On May 18, Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt was relieved by Capt. Pete Riebe as commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), during a change of command ceremony held on the flight deck.
Bauernschmidt successfully completed her command tour, marking a milestone in U.S. naval history – being the first woman to command an aircraft carrier.
“Lincoln’s strength is the Sailors,” Bauernschmidt said addressing the crew. “What we all do matters and our hard work makes the difference.”
During her 21 months of command, the Sailors of Abraham Lincoln completed a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 7th and 3rd Fleet Area of Operations, culminating in the Lincoln serving as the flagship for the largest Rim of the Pacific Exercise to date with 32 coalition partners.
“There remain complicated challenges around the globe,” said Bauernschmidt. ‘We must remain steadfast in doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I know under Capt. Riebe’s leadership you will continue to strive for excellence in daily tasks and cohesion across Lincoln Nation, addressing obstacles, remaining ready and continuing your development into the most effective, powerful and trusted fighting force.”
Other significant events during Bauernschmidt’s tenure include Lincoln hosting the first Marine Corps F-35C squadron integrated into the Air Wing of the Future and hosting the NCAA Armed Forces Classic basketball game on Lincoln’s flight deck in San Diego.
Rear Adm. Kevin Lenox, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Three, presided over the ceremony.
“Over the course of her CVN command tour, Captain Bauernschmidt has shown herself to be an immensely impactful leader,” said Lenox. “She did this job as well I as I have ever seen it done, by anyone.”
“At sea, she led 5000 Sailors, operating forward, supporting the international rules based order, ready to compete and prevail at any level on the spectrum of conflict,” Lenox continued. “Once home she prepared her ship for extensive improvements ensuring that USS Abraham Lincoln will emerge later this year with the Navy’s newest combat capabilities, ready again answer the nation’s call.”
Bauernschmidt was awarded the Legion of Merit for her superior accomplishments and will report to Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet for her next tour of duty.
A time-honored naval tradition, the ceremony allows the crew to formally acknowledge the passing of command from the current commanding officer to the next.
Capt. Riebe takes command of Lincoln after serving as Commanding Officer of USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and executive officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). He completed the Aviation Nuclear Officer training pipeline in 2018 and has accumulated more than 3,800 flight hours throughout his career.
“Thank you and congratulations to Capt. Bauernschmidt,” said Riebe. “Clearly you have led this ship and crew well, and I’m thankful for the thorough and complete turnover. I look forward to seeing your continued success in the Navy and know that you are always welcome on Abraham Lincoln.” “Our mission is no-fail and America is counting on us,” Riebe said, addressing the crew. “We are a critical cog for the United States to maintain our maritime superiority and military dominance. We will ensure that we are ready and focused on maintaining the warfighting advantage needed to win.”
Capt. Bauernschmidt commissioned in 1994, was designated a Naval Aviator in 1996. She was one of the first women to be assigned to a combat squadron in the Navy after the combat exclusion policy for women was lifted in 1993.
This year, the U.S. Navy commemorates 50 years of women flying in the Navy. The first class of women entered flight school in 1973 and one year later, six of those women earned their wings of gold.
USS Abraham Lincoln is home-ported at Coronado Naval Air Station North Island and is currently moored pierside.
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