COMPTUEX (Composite Training Unit Exercise) CompTuEx and CQ’s Nuclear Power Mobile Training Team (NPMTT) Drills, assessments and the pre-deployment ORSE off SOCAL OPAREA conducted by the NPMTT Team; conducting the Exercise Northern Edge, with CVW-14 CQ’s, en route to Alaska to conduct Exercise Northern Edge 2002, a multi-threat scenario acted out in Alaskan waters in the Gulf of Alaska and JTFEX off the coast of California during FEP-2 and Sixth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and 7th Fleet, her fifth Indian Ocean deployment, on her 1st North Arabian Sea deployment in support of her 1st Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), the "military response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, commencing on 7 October 2001, on her fifth Arabian/Persian Gulf deployment (two cruises to the area during deployment) in support of her 5th Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the no-fly zone south of the 32nd parallel in Iraq (24 July 2002 to 6 May 2003).
1 January 2002 to 6 May 2003
Part I of III - 1 January to 31 December 2002
Part II of III - 1 January to 5 May 2003
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) 2002 YEAR END REPORT
Abe’s Sixth “WestPac” deployment articles not included in the Narrative, Summary and Time Line presented in Chapter XV, relating to Crew Personnel Stories and Awards, Department and Division, in port crew activities other then arrival or departure articles to ports of call, Chapter XV, Appendix II
Abraham Lincoln started off 2002 completing 100 percent of all required FXP exercises with a final grade of 98.5 during TSTA and FEP. The Navigation Department was now ready for work-ups for the upcoming Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf deployment.
For the year, the Navigation Department navigated over 8 1,000 nautical miles and conducted over 35 replenishments at sea and 20 restricted navigation details. The Navigation Department also qualified four Master Helmsman and five Quartermaster of the Watches. Nine members of the department became ESWS qualified and two became EAWS qualified. Furthermore, the ship qualified 19 Officer of the Decks underway and five Command Duty Officers underway. During the year of 2002, the Navigation Department, comprised of both Signalmen and Quartermasters, performed flawlessly. The Signalmen consistently demonstrated their visual communications prowess, just as the Quartermasters expertly navigated the Abraham Lincoln across the seas.
Abraham Lincoln completed an extremely successful year, culminating with more than 90 days of combat operations in direct support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. Throughout the year, the ship and air wing team expended more than 200 tons of ordnance, amassed more than 11,500 arrested landings and safely flew more than 7,978 sorties with an impressive 96 percent completion rate.
Abraham Lincoln conducted several major inspections and assessments during the year, and the results speak for themselves. AIMD received the highest allowable grade on 42 of 43 programs during the Aviation Maintenance Inspection; eleven programs were cited as "noteworthy." The Reactor department received high marks on all graded areas during the Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination. Board members noted it as "the best executed examination they had ever seen." The Supply department received a grade of "outstanding" in every category for the Supply Management Inspection.
The Medical department achieved an overall grade of 91.2 percent during Medical Readiness Inspection, and a grade of 90.4 percent on the Birth Month Medical Surveillance Inspection; the highest attained by any west coast aircraft carrier in the past two years. Finally, the ship received an RAR score of 94.6 percent during the CNAP 3M Assessment. The senior inspector noted, "Material condition and ship's cleanliness overall were outstanding, well above the fleet average."
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
The Public Affairs Department managed a very aggressive external and internal information program while supporting the Navy's Distinguished Visitor and media embark programs throughout the entire workup and deployment cycles. The shipboard journalists marketed 117 stories about Abraham Lincoln Sailors and the operations the ship and air wing conducted. These stories found their way to multiple Navy and civilian newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. Abraham Lincoln JOs also managed a Fleet Home Town News Center file of more than 600 participants generating stories to hometown newspapers across the country. They also produced 30 television and radio news packages for use on Navy-Marine Corps News, Daily News Update and Navy Radio News.
Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs was the first carrier to submit radio news reports from the fleet and is considered the standard for others to follow. The director of the Naval Media Center and the radio manager both use Abraham Lincoln as the standard for this kind of reporting. In March, the Public Affairs Office coordinated the onload and offload of 35 tons of motion picture equipment, coordinated base and ship access, provided extras, and arranged for logistical and administrative support for the movie crew of the 'The Core."
In concert with the Navy Office of Information Los Angeles, Abraham Lincoln hosted the movie crew to shoot scenes for this film. While initial planning started several weeks in advance, actual loading and shooting efforts were completed just under three days.
Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs started deployment in July 2002 with completely digital radio and TV news editing systems. These new systems allowed the journalists to provide the crew with better radio and TV products, faster and with a much more professional look and sound. This also allowed PAO to provide support to national and international media in the forms of aerial file footage. Throughout the calendar year, community relations were a huge effort for Public Affairs as it coordinated or hosted more than 1,000 visitors during its in port time at Naval Station Everett. Despite increased force protection postures and threat conditions, Public Affairs, NAVSTA, Everett PAO and NAVSTA Everett Security were able to coordinate tour for Navy-supported youth groups, educational institutions, and civic, state and national leaders.
During the deployment, Public Affairs coordinated and assisted with three receptions in Sasebo, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Perth, Australia, for more than 250 guests each. Additionally, the ship hosted tours for more than 10,000 host nation visitors.
News reporters took a great deal of deployment time for the Public Affairs Office during “WestPac” 2002. The Commander, Fifth Fleet public affairs program was very active during the debate over Iraq, so the carrier was a prime reporting spot for most U.S. and foreign journalists. PAO managed over 350 journalist visits while in the Gulf during 2002, which generated a tremendous amount of positive press for the ship, the U.S. Navy, and U.S. foreign policy.
With final pre-deployment preparations during June and early July complete, the ship commenced a deployment to 5th Fleet. Reactor Department conducted final pre-deployment preparations during June and early July, and on the 20th, shifted emphasis to providing power and propulsion in support of air operations. Although operational considerations were at the forefront of the daily routine, day-to-day operations, level of knowledge and casualty response continued to be emphasized, with propulsion plant drills being conducted throughout the night in an effort to eliminate any interference with flight operations. In addition to an aggressive intradepartment training and assessment program, multiple NPMTT assessments were conducted both en route to, and within, the 5th Fleet AOR. While on station in 5" Fleet in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch major maintenance and testing was conducted within the propulsion plants in preparation for the drydocking availability scheduled following return to homeport.
During "nofly" days, while the majority of the ship enjoyed a day of rest, Reactor Department descended into the plants to conduct vast amounts of maintenance that could not be otherwise conducted while supporting flight operations. In December the ship departed the 5th Fleet area of responsibility en route to Australia for Christmas prior to returning to homeport in late January. During the transit, training emphasis shifted to preparing the department for the upcoming availability and additional significant testing was completed. The period in port Perth, Australia, proved enjoyable with minimal maintenance requirements and maximum liberty for the department. After Christmas the ship was again underway bound for home. 2002 ended north of Australia, while unbeknownst to the crew the order had already been issued to extend the ship on deployment indefinitely in support of possible combat operations against Iraq.
RELIGIOUS MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT
The year 2002 found the Religious Ministries Department (RMD) underway taking part in Exercise Northern Edge near the coast of Alaska. With the increased operational tempo everything was in place for immediate deployment. However, deployment to the Western Pacific did not happen until 20 July.
The start of “WestPac” 2002 was greeted with newly assigned personnel to the RMD. LCDR Wesley R. Sloat relieved LT Bridget Goins as Principal Assistant and Protestant Chaplain. RPC (SW1AW) Richard L. Kleiner, a recalled Naval Reservist, relieved RPC (SW1AW) Anna Powell, as Leading Chief Petty Officer. That brought staffing levels to 2 - Protestant Chaplains and 1 - Catholic Chaplain. Additionally, LCDR William Milam, a Protestant Chaplain, the CVW-14 Chaplain, supplemented the number of Chaplain on board. Support staff consisted on 1 - RPC, 5 - RPs and one TAD Petty Officer.
Religious Ministries Department facilities consist of a Chapel, an E-Mail Lounge, Lending Library and Crew's Lounge with magazine and television sets. Service members can borrow game players, game cartridges and movie videos for use on those televisions. The hours of operation were expanded to 20 hours daily from a previous limited schedule.
Accomplishments of this Department during the deployment included:
Provided worship opportunities for those of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Church of Christ, Upper Room Fellowship, Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints and Iglesia Ni Cristo faith groups. Provision for worship was also made available to other groups such as the Wicca Discussion Group. In all, 677 religious services were conducted using the chapel, crews' lounge and foc'sle.
Other programs included Bible Studies and sacramental preparations were offered seven days a week. A Hebrew Reading Class, open to all Sailors was well attended In addition pastoral counseling was made available to more than 1700 Sailors.
This year, all major holidays occurred during the deployment. The Jewish Holy Days of Rosh Hashona and Yom Kippur were celebrated onboard. A total of over 75 service members attended these, including those from other ships within the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group. A number of these services were officiated by Captain Harold Robinson, a Naval Reservist. Captain Robinson also conducted a special dinner held prior to Yom Kippur with 24 service members in attendance. Prominent among those was RADM Kelly, Commander of the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group.
Thanksgiving was celebrated by a Catholic Mass, a General Thanksgiving Service and a Christian Thanks Giving Praise Celebration. The Christmas Holy Days were conducted while the ship was at anchor in Fremantle Australia. All services celebrated in the ship's chapel and well attended. The entire crew was invited to celebrate the 227th birthday of the Navy Chaplain Corps. The day was marked by brief remarks and a birthday cake that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Support was provided to LT Charles Crane, the DESRON Chaplain, in his ministry. Chaplains from the Abraham Lincoln provided additional religious worship opportunities and support by conducting 31 "Holy Helo" trips to other ships within the Battle Group. Over 55,200 shipmates utilized the RMD facilities. This included service members using 5 e-mail computers to maintain familial relationships while underway. Additionally, library books, video games and learning programs were loaned out during the libraries 20 hour day operations
The Religious Ministries Department hosted the Family Literacy Foundation's "Uniting Through Reading" Program. There were over 400 service members participating in this program. Participation involves being video taped reading a storybook to one's children or grandchildren and then mailing that tape to them back home. This program helps keep family ties vibrant despite the distance between them.
Community Relations Projects were conducted in Sasebo (Japan), Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Over 300 Sailors freely gave of their off duty time to provide services to the needy, homeless and disabled of those nations.
During this year, the Religious Ministries Department processed more American Red Cross Messages, assisted with emergency leave funding and personal financial problems through the RMD's association with the Navy & Marine Relief Society. RMD spaces were used 6 days a week for ESWS boards, FSA training and AIR WING special boards. Chaplains RPs from the other ships rode with us for a few days a time to conduct Chaplain Corps and RP rate training and take a break.
Conducted a modified Return and Reunion with facilitators, Maria Capogna from Region North West and Yvette Stevenson from Norfolk. Due to uncertain operational commitments, all classes were video taped. The facilitators taught classes and filmed their presentations from 3 1 December 2002 when they joined the ship in Freemantle, Australia through 6 January 2003 when they left the ship in Freemantle, Australia. Marie spent two days on USS Shiloh teaching 5 classes and spending 6 hours on the Mess Decks leading a question and answer session. All videotapes and printed materials were left on Abe for use when the return to CONUS happened.
In July, the Lincoln began a six-month Western Pacific and Persian Gulf cruise in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. The Safety Departments diverse team provided coverage for over 26,313 flight hours to include 11,380 launch and recovery evolutions, 44 underway replenishments transferring over 34,639,000 gallons of fuel, 3,430 tons of ammunition and 5,200,000 pounds of stores. Without a doubt 2002 has been a busy year with a superb safety record. This was only possible through the extremely impressive and safe working team effort of the sailors onboard the Abraham Lincoln and the Safety Department.
Supply Department had a busy and challenging year. In February 2002, the Food Service Division was announced as the winner of the 2001 Captain Edward F. Ney Award for Food Service Excellence. The department ended 2002 with a new department head. CDR Michael Fabish relieved CAPT Bill Munson, meeting the ship while it was en route to the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Supply Department's performance throughout the year was superb. Despite a challenging workup schedule and increased threat conditions which imposed significant logistics challenges, Supply Department provided exemplary support to the ship and air wing team, enabling outstanding readiness and mission accomplishment.
During the beginning of the year, each division busied itself preparing for the upcoming Supply Management Inspection (SMI) scheduled for May 2002. All twelve divisions completed the SMI with a grade of OUTSTANDING across the board with minimal to zero discrepancies. During this time, Supply Department was also busy preparing for deployment while maintaining support to CVW-14 during Exercise Northern Edge and JTFEX.
The Stock Control Division worked feverishly during Exercise Northern Edge and JTFEX to bring sustainability levels up to the highest standards in preparation for deployment. Over 55,000 requisitions for the new Consumable Aviation Consolidated Allowance List (CAVCAL) and other stock requisitions were diligently tracked from cradle to grave. Additionally, Demand Level processing was meticulously reviewed to accurately record the ship's and air wing's actual repair part usage. Abraham Lincoln left on deployment with an AVCAL Range and Depth of 98/97, COSAL Range and Depth of 97/94 and no outstanding parts-related CASREPs. While in the Fifth Fleet AOR, the ZAP-IT supply program was fully embraced by passing over 12,000 requisitions for screening of the closest available asset.
Additionally, Abraham Lincoln was praised for exceptional participation and leadership within the Material Control Officer (MATCONOFF) program, processing 252 urgent material screens at a 97.8 percent effectiveness rate. The fiscal year was closed out after almost 1,200 credit card purchases valued at approximately $950,000.00. The final closeout balances were $13.3 million for OFC-20 and $39.4 million for OFC-50. The Aviation Stores Division maintained a perfect inventory of 100 percent throughout the year despite the challenging requirements from CVW-14 during the work-up cycle and deployment.
Other carriers have copied the division's inventory procedure, graphs and instructions in order to emulate the same success. First in Pacific Fleet carriers, S-6 Division maintained zero carcass charges for FY03, FY02 and less than one percent for FYO1. Throughout the deployment, issue effectiveness has been over 93 percent for RPOOL items and 85 percent for RAM. The average daily off-ship NMCS and PMCS count is 4, which is the best among all CNAP carriers.
The Material Division maintained exceptional LAP'S and inventories throughout the year, far exceeding TYCOM Goals. Early in the year, the division kept a steady strain fulfilling 100 percent of the on-hand requirements during JTFEX, an extremely fast-paced and challenging underway period. During the pre-overseas movement period, 8,000 line items of materials were received and properly stowed in preparation for the upcoming deployment. Abraham Lincoln left for deployment with a range and depth unmatched by any other carrier. By maintaining an aggressive inventory and shelf life program throughout the year, the Material Division provided flawless material support and sustained parts for Abraham Lincoln Battle Group.
The HAZMAT Division placed several new initiatives into action during this year. Plans were drawn up for construction of an improved HAZMAT issue area during the DPIA 2003. In the interim, S-9 Division provided unparalleled support to all CVW-14 squadrons, including the first ever deploying F/A-18E Super Hornet squadron.
The division was tasked to collect usage data that will be employed by all future deploying Super Hornet squadrons. In February 2002, the Food Service Division was announced as the winner of the 2001 Captain Edward F. Ney Award for Food Service Excellence. Throughout 2002, the division continued providing outstanding service to the crew throughout the year in preparation for next NEY competition.
EQNEEDF Note: “In February 2002, the Food Service Division was announced as the winner of the 2001 Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Award, a prestigious Food Services award for the best aircraft carrier galley in the Pacific in the Large Afloat class for Food Service Excellence. Throughout 2002, the division continued providing outstanding service to the crew throughout the year in preparation for next NEY competition” (Ref. & 378B-2002).
The Disbursing Division made it through the year with flying colors - improving DJMS accuracy and document processing time to all-time highs. Internal surprise audits confirmed perfect accountability in cash and strict adherence to Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations. The disbursing office started the deployment with $9.5 million in cash, and cashed over $1.8 million in checks, made $2 million in voucher payments per month, and deposited $1.5 million monthly. During deployment, the MWR Division sold over $90,000 in tours and $180,000.00 in hotels during port visits in Sasebo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahrain, and Perth. From Services to Readiness, across the board, material condition, inventory management, and services provided to the crew were nothing less than outstanding.
In 2002 the Training Department greatly increased its value added ship' s services and TAD capabilities. While maintaining all travel and budgeting requirements the Indoc division held 11 Senior, and 21 Junior indoctrination classes for the 1,558 new crewmembers reporting aboard Abraham Lincoln. The department incorporated several Basic DC initial qualification and requalification classes into the monthly class schedule, which enabled Abe to qualify an additional 100 Senior and 320 Junior personnel in Basic Damage Control.
College courses, both through a computer-based curriculum and by professors from Central Texas College offered much sought after higher education learning opportunities. Our Reserve augmentation program provided much needed support for many departments aboard the ship. The Training Department was actively involved in the augmentation process, gainfully employing over 62 Reservists from various reserve units throughout the country. For this, Deputy Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet, recognized the department for expert logistic and communication support for our embarked Reserve staff.
During “WestPac” 2002/2003 Training was the command expert in the movement of personnel throughout the world. Over 1,358 personnel were smoothly transported from the ship to points throughout the US, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Through the tracking of all PCS, Emergency Leave and Beach Detachment TAD personnel the department was able to provide unmatched individualized customer service and efficiently process TAD orders and travel claims. With a TADTAR budget of over 1,070,000 dollars, the Training Department sent over 380 personnel to various schools throughout the country, thereby enabling each of the 18 departments onboard the ship to properly maintain their qualification requirements through the extended “WestPac” 2002/2003 deployment.
The year 2002 was an exciting and busy year for the Weapons Department. It marked the embarkation and first operational deployment of the new FIA-18E Super Hornet as well as Abraham Lincoln’s deployment to “WestPac” in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. March saw the arrival of the current Weapons Officer, Commander John P. Geisen, who relieved Commander Finnegan. The Weapons Department had a highly successful work-up cycle that included supporting Carrier Air Wing Fourteen's Fallon Weapons Detachment. During the pre-deployment phase Weapons flawlessly completed numerous inspections. The extraordinary combined efforts of the entire department resulted in zero discrepancies for the Conventional Ordnance Safety Review (COSR). One evaluator remarked," Lincoln has the best looking weapons magazines on the West Coast."
G-1 distinguished itself by receiving outstanding marks during COMNAVAIEWAC's Armament Maintenance Inspection. The division completed more than 2,300 planned/unplanned Armament Weapons Support Equipment maintenance actions on 5,440 line items totaling more than 10,175 maintenance man-hours resulting in a 100 percent ready-for-issue (RFI) condition.
G-1 also saw a turnover in leadership in November with Gunner Parmley taking over for Gunner Deniz.
G-2 led the charge on qualifying and safely training more than 500 personnel in small arms and weapons qualifications including the 9mm, M-4 Carbine, M-240G machine gun, M-16 and M-14 rifle, and M-79 and M-203 grenade launchers. The division provided invaluable training in preparation for the ship's pre-deployment Force Protection Exercise and played a key role in six SWARMEX'S with the embarked helicopter squadron. Gunner Turner turned the division over to Gunner Bodine in April.
G-3 provided the majority of personnel supporting CVW-14's Fallon Weapons Detachment. Led by Gunner Dosen the division's 29 personnel assisted in the safe and efficient assembly of more than 106 tons of ordnance. G-3 also assembled and deployed the first 1,000 lb class Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) used with the FIA-18E Super Hornet. G-3 stowed, handled, and assembled over 6,884,539 pounds of conventional ordnance throughout the year, all mishap free.
G-4 was instrumental in guaranteeing the safe and efficient movement of all the ordnance in Lincoln and lived by its creed, "All nine UP & UP!" More than 75,000 maintenance manhours were required to maintain and sustain the finest weapons elevators in “WestPac.”
G-4 qualified 54 personnel as weapons elevator operators and 208 personnel were qualified or requalified as 'EE' forklift operators. The division was also able to replace seven door hatch operating cylinder rods and 42 hydraulic gland seals resulting in a savings of over $34,000.00 for the Navy. G-4 Division's changed in November with CW02 Eady taking over the division from Gunner Parrnley.
G-5 provided outstanding technical and administrative support to the entire department. G-5 tracked 100 Conventional Ordnance Deficiency Reports and updated 350 publications. The division skillfully managed the department's limited TAD budget, obtaining critical schools and training for 278 personnel. They also handled and routed over 9,300 pieces of inter and intra office correspondence. Warrant Officer Eady turned the division over to Gunner Klaphake in December.
Security continued to provide outstanding force protection and internal ship's physical security throughout 8 port visits on “WestPac” 2002. The division provided key training for the Ship's Self Defense Force and also maintained 100 percent Anti-Terrorism Level 1 training for all personnel embarked in Lincoln. The Division performed superbly on COMNAVAIRPAC's LEPs inspection and the pre-deployment Force Protection Exercise conducted by COMTHIRDFLT. Throughout 2002 Weapons Department distinguished itself as the standard by which the rest of the fleet measures itself. The department achieved an unprecedented level of efficiency and mission accomplishment, which greatly contributed to Abraham Lincoln’s overall mission. Abraham Lincoln steamed from Fremantle, Australia to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from 18 to 31 December 2002, when the determination was made to return to the northern stretches of the Arabian/Persian Gulf in C5F AOR. The Navy announced that it would extend Abraham Lincoln’s deployment on 1 January 2003. The strike group commander passed the word over the 1MC during the evening of New Year’s Day, a heavy blow to crewmembers as they looked forward to reunions with loved ones at home. Officials added that at least two carrier battle groups and two amphibious ready groups would need to be ready to sail for the Arabian Gulf with only 96 hour’s notice, a clear indication of failing negotiations with the Iraqis. Abraham Lincoln paid a much deserved port visit to Perth, Australia from 22 to 28 December 2002. During an extended holiday visit, it was rumored the ship could return to the Persian Gulf, yet a course for home was engaged via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, steaming from Fremantle, Australia to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from 1 to 6 January 2003, preceded by Western Pacific operations steaming from Fremantle, Australia from 28 to 31 December 2002, when the determination was made to return to the northern stretches of the Arabian/Persian Gulf in C5F AOR after five arduous months at sea and on New Years Day, when notification of a call to duty was announced to the crew; we would be making preparations for war. Abraham Lincoln was underway in the Western Pacific on 3 January 2003, en route to Perth, Australia, pulling in for a port of call at Perth, Australia to conduct routine maintenance, primarily preservation of flight on 6 January 2003. Abraham Lincoln’s course was altered to set sail back to Perth, Australia. As reported on 8 January 2003, Dental care is one quality-of-life issue Abraham Lincoln Sailors don’t have to worry about. The Dental Department aboard has just about everything any civilian dentist’s office would have. Personnel here can have everything done from simple procedures such as routine cleanings to major surgeries like getting wisdom teeth pulled. Sailors on other ships in the battle group aren’t so lucky. Because of the other ships’ limited size and capacity, most only have one independent duty corpsman, or IDC, that has the training to handle simple dental emergencies. While anchored in Perth, work was done to the flight deck during a 20-day working in port. Even so, the crew was able to enjoy some much-earned fun, not knowing what was in store for us ahead. Abraham Lincoln departed Perth, Australia on 20 January 2003, conducting routine maintenance, primarily preservation of flight, visiting from 6 to 20 January 2003, during which VFA-115 sent some Super Hornets to the Royal Australian Air Force station at Pearce to train with their Australian counterparts (14-19 January). Although crewmembers labored replacing non-skid on the flight deck, many sailors commented on the extraordinary Australian hospitality that they received, and how much they enjoyed their visits to Perth and Fremantle. The Boat and Airplane Crane rotational cable-connecting pin broke (at a connection point inside the cableway sheath), however, technicians worked on the crane and repaired it on all but one of the days of the stay in port. The Navy also flew in a depot repair team from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to help crewmembers rebuild and replace components of No. 4 Maine Engine Attached Lube Oil Pump. While anchored in Perth, work was done to the flight deck during a 20-day working in port. Even so, the crew was able to enjoy some much-earned fun, not knowing what was in store for us ahead. After completing the work at the end of January, Abraham Lincoln steamed back to the Arabian Gulf to join USS Constellation (CV-64) which was already on station in the Gulf. Two carriers were then conducting operations in CVOA-4 in support of what would soon be the end of OSW Shortly thereafter, USS Kitty Hawk (CV-67) and CVW-5, forward deployed in Japan, joined in. Not since Operation Desert Storm had such a meeting taken place: three carriers not just operating in the Arabian Gulf, but in CVOA-4. Even with such limited space, the bridge teams, quartermasters, and signalmen performed superbly. As reported on 27 January 2003, Abraham Lincoln American Heritage Committee held an observance for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the aft mess decks. The theme of this year’s observance was “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off.” Ensign Theodore Scott gave the opening remarks and introduced Abraham Lincoln Battle Group Commander Rear Adm. John Kelly to the stage. Kelly noted a lot of younger people don’t recognize the significance of the events that Martin Luther King Jr. helped to happen because they weren’t old enough to appreciate it at the time. He emphasized that the theme of the ceremony was significant because the message was for everyone, old and young, to remember the importance the contributions King made. As reported on 28 January 2003, “everyone in the military is entitled to know their benefits, yet many people make the transition from the military to the civilian world without proper knowledge of these benefits. Navy Counselor 1st Class Melody Doremus recently came aboard Abraham Lincoln to ensure that those separating or retiring within the next 12 months have this vital information in their hands prior to the time they separate. Abraham Lincoln was underway in the Seventh Fleet Area of Responsibility (Western Pacific and Indian Ocean) from 21 to 31 January 2003 and in the Fifth Fleet AOR on the on 1 February 2003, re-entering the Northern Arabian Sea, steaming through the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz en route to the Persian Gulf, her second voyage of her deployment in support of OSW, on her second cruise during her deployment. As reported on 24 February 2003, Abraham Lincoln hosted two of the Navy’s top leaders recently, as it began its eighth month of deployment. The Honorable Hansford T. (H.T.) Johnson, Acting Secretary of the Navy, and the Honorable John Young, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, both took a few hours to tour and visit with the crew of the carrier homeported in Everett, Wash. Beginning its eighth month of deployment, and currently deployed to the Arabian Gulf, Lincoln is at its peak of operational performance. On 20 February 2003, Young observed firsthand just how capable the carrier’s crew and air wing are while the carrier performed nighttime flight operations. As reported on 28 February 2003, Abraham Lincoln recently invited several news organizations to participate in a cooperative “tech assist visit,” which saw media bringing aboard their state-of-the-art communications equipment for an initial installation and trial run, before official embedding begins in the event the United States goes to war with Iraq. Media representatives from Cable News Network (CNN), Reuters and Associated Press TV participated in the innovative visit. The highly successful tech assist was a landmark of cooperation between the Navy and the media. In a recent message to combatant commanders regarding support of public affairs activities in potential future military operations, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld outlined his expectations for media coverage and information flow: “Media coverage of potential future military operations will, to a large extent, shape public perception of the national security environment now and in the years ahead . . . Therefore, we must organize for and facilitate access of national and international media to our forces . . .These plans should also support the expeditious movement of media products that tell our story – both good and bad – from the front lines. Sailors alternated stressful situations with boredom during the weary hours at sea, and 18-year-old SN Tamekia Dixon of Columbia, S.C., described her long watches as she manned an M60 aboard Abraham Lincoln: “I’m just trying to keep my eye out for stuff – helicopters, planes and boats. Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of jellyfish.” Some sailors joked about routines that became so unbearable and repetitive that they dubbed them Groundhog Day, after the Bill Murray film where he finds himself experiencing the same day over and over again. As war approached and the crew began experiencing frayed nerves, the skipper authorized some “down time” on 11 March 2003. Cool rain fell lightly as some fighter pilots watched a marathon of the popular television situation comedy Seinfeld and played backgammon, while other sailors drove golf balls off the flight deck; some tossed a football around and others wrote e-mails to loved ones at home. In February and March 2004, Abraham Lincoln cancelled proposed port calls, and conducted several OPEX’s to prepare for OIF, yet surprisingly the Medical Department saw only minor increases in sick call visits. CBR pharmaceuticals were distributed in bulk to department or division representatives, and in most cases not issued individually. Our only major operational impact was the loss of one IDC to backfill USS Reuben James (FFG-57), while their IDC was impaired for a week. The Medical Department also had a turnover of the physician assistants on last COD before major combat operations. Cool rain fell lightly as some fighter pilots watched a marathon of the popular television situation comedy Seinfeld and played backgammon, while other sailors drove golf balls off the flight deck; some tossed a football around and others wrote e-mails to loved ones at home. On 17 March 2003, in his Address to the Nation, U.S. President George W. Bush demanded that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his two sons Uday and Qusay leave Iraq, giving them a 48-hour deadline” (Ref.  & 446). The coalition prepared to launch the initial strikes of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which resulted in the largest deployment of combatant naval aviation forces since Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm/Desert Sabre (17 March). The Iraqis failed to comply with UN resolutions, which led the Congress in October 2002, to authorize President George W. Bush to use the military to enforce Iraqi compliance with these decisions. Saddam Hussein’s regime continued to disregard warnings to eliminate offensive weapons, and the President issued an ultimatum demanding that Hussein and his sons leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so precipitated Iraqi Freedom two days later. The British supported their allies with Operation Telic. Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln assisted guided missile frigate Reuben James (FFG-57) to repair and align her AN-SPS-49 air search radar, which reestablished full air defense support for the group as they entered the war. Sailors from the carrier also helped shipmates from USS Constellation (CV-64) until USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). Abraham Lincoln conducted OSW from 1 February to 18 March 2003. Abraham Lincoln sailed initially with USS Constellation (CV-64) and Kitty Hawk later joined them, and the three carriers and their screens maneuvering in the constricted waters of the Gulf provided challenging navigational dilemmas to their sailors. On 18 March 2003, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer rescinded Bush's previous statement, saying that the U.S. would invade Iraq whether Saddam Hussein left or not” (Ref.  & 446). The CNO Adm. Vernon E. Clark sent sailors and marines about to thrust into Iraq a personal message on 18 March 2003: “The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat. But we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety.” The admiral also noted that seven of the Navy’s 12 aircraft carriers, nine of the 12 “big deck” amphibious assault ships, together with hundreds of aircraft, deployed for the massive confrontation, a total of more than 200 allied ships and submarines from five carrier strike groups three amphibious ready groups, and two amphibious task forces. More than 130 sealift ships also sailed to support the armada, all of which Adm. Clark observed would not have been possible without sailors and marines and their “energy, expertise and dedication. You are proving everyday the unique and lasting value of decisive, sovereign, lethal forces projecting offensive and defensive power from the vast maneuver area that is the sea. The coalition began Operation Iraqi Freedom with selective strikes aimed at Saddam Hussein and his key leaders from 19 to 20 March 2003. Guided missile cruisers Bunker Hill (CG-52) and Cowpens, guided missile destroyers Donald Cook (DDG-75) and Milius (DDG-69) and attack submarines Cheyenne (SSN-773) and Montpelier (SSN-765) fired TLAMs while sailing in the Red Sea and Arabian/Persian Gulf, and aircraft flew from ashore and aircraft carriers as part of what the Pentagon announced as a “decapitation strategy” aimed at killing key Iraqi leaders and thereby shortening the war and saving lives. Cowpens alone fired a devastating salvo of 11 missiles just before dawn. “On my orders,” President Bush explained from the Oval Office, “coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war.” The President addressed a personal appeal to the men and women of the armed forces as they set out upon the conflict: “The peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you. That trust is well placed. The enemies you confront will soon know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military.” Aircraft No. 202, Lt. Comdr. David Little and Lt. Robert Kihm of VFA-115, accomplished the first Super Hornet quantity four drop of GBU-31 (V) 2, J84 JDAMs during a mission, and squadron Super Hornets normally launched carrying the destructive firepower of up to four 2,000 pound JDAMs each. Newly installed radar warning receivers, together with extra chaff and flares, towed missile decoys, radar jammers and additional fuel, gave these Super Hornets unparalleled flexibility, reach and effectiveness. AT3 Jose Maldonado, a sailor from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) temporary serving on board Abraham Lincoln in her aircraft intermediate maintenance department, observed that crewmembers briefly overcame homesickness and uncertainties to concentrate on the task at hand: “The morale in my shop went up. Everyone is motivated today.” Maldonado stressed that his shipmates did not celebrate the waste of war, but rather their opportunity to help the oppressed Iraqi people. “I hope they will be free like we are,” the young man reflected. “Hopefully, they will see the Americans that we are, and not the ones we’re portrayed to be in the Middle East.” Crewmembers ran the gamut of experience, and one sailor, SA Curtis Blunck, had only reported on board five days earlier as the ship went to war. The men and women of the allied forces also had to contend with a shamal, a strong sandstorm that swept across portions of southern Iraq, only dissipating by the end of the day (19 March). In some instances wind and sand reduced visibility to mere yards, grounded many aircraft and choked people caught in its path, and people struggled to breathe in the oppressing tempest. As the shamal blew itself out, however, the clearing skies presented additional problems to pilots flying into the teeth of Iraqi air defenses, because the moon and starlight made them better targets to the optical guidance of Iraqi gunners. In the early morning hours of the 20th of March 2003, the dispersal of U.S. Air Force F-117 bombers and missile launches from submarine and surface warships marked the opening scene of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” With the attack, Abraham Lincoln Sailors, along with 250,000 other American troops, went to work on an operation that had changed talk and speculation to a definite reality. “Operations to disarm Iraq have begun,” said President George W. Bush in an address to the nation. “On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war.” The president added another message for the quarter-of-a-million Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines deployed to the Arabian Gulf region. “The peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you,” he said. “That trust is well placed. The enemies you confront will soon know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military.” Bush also spoke to the families and friends of the deployed troops. “Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent. For your sacrifice, you have the gratitude and respect of the American people.” United States military operations were conducted under the name Operation Iraqi Freedom. United Kingdom military operations were conducted as Operation Telic, and Australian operations as Operation Falconer. “The 2003 invasion of Iraq, also called the Iraq War or "Operation Iraqi Freedom," began March 20, 2003, initiated by the United States, the United Kingdom and a loosely-defined coalition, the multi-national coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and end the regime of Saddam Hussein, began with the firing of Tomahawk missiles from U.S. ships in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea. The invasion began without the explicit authorization of the United Nations Security Council, and some legal authorities take the view that the action violated the U.N. Charter. The Bush Administration has cited Security Council resolutions from early 1990s as legal justification, though there is no clear position in any of them with regard to the use of military action against Iraq” (Ref. 446). Beginning around 2100, 20 March 2003, the allies hit the Iraqis with their principal assault, known as A [Air]-Day, though journalists seized upon the phrase “shock and awe” to describe the devastating firepower that the alliance unleashed. Some 780 Navy and marine aircraft flew 13,893 sorties on A-Day from 20 to 21 March 2003. Task Force 50, which comprised the Abraham Lincoln, USS Constellation (CV-64) until USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) Carrier Strike Groups, steamed in the Arabian Gulf, while the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Carrier Strike Groups operated in the Mediterranean. Guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56), and attack submarines USS Columbia and USS Providence (SSN-719) and British HMS Spendid (S-106) and HMS Turbulent (S-87), fired about 50 TLAMs against targets in and around Baghdad. Strike planners deconflicted the routes of aircraft and TLAMs to avoid fratricide (hitting ‘friendlies’) as the missiles arced over the horizon toward the recalcitrant Iraqis. The air corridors crossing the country that naval aviators nicknamed “driveways” became so crowded at times that aircraft flew carefully to avoid colliding with each other. Although Iraqi pilots wisely avoided opposing their allied counterparts in the air, the Iraqis fired hundreds of SAMs and countless rounds from over 6,000 anti-aircraft guns. Coalition planners divided Iraqi air defense zones into missile engagement zones (MEZs), and pilots nicknamed the heavily defended area around the capital the “Baghdad Super MEZ.” EA-6B Prowlers destroyed or negated enemy electronic warfare and radar capabilities so thoroughly that not a single Iraqi missile successfully locked on and guided to its target. The intensity of the fighting led to inevitable confusion and at one point Lt. Comdr. Ken O’Donnell, who flew a Prowler, recalled that 13 or 14 aircraft stacked up as they awaited their turns at an aerial refueling tanker. “Everyone was getting low [on fuel],” O’Donnell explained, “It was getting kind of tense up there.” Lt. Shannon Callahan, an electronic countermeasures officer with VAQ-139, also described their suppression of enemy air defenses missions: “That was a big task, to protect the strikers when they went into Baghdad, because it was so heavily protected. To send a strike into Baghdad was a very dangerous thing, and that’s why you had to have a Prowler there.” Air power ripped apart Iraqi defenses and drove their troops out of positions and into the open. Once they exposed them, aircraft prevented the Iraqis from retreating fast enough to escape advancing coalition troops, who often overwhelmed them in savage firefights. A pair of F/A-18C Hornets from VFA-113, embarked on board Abraham Lincoln, knocked-out Iraqi SAMs at Al-Taqquedam airfield in the heart of the Baghdad Super MEZ with a salvo of HARMs, at 2135, which enabled other strike aircraft to pulverize their targets. The combination of jamming and HARMs from allied aircraft meant that the Iraqis could not lock onto or guide any of their missiles into aircraft. And special operators achieved one of the unsung victories of the war during the first few days of the fighting as they seized most of the Iraqi oil fields and refineries intact before Hussein could sabotage them as he had during Gulf War I. The Iraqis retaliated for the invasion, however, and fired a tactical ballistic missile into Kuwait, but Army PAC-3 Phased Array Tracking Intercept of Target (Patriot) missiles shot down the intruding weapon at about 0100 in what Central Command described as two “bright orange flashes.” Alert ordnance sailors on board Abraham Lincoln discovered that the stresses of dropping 2,000 pound JDAMs broke the linkages of seven BRU-32 bomb racks. The sailors quickly launched an investigation and notified other Navy commands, which minimized the impact of the problem on other aircraft carriers and possibly saved lives and aircraft. Commanders tasked Abraham Lincoln to provide communication support to the British Royal Navy, which required sailors to interface with the British “Brent” telephone system to launch coordinated TLAM attacks. Meanwhile, coalition aircraft not only bombed enemy airfields, but in an unusual departure also struck a variety of other targets, including: targets in and around Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and Tikrit; an air defense center equipped with mobile early-warning radar in western Iraq; an air traffic control center in al-Basrah; communications sites near Ash Shuaybah, Mudaysis and Ruwayshid; long-range artillery deployed near Az Zubayr and emplaced on the al-Fāw Peninsula (also known as al-Fāo); and surface-to-surface missiles near al-Basrah. In between the strikes an eerie stillness descended upon the capital, broken by the roar of frequent explosions or the wail of air-raid sirens as allied bombs and missiles pounded targets. People largely deserted Baghdad’s streets, with the exception of isolated knots of soldiers and Republican Guardsmen who manned security checkpoints or huddled together to wait out the carnage. Many fires burned out of control, and lit the sky with an infernal glow. Iraqi antiaircraft gunners fired wildly at aircraft from the ship as a strike roared in on targets on 21 March 2003. “It looked like a string of 50 firecrackers that all went off at the same time,” Lt. Eric Doyle, a 29-year-old Super Hornet pilot from Houston, Tex., described the heavy fire. “Like mini-space shuttles going up. And the plumes – the plumes of flame trailing them!” Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, USA, Vice Director for Operations on the Joint Staff, revealed that allied forces had launched the largest use of precision guided munitions ever deployed to date. USAF Boeing B-52H Stratofortresses had dropped about 100 AGM-86C conventional air-launched cruise missiles, and altogether, Air Force aircraft, including Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirits, Lockheed Martin F-117A Nighthawks, McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagles and F-15E Strike Eagles, and Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons, flew approximately 2,000 missions, about half of them strike tasks that hit nearly 1,500 ‘aimpoints’ during the first 24 hours of the war (individual targets could comprise multiple aimpoints). British Tornado GR4s, Sepecat GR3 Jaguars and Harrier GR7s were among allied strike aircraft that also flew dangerous missions over Iraq. Allied aircraft dropped large numbers of JDAMs, both those fitted with penetrating and those with non-penetrating warheads. In addition, 30 U.S. and British ships and subs let loose a staggering barrage of about 400 TLAMs against Iraqi military targets: guided missile cruisers Bunker Hill, Cowpens, Mobile Bay, San Jacinto (CG-56) and Shiloh; guided missile destroyers Arleigh Burke, Donald Cook, Higgins, John S. McCain, Milius, O’Kane (DDG-77), Oscar Austin (DDG-79), Paul Hamilton and Porter (DDG-78), destroyers Briscoe (DD-977), Deyo (DD-989) and Fletcher, and attack submarines Augusta (SSN-710), Cheyenne, Columbia, Key West (SSN-722), Louisville (SSN-724), Montpelier, Newport News (SSN-750), Pittsburgh (SSN-720), Providence, San Juan (SSN-751) and Toledo (SSN-769), together with British boats HMS Spendid and HMS Turbulent. Despite intense fire from numerous Iraqi gunners and SAMs, VFA-113 led a strike that destroyed the Ba’ath Party headquarters, which comprised 12 critical targets in four different cities, using JDAMs. Meanwhile, during a briefing at Central Command at Doha, Qatar, Gen on 22 March 2003. Franks outlined allied military objectives for Iraqi Freedom: First, end the regime of Saddam Hussein; Second, to identify, isolate and eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and Third, to search for, to capture and to drive out terrorists from that country. Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to terrorist networks. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and to many needy Iraqi citizens. Seventh, to secure Iraq’s oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. And last, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative government.” The general added that the fighting would be “unlike any other in history, a campaign characterized by shock, by surprise, by flexibility, by the employment of precise munitions on a scale never before seen, and by the application of overwhelming force.” Rear Adm. John M. Kelly, commanding Task Force 50, announced that aircraft had flown about 550 sorties from the decks of Abraham Lincoln, USS Constellation (CV-64) until USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) on 24 March 2003. The long ranges that they flew consumed fuel at such rates that officers discovered that they required additional aerial tankers, which forced them to temporarily configure four Super Hornets as tankers. During typical aerial refueling missions, these Super Hornets could bypass the need to delay in tanker tracks and transfer up to 12,000 pounds of fuel to thirsty strike aircraft, which allowed these aircraft to hit targets and receive what VFA-115 referred to as “back side fuel” from supporting Vikings on their return flights. In addition, a USAF MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) destroyed an Iraqi radar-guided ZSU-23-4 antiaircraft artillery piece outside Al Amarah in southern Iraq with an AGM-114K Hellfire II missile, the first UAV strike of Iraqi Freedom. Without facing Iraqi opposition in the air, aircraft could concentrate on flying close air support missions for soldiers and marines on the ground locked in grueling battles with Iraqi troops, jihādis (foreign Muslim volunteers) and Fedayeen Saddam (Iraqi fanatics headed by Hussein’s eldest son Uday). These hold-outs used women and children as human shields, drove suicide vehicles against allied troops, and organized ‘death squads’ that roamed across the country brutally murdering dissenters to the Ba’aths. Iraqi troops of the Medina Republican Guard Tank Division took advantage of fierce weather to launch a determined attack against soldiers of the Army’s V Corps on 25 March 2003. Although they faced 0/0 visibility that grounded many coalition aircraft, VFA-113 attached to CVW-14 persevered through heavy overcast and hit the Iraqis repeatedly, halting the thrust. U.S. and Turkish negotiators resolved most over-flight issues, which greatly facilitated the problems which allied aircraft encountered to date flying over the northern battles from 25 to 26 March 2003. The routes over the southern half of the country continued as a tangle of conflicting channels, with an average of as many as 70 aircraft flying from Abraham Lincoln, USS Constellation (CV-64) until USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) simultaneously crossing over the limited air space during heavy strikes. Air traffic controllers on board the carriers had to ‘sequence’ aircraft; separate them specified distances to avoid mid-air collisions, a demanding task that the rigors of war made more difficult. Coalition aircraft struck nine Iraqi surface-to-surface missiles and launchers in Baghdad with precision guided munitions on 26 March 2003. The Iraqis attempted to hide the weapons within a residential area, and callously positioned them barely 300 feet from homes in the hope that the allies would not target the missiles in an attempt to protect civilians from collateral damage. An enormous low-pressure cyclonic storm front roared across Egypt and Saudi Arabia and hit the southern half of the region with a fierce turab (similar to a shamal, though originating from the south rather then from the north), which blew fine dust and sand at high winds into everything in its path from 23 to 27 March 2003. At one point, a polar-orbiting satellite captured an image of the turab covering almost the entire southern half of Iraq and most of Kuwait. Thick dust covered people and equipment with an ochre haze and permeated into exposed skin and gear, which caused numerous maintenance problems, and at times, visibility dropped to 0/0. During the afternoon watch (26 March), the turab twirled and spun from sea level all the way up to 8,000 feet, and completely blanketed the ship as aircraft recovered on board with mere seconds to spare. Capt. Card shifted Abraham Lincoln almost 30 miles as he vainly attempted to outrun the storm, but the turab caught up with the ship and her commanding officer grimly resolved to continue flight operations despite the appalling conditions. The storm affected 12 aircraft returning to the carrier and 11 more launching during these critical hours. The captain manned the bridge and closely eyed the cauldron, shifting his gaze between the windows and a closed-circuit television monitor that recorded the tense scenes on the flight deck. Lookouts could barely see beyond the ship as the fighting ashore continued unabated. “This is a commanding officer and pilot’s nightmare,” Lt. Comdr. Mark Eckardt, Abraham Lincoln’s senior meteorologist, reflected, as he stood next to the skipper to keep him up to date on the turbulent weather. These will be the hardest flights of your life,” Capt. Albright told the sailors of his wing, “But the guys on the ground are getting killed and they need us.” Occasionally, flight controllers had no recourse but to direct aircraft to orbit, in the hope that they could experience a momentary break in the weather that would enable them to land. “That was the most disconcerting thing,” Comdr. Dale E. Horan, a 39-year-old Super Hornet pilot from VFA-115, recalled, “You’re doing a lot of math at that point in the sky [to determine remaining fuel status].” Aircraft No. 202, Lt. John Turner, circled over his target with Lt. Steven Dean, a 29-year-old fellow Super Hornet pilot, until they received strike orders and dropped a pair of GBU-31 (V) 2, J84 JDAMs on Iraqi troops south of Karbala, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. As they returned to Abraham Lincoln, they flew into the maelstrom surrounding the carrier and Turner trapped, climbed out of his aircraft, and noted that his knees shook from the stress. “These are the most adverse conditions I’ve ever faced” he admitted. The tempest wreaked havoc with operations and seriously curtailed air missions at a time when troops on the ground desperately needed every aircraft in support. Even further north the weather deteriorated so badly that pilots described the rigors of trying to rendezvous with tankers while flying through thunderstorms and swirling dust. So here are the tankers up at 40,000 feet with these baskets flailing about out there on the wingtips in bad weather” Rear Adm. Stufflebeem explained. “And the guys having a long run to get there and then trying to safely get tanked and then into the fight and then back to tanking. That was a huge challenge for them...” Nonetheless, Gen. Franks learned that the turab immobilized many of the Iraqi troops including crack Republican Guardsmen preparing to counterattack, as winds from the south blew dust into their faces, and he attempted to make the weather work for the coalition. That night [25 March] B-52s, B-1s and a whole range of fighter-bombers flew above the dense ochre dome of the sandstorm,” the general recalled, “delivering precision-guided bombs through the zero-visibility, zero-ceiling weather. … The bombardment, which lasted from the night of the 25th of March to the morning of the 27th of March 2003, was one of the fiercest and most effective in the history of warfare.” Strikes broke-up enemy troop concentrations so decisively that the Iraqis failed to mount coordinated, large-scale counterattacks. Coalition aircraft blasted nine meeting places that intelligence analysts had identified Ba’ath party officials and paramilitary chiefs favoring, killing an estimated 200 Iraqi leaders and bodyguards on 28 March 2003. Special operations troops on the ground provided coordinates to the targets, all of which were located to the northeast of al-Basrah an important port and crossroads of commerce in the south of the country. Naval aircraft helped marines defeat a ferocious attack by Iraqi irregulars supported by armored personnel carriers, rockets and AAA, at An Nasiriyah. At about 1500, a pair of Hornets knocked out three Iraqi Al Samoud surface-to-surface missile launchers, approximately 25 miles northwest of Al Basrah. Additional strikes supported allied troops locked in firefights with Iraqi troops and Fedayeen Saddam in the Rutbah and Samawah areas, and air assaults dropped 1,000 pound bombs on Republican Guardsmen deployed around Baghdad, destroying missile sites and fuel depots. Meanwhile, President Bush signed an amendment to Executive Order 10448 of 22 April 1953, which authorized eligibility for the National Defense Service Medal to members in good standing in the Selected Reserve. The beginning date for eligibility was 11 September 2001, through a termination date to be determined. TLAMs struck the Iraqi Ministry of Information in Baghdad, which the Iraqi regime utilized for command and control on 29 March 2003. Two F/A-18E Super Hornets, piloted by Lt. Comdr. Hal Schmitt and Lt. Comdr. Jason Norris of VFA-14, and two F/A-18Fs flown by Lt. Comdr. Brian Garrison and Lt. Comdr. Mark Weisgerber, and Lt. Tom Poulter and Lt. Tom Brodine, all four men from VFA-41, temporarily shifted from USS Nimitz (CVN-68) to Abraham Lincoln) on 30 March 2003. They made the move to provide the ship with an improved mix of fighter-tanker capabilities, but the transfer involved an exhausting 1,700 mile flight. This move brought the total number of Super Hornets embarked on board the ship up to 16 aircraft. The detachment returned to Nimitz after she arrived in Gulf waters (6 April). Meanwhile, multiple USAF B-52Hs, Rockwell (Boeing) B-1B Lancers and B-2As bombed the same area at the same time as part of a single strike package, the first such raid ever accomplished. The bombers plastered leadership and command and control targets in Baghdad using precision guided munitions. The scope of these operations ensured that many aircraft from different services and countries supported each other, and naval aircraft often flew with their Air Force counterparts. As the coalition pounded them, many of Saddam Hussein’s cronies attempted to regain control of their collapsing order and lashed out at innocent people caught in the crossfire on 31 March 2003. One such paramilitary band gathered in an unused prison at Ar Rutbah, in western Iraq, to prepare to strike at civilians nearby. Allied intelligence specialists identified the thugs, however, and aircraft broke up the meeting. Three brothers maintained the proud tradition of service to the Republic that the five Sullivan brothers of World War II exemplified when all three served on board three different ships simultaneously in the war: 24-year-old night-watch maintenance technician PO3 Melvin Casasola with VFA-25 embarked on board Abraham Lincoln, 27-year-old Livni on board amphibious transport dock ship Dubuque (LPD-8) and 26-year-old Milton on board USS Constellation (CV-64) in April 2003. Their mother, Florencia, had fled fighting in Guatemala in 1985 to make a better life for her family, and struggled as a cleaning woman until she attained citizenship, and her sons honored her sacrifice by serving their adopted country. Allied aircraft macerated a heavily secured Iraqi storage facility in the Al Karkh district of Baghdad with 40 JDAMs on 2 April 2003. The regime’s Special Security Organization, one of several internal security operations responsible for the illicit imprisonment and torture of countless victims, utilized the building for their crimes. F/A-18Fs flying from Abraham Lincoln made the first operational flight of the Super Hornet Fast Tactical Imagery reconnaissance module, during a strike over Iraq on 3 April 2003. The coalition declared air superiority over all of Iraq on 6 April 2003. CVW-14 aircraft of Abraham Lincoln had dropped over 1.3 million pounds of ordnance on enemy troops and transferred equipments to USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the Persian Gulf on 7 April 2003, prior to relieving in support of "OIF" by USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the Persian Gulf from 8 to 9 April 2003, which enabled the ship to transit the Strait of Hormuz outbound the same day that coalition forces would declare that they had liberated most of Baghdad. As reported on 14 April 2003, “the EA-6B Prowler is one unique aircraft. Its ability to support strike aircraft is unparalleled, and the “Cougars” of Electronic Air Squadron (VAQ) 139 prove that every day during OIF. The Prowlers support strikers and other aircraft against surface-to-air missiles and other air defense threats,” said Electronic Countermeasures Officer (ECMO) Lt. Shannon Callahan. This umbrella of protection is accomplished through electronic jamming and High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM). Callahan explained that the aircraft’s electronic jamming pods are its “bread and butter” and what makes them different from any other. “With the pods, we can direct energy into enemy target radars and blind them," she said. "It's the only aircraft of its type in the world. We [the United States] have never exported the technology. We’re the only ones who have it.” Abraham Lincoln concluded OIF operations, underway in the Persian Gulf from 19 March to 12 April 2003, during which time the entire carrier battle group and air wing helped deliver the opening salvos and air strikes in Operation Iraqi Freedom on 20 March 2003, ending her (initial) commitment to Iraqi Freedom (12 April). Abraham Lincoln transited the Strait of Hormuz outbound the same day that coalition forces declared that they had liberated most of Baghdad, steaming through the and Gulf of Oman, entering the Northern Arabian Sea, her fourth voyage while on deployment on 13 April 2003. Abraham Lincoln entered the Indian Ocean on 13 April 2003. As reported on 15 April 2003, Vice Adm. Timothy Keating, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, returned to Abraham Lincoln last week to thank the carrier and air wing Sailors for their efforts during their extended stay in the Arabian Gulf region. Keating praised the crew for justifying the confidence he saw in them during an all-hands call exactly three weeks earlier. In that visit, he told Abe Sailors the confidence he saw was, in his words, “…a check I can cash.” Though the audience had an idea a show of force against the Iraq regime might be imminent, Keating simply said, “Be ready.” Three weeks and thousands of sorties over Iraq later, Keating was pleased his confidence in Abe’s crew was not unfounded. “Last time I was out here, I was saying that something might be coming soon, and it did,” Keating said. “I was bragging about you guys - I was writing some big-time checks. You backed me up; you cashed those checks.” As Abraham Lincoln made preparations to leave the Gulf, Keating reflected on Abe Sailors’ hand in history. “What you have done is unprecedented in the history of the Navy,” Keating said. “The best Navy in the world … that’s us. But the best job by a battle group in the history of the navies of the world … that’s you.” Keating also said when historians look back on OIF, they will find the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group at the top of the list of those who helped make it effective and successful. In his praise, he also cautioned Sailors to remain vigilant when it comes to safety issues. “Don’t get cautious to the point of being timid,” Keating said. “But be careful and aggressive about safety issues on your way home. Get home in one piece, and get home safely so you can reunite joyously with your families.” Keating was also a messenger of “thanks” for the determination of Abe Sailors during their extended deployment. “I met with the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) yesterday morning,” Keating said, “and I had breakfast with Gen. Tommy Franks this morning. I told them I was coming out here to visit the men and women of the ‘good ship’ Lincoln. When I told them that, they both had one identical response. They said ‘go out there and thank each and every one of them for us.’” Though OIF will continue without the Sailors of the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group, Abe Sailors know when their commander instructed them to “Be ready,” they complied, and when the checks their commander spoke of were cashed, they were paid in full. As reported on 16 April 2003, Lt.j.g. Sam Kesler, a Carrier Airborne Early Warning (VAW) Squadron 113 pilot, is sitting behind his duty desk passing out guns and bullets to a group of geared-up naval flight officers (NFOs) leaving on another mission. “The guns,” one pilot said, “are for our protection in case we get shot down.” The VAW-113 “Black Eagles” were concerned about OIF. “Most fighter planes have radars that only see straight ahead. Our radar moves 360 degrees around, giving us a more accurate and wider picture,” said Kesler. The Hawkeye transmits and receives radar that determines where other aircraft are in the sky. A special system inside the radar tells the pilots whether the aircraft is a friend or foe. “With the IFF system (Identification Friend or Foe), we can find out where the good and bad guys are, report it to the warfare commanders on the ship, and give the air fighters an overall view of the battle space,” said Kesler. Five officers perform each Hawkeye mission. Two officers up front flying the plane, and three officers man the radios in the rear. “Our primary job is the flow of information,” he said. “We listen to reports and pass it on to who needs to know. We are almost always out there directing the fighters. Kind of like airborne air traffic controllers, we are providing the fighters with the information they need to put bombs on target.” Abraham Lincoln was underway in the Indian Ocean from 13 to 15 April 2003, steaming through the Strait of Malacca en route to the South China Sea. After approximately three weeks of fighting, Iraq was occupied by coalition forces and the rule of Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath Party came to an end. Subsequently, the period known as post-invasion Iraq began. Approximately 260,000 United States troops, with support from 45,000 British, and smaller forces from other nations, collectively called the "Coalition of the Willing", entered Iraq primarily through a staging area in Kuwait. Plans for opening a second front in the north were abandoned when Turkey officially refused the use of its territory for such purposes. Forces also supported Iraqi Kurdish militia troops, estimated to number upwards of 50,000. Facing them was a large but poorly equipped military force. The regular Iraqi army was estimated at 290,000–350,000 troops, with four Republican Guard divisions with 50,000–80,000 troops, and the Fedayeen Saddam, a 20,000–40,000 strong militia, who used guerrilla tactics during the war. There were an estimated thirteen infantry divisions, ten mechanized and armored divisions, as well as some special forces units. The Iraqi Air Force and Navy played a negligible role in the conflict” (Ref. 446). Abraham Lincoln was underway in the South China Sea from 16 to 17 April 2003. As reported on 18 April 2003, “two stars above an anchor collar device can now be seen on the uniforms of seven newly selected master chiefs (CM) who were recently frocked on Abraham Lincoln's forecastle. The promotion to the highest level in the enlisted ranking structure came as a complete surprise to a few of the master chiefs, like Master Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Jim Huskey, whose rate is extremely competitive and the chances of making master chief are fairly slim. Abraham Lincoln was underway in the Philippine Sea on 18 April 2003. Abraham Lincoln performed an underway replenishment with USS Paul Hamilton on 19 April 2003, during which time the carrier’s Re-Fueling Station No. 21 experienced a casualty on the high-tensioning winch. This problem prevented the ships from completing their refueling, and interfered with Abraham Lincoln’s ability to support her group. Sailors accomplished what the Deck Department described as “a rigorous overhaul” of the Re-Fueling Station No. 21 equipment that experienced a casualty on the high-tensioning winch on 19 April 2003, so that Abraham Lincoln could finish refueling USS Paul Hamilton on 22 April 2003. CVW-14 aircraft from Abraham Lincoln covered other ships during the war, and six amphibious assault ships: USS Bataan (LHD-5), USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), USS Boxer (LHD-4), USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), USS Saipan (LHA-2) and USS Tarawa (LHA-1), sailed with the other 26 ships of Task Force 51 in the Arabian Gulf, which comprised the largest concentration of amphibious vessels to operate together simultaneously since the Korean War on 20 April 2003. As reported on 23 April 2003, picture thousands of miles of sky stretching above you with a few hundred planes flying through that space every couple of hours, each on their own mission and course. Now imagine a much smaller space, about 50 miles in each direction, and add a couple hundred more aircraft - all flying relatively close to each other, on almost the same course, either to or from almost the exact same mission. That is what the airways looked like for air traffic controllers aboard Abraham Lincoln, as well as USS Constellation (CV-64) and USS Kitty Hawk (C-63), who for the last three months have been operating very closely to one another in the Arabian Gulf in Support of OIF. Every carrier “owns” a 50-mile radius of air space, and with three of them all operating within 25 miles of each other, that air space overlaps, and the amount of aircraft flying within that space is tripled. At any given time, there were about 70 aircraft flying. Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Shea Bickerstaff said his job is to sequence Lincoln’s aircraft in the air and separate them, so they remain a specified distance apart to avoid collision during recoveries. Abraham Lincoln area of operations was not reported from 19 to 20 April 2003 and was underway in the Pacific from 21 to 25 April 2003. Upon arrival in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 26 April 2003, Abraham Lincoln had logged 102,816 nautical miles, departing Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for NASNI on 27 April 2003, inport Pearl Harbor, Hi. from 26 to 27 April 2003. Before steaming into NASNI, Abraham Lincoln crew welcomed the Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush, who welcomed the crew home for a job well done, underway in the Eastern Pacific from 27 April to 1 May 2003. On 1 May 2003, President George W. Bush safely landed in an S-3B Viking on the deck of Abraham Lincoln, which was returning from a nearly ten month deployment for operations in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The deployment was the longest of an aircraft carrier since the Vietnam War. The President landed while the carrier was underway about 30 miles (50 km) off the coast of San Diego, California. It was the first time a sitting president arrived on the deck of an aircraft carrier by plane. Bush made a primetime address from the flightdeck, surrounded by hundreds of sailors, in which he declared major combat operations in Iraq over. Critics characterized the event as footage for a campaign advertisement; in the background was a large banner reading "Mission Accomplished", made by a private vendor at the request of the White House, and put up on Lincoln's island by the crew. It was unclear whether the banner referred to the ship's mission or to the Iraq war as a whole, and different explanations were put out; it was several months before the White House admitted that they had the banner made and offered it to Lincoln. As combat in Iraq continued, the banner came to be an embarassment to the President, and in April 2004, Bush adviser Karl Rove told The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, "I wish the banner was not up there. In addition to the banner, the manner in which the President landed on the carrier was the subject of some controversy, since although the original rationale for using the jet was that Lincoln was too far offshore for the usual helicopter arrival, the ship was well within range by the time of the landing. Presumably planners for the event realized that the President's traveling staff, camera crews, and their equipment would not themselves fit into S-3Bs, and so the carrier had to be brought within helicopter range so that they could be on hand and set up to film the landing. President Bush arrived on board Abraham Lincoln in Aircraft No. 700, an S-3B Viking (BuNo 159387), piloted by Comdr. John “Loose” (also known as “Skip”) Lussier, the squadron executive officer, and Lt. Ryan Phillips as his flight officer, both from VS-35, and accompanied by a Secret Service agent on 1 May 2003. At one point during the approximately 30 mile flight from NAS North Island, Lussier turned control of the Viking over to the President, who sat in the co-pilot’s seat wearing a flight suit equipped with a parachute and water survival kit. When journalists asked Lawrence A. [Ari] Fleischer, the White House’s press secretary, just before the historic flight concerning who would fly the aircraft, he replied humorously: “I think the best clue, you know, if the president is actually flying the plane will be to see if the plane is flying on a straight line, you’ll know that the Navy pilot is in charge. If it does anything else, it’s an open question.” Afterward referring to the chief executive’s flying skills, Lussier noted that “He did fly in a straight line, and he flew at a level one, too,” and added that the President and the agent did not become ill during the flight. As he climbed out of the Viking, enthusiastic sailors swarmed the President, shook hands with the chief executive, patted him on the back and offered “high fives.” Officials designated the aircraft, which maintainers had painted with the words “George W. Bush, Commander in Chief,” just below the flight canopy, as ‘Navy 1’ in honor of the President, and donated the Viking to the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola, Florida. A huge banner strung across the bridge read: “Mission Accomplished.” Preparing for the President’s visit required technical adjustments that included installing over 5,000 feet of telephone lines to the flight deck, island and hanger bay, to facilitate White House communications for national security considerations, for the Secret Service and their protection of the chief executive, and for the media. Ten Super Hornets from VFA-115 and two from VFA-122 performed a fly by for the President and for their triumph during the war. The President ate a steak-and-lobster dinner with sailors and then addressed the American people that evening from the flight deck of the ship, standing before the two remaining Super Hornets from VFA-115 that had flown against the enemy, and declared an end to major combat operations. “…In this battle,” he also explained proudly, “we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment – yet, it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other, made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant is fallen, and Iraq is free. OIF was carried out with a combination of precision, speed and boldness the enemy did not expect and the world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships a sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division or strike a single building or bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground in one of the swiftest mass advances of heavy arms in history. The world has seen the might of the American armed forces…” Critics, however, would later deride the President’s declaration of the end of [major] battles as premature in light of the subsequent insurrection. Each year on the anniversary of the event, detractors would attack the President’s choice of words, and on the eve of the fifth anniversary journalists asked Dana M. Perino, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary at the White House, to address the issue (30 April 2008). “President Bush is well aware,” Perino replied, “that the banner should have been much more specific and said “mission accomplished for these sailors who are on this ship [Abraham Lincoln] on their mission.” And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year.” Some pundits, however, noted his arrival and speech on board the ship as one of the defining moments of the war, and compared the occasion to President Ronald W. Reagan’s challenge at the Berlin Wall: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” (12 June 1987). Despite media allegations or their own personal views on the conflict, most of those on board the ship recalled the incident with pride at their achievement of liberating the Iraqi people from the brutal tyranny of Saddam Hussein’s regime within a matter of weeks. Additional selected members of the cabinet who arrived on board (separately) for the occasion included Dr. Condoleezza Rice, President for National Security Affairs (commonly known as the National Security Advisor), and Andrew H. Card, Jr., White House Chief of Staff. On 2 May 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced the end of Afghan combat and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush, who welcomed the crew of Abraham Lincoln home for a job well done, remained embarked on the 1st and 2nd of May 2003, pulling into Naval Air Station, North Island (NASNI), San Diego, California on 2 May 2003.
DEPLOYMENT STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
*12,675 takeoffs and traps
*Boarding rate 91 percent
*OEF/OSW used 265,118 pounds of ordnance
*OIF used 1.6 million pounds of ordnance
*21 million gallons of JP-5
*Steamed over 102,816 nautical miles by Hawaii return
*Produced 80 million gallons of water
*352 reenlistments for $4.5 million in tax-free reenlistment bonuses
*150 births (new fathers)
*425 American Red Cross messages (announcing births, deaths, family emergencies, etc.)
*1,200 PREVENT graduates (substance abuse prevention class)
Weather (Ship's Meteorology Division)
*10,600 station observations
*32 OSW strike briefs
*179 OIF strike briefs
Warfare Specialist Qualifications (ship's company)
*735 ESWS Qualified
*415 EAWS Qualified
Supplies and Food
*28 UNREPS taking on 8,274 pallets of supplies
*42,107 gallons of milk at $158,950.00
*161,839 lbs of coffee at $67,500.00
*19,100 lbs of bacon at $151,535.00
*50,600 lbs of chicken at $56,800.00
*27,275 lbs of steak at $193,111.00
*16,000 lbs of shrimp at $167,170.00
*28,808 lbs of hot dogs at $83,640.00
*29,000 lbs of hamburgers at $70,500.00
*50,500 lbs of freedom fries at $29,200.00
*2,403 gallons of ice cream at $31,380.00
*Number of haircuts this deployment: 35,000.00
*Number of cans of soda sold: 1,412,574 for approximately $706,287.00 in sales
*$4,285,698 in sales for the entire Ship Store operations
*Total amount of mail handled: 1,126,226 lbs
*48,445 off-ship supply requisitions/orders
Engineering/Damage Control Training and Preparation
*Command Damage Control Qualifications attained: 3,893 a 578 locksmith repairs
*2,781 engraving jobs completed
*CBR - 6,000 gas mask canisters at $81,000.00
*Liquid oxygen/nitrogen produced: 39,747 gals
*Plastic Waste processed: 457,800 lbs
Ship's Fire Department responded to:
*3 Class "A" fires
*1 Class "B" fire
*2 Flooding incidents
*7 Toxic gas responses
*20 electrical fires
Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD)
*Repaired and made Ready-For-Issue 33,982 repairable items, achieving a 71 percent repair rate during the deployment, two percent above the CNAP average repair rate and the highest of any CNAP CV deployers and saving over $205 million in stock replenishment costs.
*Accomplished depot level repairs valued at $8 million in avoided depot level repair costs.
*Processed over 38,900 items between July 2002 and April 2003 in support of Carrier Air Wing Fourteen and the Battle Force Intermediate Maintenance Activity (BFIMA) program for Abraham Lincoln Battle Group assets.
*Supported 29,837 Carrier Air Wing flight hours.
*RFI1ed (18) F404, (17) F414. Issued 85 engines for nine different type model series aircraft.
*Qualified 110 EAWS, 35 ESWS.
*55 re-enlistments for 274 years of total service and $912,000 worth of SRB.
*Received COMPACFLT honor roll for retention, with a rate of 87.5 percent.
*Scheduled 62 schools.
*Awarded the Black “E” for AIMD Excellence.
Combat Systems Department
540,000 record messages received
27,000 record messages transmitted
over 3,000,000 e-mails processed
over 200 video teleconferences conducted
*Conducted nine precision anchorages.
*Conducted crane operations 13 days of a 14-day working port visit in Perth, Australia.
*Loaded over 200 Conex boxes with supplies and parts for the flight deck nonskid and catapult repair along with stores and mail.
*General Gleanings: 4,316
*Root Canals: 227
*Extractions : 1,618
*1,274 Powers of Attorney
*1,415 tax returns for $1,542,590 in refunds
*Major personnel injuries 0
*Loss of life 0
*Loss of aircraft 0
*VERTREP/CONREP Mishaps 0
*Temporary Duty (schools, TAD, etc.) Orders written: 651 (before Hawaii)
*Temporary Duty Money Spent: $1,195,668
*Junior Indoctrination Graduates (New Sailors): 720
*Senior Indoctrination Graduates (New Sailors): 205
*Total Indoctrination Graduates: 92 5
Chapter XV1 (January 2002 to 6 May 2003)
Part III of III - 6 May 2003 - Section 2
A Sailors Tale of His Tour of Duty in the U. S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983) Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw
(24 April 1980)
Book - ISBN NO.
EBook - ISBN NO.
Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to 2016)
Book ISBN NO.
EBook ISBN NO.
USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA Vol. I
(10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975) -
Book ISBN NO.
EBook ISBN NO.
USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to
25 August 1981) -
Book ISBN NO.
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USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990) -
Book ISBN NO.
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USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. I (27 December 1982 to
6 May 2003)
Book - ISBN NO.
To Be Announced
EBook - ISBN No.
USS Abraham Lincoln
(CVN-72) History Vol. II
(7 May 2003 to 13 January 2010)
Book - ISBN NO.
To Be Announced
EBook - ISBN NO.
USS Abraham Lincoln
(CVN-72) History Vol. III
(14 January 2010 to
31 December 2012)
Book - ISBN NO.
To Be Announced
EBook - ISBN No.
USS Abraham Lincoln
(CVN-72) History of
Refueling and Complex
(1 January 2013 to 2017
Sea Trials) Volume IV
Book - ISBN NO.
To Be Announced
EBook - ISBN No.
U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER SHIP HISTORY (1920 to 2016)
Book - ISBN NO.
EBook - ISBN NO.
Library of Congress
U. S. AIRCRAFT
(1953 to 2016)
BOOK - ISBN NO.
EBook - ISBN NO.
Library of Congress
ENERGY QUEST AND U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER DEPLOY. HISTORY INVESTMENT CAPITAL REQUIRED TO PUBLISH 55 EIGHTH HUNNDRED PAGE BOOKS, EBOOKS & CD’s (48 Navy Books)
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