5 Ways the USS Abraham Lincoln Left its Mark on Hampton Roads

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Feb. 23, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo/Nikki Custer)
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Feb. 23, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo/Nikki Custer)

NORFOLK -- The USS Abraham Lincoln will bid farewell to Virginia on Monday when it goes on deployment and shifts its home port to San Diego.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was on the East Coast for a relatively short time for a nuclear refueling and other mid-life upgrades in Newport News.

But the Lincoln still left its mark on Hampton Roads and contributed to the Navy of the future. Here are five interesting things the Lincoln and its crew did after arriving in Hampton Roads in 2012.

Icemen

The crew of the Lincoln showed they can operate on frozen water, too. Sailors from the ship put on skates for a hockey game against sailors from USS Gerald R. Ford at Scope Arena in downtown Norfolk last March. The annual Blue-Gold Game supports the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which provides financial, educational and other assistance to service members and their families. Unfortunately for Team Lincoln, the Ford's team won 5-3.

An F-35 First

The Abraham Lincoln was the first Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to become capable of accommodating the Navy's new fighter jet, the F-35C Lightning II. In 2017, the Lincoln hosted carrier qualifications for the first nine aviators assigned to a fleet replacement squadron for the F-35. It's been hosting F-35s for training ever since and integrated the new aircraft with F/A-18 Super Hornets on the flight deck for the first time in August. The Navy's aircraft carrier air wings are forecast to consist of the F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters, and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.

"Top Gun II"

The Abraham Lincoln hosted a film production crew in August that was shooting footage for the sequel to the Hollywood blockbuster "Top Gun." The film crew's visit to the Lincoln coincided with training that was occurring with the F-35 and F/A-18 aircraft. Moviegoers will have to wait awhile to see if any scenes filmed aboard the Lincoln will be used in the movie. The release date has been pushed back to June 26, 2020.

Classroom Contributions

When not out to sea, many sailors assigned to the Lincoln could be found volunteering throughout Hampton Roads. In March, about 700 sailors participated in the annual Read Across America program. The sailors read books to children in 79 schools across five cities in one day. Sailors read to students in kindergarten through third grades from Dr. Seuss books such as "Imagine That," "Cat in the Hat," "If I Ran the Zoo" and "Oh, The Places You'll Go." Sailors also answered questions about military life from the students.

Hurricane Relief

The Abraham Lincoln was dispatched to the coast of Florida in 2017 to provide humanitarian relief in the wake of Hurricane Irma. While there, helicopters aboard the Lincoln ferried water and supplies to Naval Air Station Key West, Marathon, Port Everglades, Homestead Air Reserve Base and the USS Iwo Jima for further distribution ashore. Air crews also provided search and rescue and medical evacuation support.

This article is written by Brock Vergakis from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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