The USS Abraham Lincoln is the pride and joy of the US Navy’s aircraft carrier fleet. Part of a Carrier Strike Group, the Lincoln heads a formidable fleet of aircraft carriers that patrol US waters, engage in strategic missions, and are a major aid in humanitarian efforts. Plus, the USS Abraham Lincoln is so huge that it is practically an island of its own. One of the largest of 288 ships in active service, the Lincoln weighs 100,000 tons, stretches 1092 feet in length, and runs on 2 Westinghouse nuclear reactors and 7 steam turbines. 3,200 personnel call the Lincoln home during a typical deployment. The ship even has a barbershop to help Navy shipmates keep a clean cut.
Built in the early 1980s, the USS Abraham Lincoln saw action in Operation Desert Storm and the Persian Gulf in the early 1990s. Later, the USS Abraham Lincoln was on the front lines of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Perhaps the most famous moment aboard the ship was when President George W. Bush gave a celebratory speech now known as the “Mission Accomplished” speech because of the banner on the ship with the same phrase. The USS Abraham Lincoln had just returned from Iraq after 10 months. Although a controversial speech, the Lincoln was inarguably instrumental in holding the line during the early stages of the Iraqi War, and the USS Lincoln accomplished their mission abroad.
The Lincoln has spent just as much time, if not more, providing humanitarian assistance than in combat. Even before Operation Desert Storm, the ship evacuated military families in the Philippines after a volcano eruption. In Southeast Asia, after the earthquake in December 2004, the Lincoln was also instrumental in providing aid. The Lincoln is more than a symbol of US military might; it is a symbol of the US military’s dedication to making the world a safer place.