The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln departed its homeport of San Diego on Monday for regularly scheduled deployment with its carrier strike group.
Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, the carrier’s commanding officer, is the first woman to lead a nuclear carrier in U.S. Navy history and took command of the ship in August 2021. She previously was the carrier’s executive officer from 2016-2019, after serving as the commanding officer of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 and the amphibious transport dock San Diego.
“These sailors are incredible professionals who have trained exceptionally hard to ensure they are ready for any operational obligations required of us on deployment,” Bauernschmidt said in a Navy news release. “They are absolutely prepared for today’s deployment, and I have no doubt they will represent our nation proudly as we defend our national interests.”
The Lincoln is deploying with Carrier Air Wing 9, which includes Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 — the Marine Corps’ first F-35C Lightning II stealth fighter jet squadron.
The squadron wrapped up a final integrated training cycle with the Lincoln and the carrier strike group in December 2021, after becoming ready for a carrier deployment and full combat operations in July 2021.
“Our squadron is proud to have pioneered the F-35C program through the stand-up and transition to the DoD’s newest fighter aircraft,” Major Zachary P. Hartnett, executive officer of VMFA-314, said in a Marine Corps news release in December. “Completing this phase of training now allows our squadron to shift our focus to the next task at hand, the Marine Corps’ first deployment aboard an aircraft carrier with the F-35C Lightning II early next year.”
The Lincoln’s carrier strike group also includes the guided-missile cruiser Mobile Bay, and the guided-missile destroyers Fitzgerald, Gridley, Sampson and Spruance.
The Lincoln last deployed in April 2019 from Norfolk, Virginia, where the carrier was previously homeported. The carrier conducted a 10-month deployment — after being extended twice — and arrived at Naval Air Station North Island in Jan. 2020.