The strike group’s flagship, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), arrived at Naval Air Station North Island Thursday morning, while Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) also arrive at Naval Base San Diego. USS Gridley (DDG 101) and USS Sampson (DDG 102) return to Naval Station Everett, Wash.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) pulls into Naval Air Station North Island upon return to homeport. The Abraham Lincoln, lead ship of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, returned to Naval Air Station North Island after a deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets in support of maritime security operations to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joel A. Mundo) Taken: 08.11.2022 | Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joel Mundo
After departing their homeport in San Diego, the ABECSG conducted dual carrier operations in the South China Sea with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group to demonstrate the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s ability to deliver a powerful maritime force with a combined 14,000 Sailors and Marines.
While underway for 220 days, ABECSG sailed over 65,000 nautical miles conducting deterrence and presence operations and multinational exercises, including maritime security operations, integrated training between surface and air units, long-range maritime strike, anti-submarine warfare, information warfare operations, maritime interdiction operations, personnel recovery, air defense operations, multiple ship navigation, formation maneuvering and refueling-at-sea operations.
“Abraham Lincoln Sailors have worked exceptionally hard during this dynamic deployment and should be proud of their accomplishments,” said Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, Abraham Lincoln 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. Their hard work made the difference as we operated alongside joint and combined forces to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The ABECSG is the first carrier strike group to deploy with a U.S. Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, and the second to deploy with a Navy CMV-22 Osprey squadron, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30. During the deployment, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, embarked aboard Lincoln, executed more than 21,307 fixed-wing and helicopter flight hours comprising of 10,250 sorties, 8,437 launches and 8,487 aircraft arrestments.
While deployed, the strike group operated in some of the most heavily navigated waters of the Indo-Pacific including the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea. The strike group successfully completed deterrence operations and exercises alongside the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and multiple joint forces over the course of the year.
Notable exercises included joint exercise Valiant Shield in June 2022, and bilateral exercises Noble Fusion in February and Jungle Warfare in March, both with the Japanese Self-Defense Force, and, most recently, the ABECSG trained alongside 26 participating nations during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 in July.
“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, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 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.”
The strike group operated alongside other strike groups including the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, led by Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76); and the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, led by Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2).
The ABECSG consists of Abraham Lincoln, embarked staffs of CSG-3, CVW-9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21; Mobile Bay, and destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), Gridley, Sampson and Spruance.
Fitzgerald will return to San Diego at a later date.
The squadrons that make up Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW) 9 are fighter attack squadron (VFA) 41, VFA 151 and VFA 14; VMFA 314; VRM 30; electronic attack squadron (VAQ) 133; airborne early warning squadron (VAW) 117; helicopter sea combat squadron (HSC) 14; and helicopter maritime strike squadron (HSM) 71.
Carrier Strike Group 3 provides a combat-ready force to protect and defend the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its regional allies and partners. Collectively, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of more than 6,000 Sailors and Marines, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe.
An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations—from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.