Springfield delegation pays visit to USS Abraham Lincoln

The crew of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) hosted a tour for community leaders and Lincoln historians from Springfield, Illinois, throughout various spaces on the ship in Newport News, April 21.

The tour allowed the visitors a glimpse into the various day-to-day operations throughout the ship and provided an opportunity for Sailors to ask questions about their namesake.

“I’ve been in a shipyard before, but it’s still breathtaking to see the scale and complexity of this type of project,” said Paul Staab II, a Lincoln historian. “It’s a very humbling experience to be in the service of others, and we’re here to let Sailors know that we’re thinking of all of them.”

During the visit, the guests observed ship operations from flight deck control and toured the flight deck for a look at various flight operation components and an up-close look at the “72” lights on the tower.

“Lincoln was incredibly interested in innovative technology and would be proud to see all of this ship coming to life,” said Tim Townsend, a historian for the National Park Service. “I’m glad to come aboard and see the facility after hearing about Lincoln Sailors who had come to Springfield last year.”

While aboard, the visitors also had the opportunity to spend time in the galley, serving meals and speaking to the Sailors.

“It’s great to see all the positive attitudes and give back to Sailors on the ship,” said Tim Franke, director of operations for Abraham Lincoln National Airport. “I used to serve meals in a hospital during my high school and college years so this put me right at home to help out the ship today.”

One of the highlights of the tour was where the visitors saw an essential part of living aboard a warship – a berthing space. Visitors took turns opening the coffin lockers and climbed in the racks.

“You have to be in good physical shape getting in and out of those racks and really respect the Sailors you live with,” said Kathryn Harris, president of the Abraham Lincoln Association. “I didn’t know what to expect coming here today, but it’s been an amazing and overwhelmingly wonderful time spent seeing what the ship has to offer.”

The tour concluded with a gift exchange and the opportunity for the guests to mingle with the crew before departing.

“The biggest thing we hoped to accomplish today was building up a strong relationship with members from the city of the namesake of our great warship,” said Capt. Todd Marzano, Lincoln’s executive officer. “It’s been great to have everyone here today and gain so much knowledge from these Lincoln experts while showing them something in return.”

Lincoln is currently undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul(RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense.

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Image: US Navy