Navy

Nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier deployed for first time with female captain

USS Abraham Lincoln
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Pearson/U.S. Navy via AP

A nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier deployed on Monday for the first time with a woman in command.

The USS Abraham Lincoln departed from San Diego on a regularly scheduled deployment under the command of Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, who is the first woman to lead one of the Navy’s 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

“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 statement on the deployment.

“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,” she continued.

Bauernschmidt’s history-making began long before commanding the Lincoln. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1994, the first graduating class in which women were allowed to serve aboard combatant ships and aircraft, according to a Navy announcement from December 2020.

She was designated as a Naval Aviator in 1996 and served on several helicopter squadrons. She previously commanded the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 and amphibious transport dock USS San Diego.

Prior to commanding the Lincoln, Bauernschmidt served as executive officer aboard the Lincoln from 2016 to 2019 — also making her the first woman to serve as the executive officer aboard an aircraft carrier.

Bauernschmidt took command of the Lincoln in August, relieving Capt. Walt Slaughter after 26 months in command.

The Lincoln departed on Monday with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to support global maritime security operations, according to U.S. 3rd Fleet, which leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific.

The strike group includes guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay and guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald, USS Gridley, USS Sampson and USS Spruance.

Tags Strike Group US Navy USS Abraham Lincoln
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