouch's service during the one-year IA and looks forward to his return to his department. "Petty Officer Crouch made a huge contribution and positive impact during his IA," said Janowiak. "We're proud of him, and happy to see that he made a difference"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131211-17 - Release Date: 12/11/2013 10:09:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NORFOLK (NNS)).
Lincoln CSADD Members to Teach Fellow Sailors about the Dangers of Distracted Driving
“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors from the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) staged a distracted driving display in Newport News on 12 December 2013, to bring awareness to fellow Sailors and to remind the crew of ways to stay safe while driving. A Newport News police officer was on scene to emphasize the importance of dedicating full attention while driving.
Lincoln's CSADD President, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Ronald Roark, assigned to Combat Systems Department, helped coordinate the one-day outreach event to bring awareness to their technical-savvy counterparts as a way to ensure safe driving during the holiday season as well as to provide information about road-side safety kits.
"Many Sailors are traveling home for the holidays and we want to ensure everyone is safe on the highways and byways because each and every one of us is important to the mission of USS Abraham Lincoln," said Roark. "It's always good to have road-side safety kits in your vehicles, especially for those Sailors driving in hazardous weather conditions."
More than 2,500 Sailors are assigned to Lincoln, of which more than 80 percent are ages 18-29 including Roark, who said his generation "lives their life through their phones." Roark reflected on the use of technology that can distract even the most seasoned driver. "Everyone has GPS on their phones and though you are not technically texting, you are nevertheless distracted while driving, which is dangerous and potentially lethal," said Roark.
Chief Fire Controlman Bethany Ross, assigned to Lincoln's Engineering Department, is one of four CSADD mentors who assisted with coordinating the one-day outreach. "We want to make sure that Sailors make the right decisions while traveling during the holidays," said Ross. Lincoln's CSADD chapter is committed to making a positive impact on the command by influencing and empowering the command's junior Sailors to embody the motto, "The right decision at the right time," through an active and ongoing campaign to promote positive goal-setting and peer-to-peer mentoring” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131212-33 - Release Date: 12/12/2013 9:20:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln's FCPOA and CSADD Donates Toys to Local Elementary School
“USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN-72) First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) and the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) donated nearly 500 toys to An Achievable Dream Elementary School in Newport News on 17 December 2013.
"The First Class Association, with help from the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, chose An Achievable Dream for the toy drive because of the long history and the partnerships the USS Abraham Lincoln has rekindled with the school as well as the significance of the opportunities provided to its students," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Joanna Madrid. Lt. David Duprey, USS Abraham Lincoln's staff chaplain discussed the power of peer leadership to help others in need.
"These two organizations are at the forefront of our community service effort," said Duprey. "They represent the best in peer leadership as they direct our Sailors to worthy efforts like Achievable Dream. Many of our Sailors come from home environments which lacked essential resources. Now, from their positions of strength and stability, they demonstrate a great willingness to provide for other children who need their support." Madrid and Firecontrolman 2nd Class Meena Nelson, assigned to Lincoln's Combat Systems department, will help the elementary school deliver the toys to the students.
"It was an important factor for us to give back to a local organization that makes our community a better place. Any positive impact that we can make is worth the time and effort to show that we care about the community and its residents," said Madrid. "This is our home for the duration of the RCOH; we are not here simply to do our job, but also to be contributing members."
In addition to the toy donation, Capt. Karl Thomas, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln, presented a ship's plaque to An Achievable Dream Middle and High School during a ceremony to tie the past with the present. Dunbar-Erwin Middle School, which later became An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, helped to gather more than 3,000 coins dated 1972 to affix to the nametags to the first CVN-72 crew's nametags prior to the carrier's commissioning 24 years ago Nov. 11, 1989.
More than two decades later, Lincoln Sailors currently assigned to the carrier's Engineering Department are participating in Newport News Shipbuilding Career Pathways science, technology, engineering and math outreach at the middle and high school milestone” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131218-01 - Release Date: 12/18/2013 11:02:00 AM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln CSADD Sailors Test Chairs of the Future during Lincoln's RCOH
“Nine Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN-72) Engineering Department worked with the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Hampton Clean City Commission to clean up Ridgway Park on 20 December 2013.
The Sailors planted new tree saplings, provided through a state grant, and picked up trash along the creek at the park.
"This is my first community relations project (COMREL)," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Nolan Tiqui. "This is pretty exciting for me, and I get to do something other than my actual rate. This actually gives back to the community and the environment."
Sailors worked alongside Master Naturalists from the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Hampton Clean City Commission throughout the day.
"Anytime you give to the community, it just adds to the spirit of the season," said Debbie Blanton, Clean City coordinator. "Five days from now, people are going to be celebrating Christmas and part of the idea of Christmas is giving. By the Sailors coming here today giving their time and effort to getting these trees planted, they are giving to Hampton."
At the end of the day, Sailors came away feeling that they were making a difference.
"The way I see it, I'm doing something for the community. It makes me feel good giving back to the community," said Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Emerson Malolos. "The last COMREL I did was at Fort Monroe where I picked up garbage. Now I'm planting trees; this is good for the community"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131223-07 - Release Date: 12/23/2013 12:35:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Blake, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, HAMPTON, Va. (NNS)).
Families Join Lincoln Sailors for Christmas Dinner
“Sailors with Christmas day duty, 25 December 2013, aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) were treated to a special dinner aboard the ship's Floating Accommodation Facility.
Sailors and their families gathered on the mess decks to enjoy a special meal prepared by Abraham Lincoln's food service division.
"A lot of hard work went into preparing this meal for the duty section," said Capt. Karl O. Thomas, Lincoln's commanding officer, who joined the Sailors for Christmas dinner. "This is a way to show our appreciation for our shipmates who are on duty and standing watch."
The dinner started at 2 p.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. to accommodate family arrivals and departures.
"We started early to allow watch standers and Sailors who don't have family joining them to eat," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class James Smith, a chef in Lincoln's galley. "This allows everyone to not only eat, but allows them to enjoy the meal as well."
The dinner's main culinary attraction was a 75-pound roast beef, which the cooks began cooking at 4 a.m. Christmas morning.
"Starting it at 4 a.m. was the only we could make sure that it was cooked all the way through and ready for the families to enjoy," Smith said.
Lt. David Duprey, a chaplain aboard Lincoln, sang Christmas carols with the families throughout the dinner.
"It's my way of spreading holiday cheer," said Duprey” (Ref. Story Number: NNS131226-02 - Release Date: 12/26/2013 8:27:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class B. Thomas Liston, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).