USS Abraham Lincoln returns to San Diego, two missile cruisers to follow
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group returned to its home port of San Diego on Thursday, marking the end of a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet area of operations.
The strike group's flagship, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, arrived at Naval Air Station North Island Thursday morning, while Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance are also scheduled to arrive at Naval Base San Diego on Thursday, while USS Gridley and USS Momsen return to Naval Station Everett, Washington.
After departing San Diego, the Carrier Strike Group conducted dual carrier operations in the South China Sea with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. While underway for 220 days, the group steamed more than 65,000 nautical miles.
"Abraham Lincoln Sailors have worked exceptionally hard during this dynamic deployment and should be proud of their accomplishments," said Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, USS Abraham Lincoln's commanding officer. "It is incredibly humbling to serve alongside these professionals and observe their dedication to the mission.
"Every day of our seven-month deployment, this talented crew displayed grit, resilience and professionalism in the execution of their jobs," she said. "Their hard work made the difference as we operated alongside joint and combined forces to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific."
The Abraham Lincoln group is the first carrier strike group to deploy with a U.S. Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II squadron and the second to deploy with a Navy CMV-22 Osprey squadron.
The strike group completed deterrence operations and exercises alongside the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and multiple joint forces over the course of the year.
"Over the past seven months, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group served as a flexible and dynamic response option and demonstrated its commitment to partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region," said Rear Adm. J.T. Anderson, commander of Carrier Strike Group 3. "Our strike group conducted a myriad of joint and combined missions and exercises. Throughout the Indo-Pacific, it is clear how significant our relationships are with our allies and partners and how impactful every single Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Sailor and Marine has been since we departed in January."
Destroyer USS Fitzgerald, part of the strike group, will return to San Diego at a later date.