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Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln Conducts ‘Fast Cruise’ as Midlife Overhaul, Refueling Nears Completion

A sailor walks across the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln is in the final stages of a four-year Refueling and Complex Overhaul. US Navy Photo

The Nimitz-class carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) has completed its final training event ahead of rejoining the fleet after a four-year-long overhaul and refueling, the service announced on Monday.

Lincoln while at Newport News Shipbuilding conducted a five day “fast cruise” as the carrier nears the completion of its refueling and complex overhaul at the Virginia shipyard.

“The fast cruise was Lincoln’s last training simulation before departing Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. The purpose of the fast cruise was to have the full focus of Lincoln’s crew on training, drills and ship-wide evolutions designed to allow Lincoln and her crew to build the confidence and proficiency to return to sea,” read a statement from the service.
“Since February, the crew has been simulating various underway emergency scenarios to include general quarters, man overboard, abandon ship, propulsion plant casualty drills and fire drills all focused on ensuring Lincoln sailors are performing as an operational team before returning to the fleet.”

Lincoln’s $4 billion RCOH began in 2013 after a six-week delay amidst of the funding angst of the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The overhaul marks the halfway mark of a carrier’s life that will allow Lincoln new systems and enough fuel to operate for another 25 years.

Following Lincoln’s departure from Newport News, carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) is set to enter the dry-dock portion of its availability in August, according to a March announcement from the service.

The following is the complete May 8, 2017 statement from the Navy.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) — The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) spent the final days of its four-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) completing its official “fast cruise” May 2-7, in preparation for the ship’s long-awaited return to the fleet this month.

The fast cruise was Lincoln’s last training simulation before departing Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. The purpose of the fast cruise was to have the full focus of Lincoln’s crew on training, drills and ship-wide evolutions designed to allow Lincoln and her crew to build the confidence and proficiency to return to sea.

“The fast cruise helped us to solidify team work and processes within our damage control, engineering and medical response teams as well as identify and repair any defects within our operating systems,” said Lincoln’s training officer, Lt. Cmdr. Paul Henderson. “Our ship is ready to return to the fleet, but what is even more imperative is that our Sailors are ready to get underway and respond to casualties to protect our ship and our crew.”

Since February, the crew has been simulating various underway emergency scenarios to include general quarters, man overboard, abandon ship, propulsion plant casualty drills and fire drills all focused on ensuring Lincoln Sailors are performing as an operational team before returning to the fleet.

“The training scenarios and ship-wide drills we’ve executed these last few months are skills that Sailors can lose when faced with such a long RCOH period,” said Command Master Chief James Stedding. “Being in the shipyards and not being Sailors at sea, required us to be more focused and diligent about training. The excellent response we’ve seen from all training teams and the ship has proved we are ready to be both firefighters and warfighters at sea.”

The various simulations have allowed Sailors a more hands-on experience to familiarize themselves with their underway responsibilities, take ownership of their spaces and equipment and continue to increase shipboard knowledge and damage control effectiveness.

Abraham Lincoln is the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to complete RCOH, a major lifecycle milestone at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News. She returns to the fleet as one of the most modern and technologically-advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in service and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense for an additional 25 years.

 

Categories: Budget Industry, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.