Back in June, sailors aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) extinguished an electrical fire that broke out in the compartment of an emergency generator.
While crewmembers successfully put out the fire in a short time frame, non-essential sailors were temporarily evacuated.
According to the U.S. Naval Institute, zero injuries were reported.
At the time, the USS Abraham Lincoln was docked at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California for a scheduled maintenance availability.
The U.S. Navy’s fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was named to honor the 16thpresident of the United States.
Part of the Carrier Strike Group Three (CSG-3) with Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9), the USS Abraham Lincoln is the flagship of the strike group.
An overview of the Nimitz-class
Ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers comprise the Nimitz-class, which has remained in service with the U.S. for more than four decades. Back in the 1970’s, the Nimitz-class carriers were tasked to supplement the Kitty Hawk and Enterprise- classes after the aging carriers were decommissioned from service.
The initial ships were designed following the Vietnam War, when the Navy recognized that carriers with increased capabilities were necessary in the modern era. For this reason, Nimitz carriers were constructed with greater stores of aviation fuel and larger magazines than its predecessors.
Introducing the USS Abraham Lincoln
In the early 1980’s, the USS Abraham Lincoln’s keel was laid at Newport News, Virginia and was officially launched by 1988. Measuring around 1,000 feet in length with a beam of roughly 250 feet, the carrier displaced 97,000 tons. Up to 82 aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornets, E-2C Hawkeyes and EA-6B Prowlers fixed-wing in addition to SH-60F and HH-60H Seahawk helicopters make up the carrier’s air wing. In terms of onboard radars, the USS Abraham Lincoln is fitted with air search radar, acquisition radar, air traffic control radars, landing air radar and other guidance systems. Armament-wise, the aircraft carrier can pack a punch. As detailed by Naval Technology, “Weapons on board the USS Abraham Lincoln include two Mk 57 Mod3 SeaSparrow surface-to-air missile launchers, two RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile short-range surface-to-air missile launchers and three Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS).”
Within two years of entering service with the U.S. Navy, the USS Abraham Lincoln was deployed to the Western Pacific in response to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1991. However, while en route to the conflict, the carrier was diverted to aid evacuation efforts following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on Luzon Island in the Philippines. Ultimately, the USS Abraham Lincoln was credited with leading the rescue operation that resulted in the safe sea-lifting of 20,000 evacuees.
For nearly fifty years, the Nimitz-class carriers- including the USS Abraham Lincoln- have represented the largest and most capable warships across the globe. As the service lives of these ships is quickly approaching, however, the Navy is looking towards newer and more modern vessels like the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) to lead the way. Regardless of when the Nimitz class fully decommissions, the formidable ships will be remembered in the annals of Naval history.
Maya Carlin, a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, is an analyst with the Center for Security Policy and a former Anna Sobol Levy Fellow at IDC Herzliya in Israel. She has by-lines in many publications, including The National Interest, Jerusalem Post, and Times of Israel. You can follow her on Twitter: @MayaCarlin.