Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lincoln Flies Final Flight in Support of OEF

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Mickler, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) aircraft flew their last flights in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) for the ship's current deployment, Feb. 3.

Since Lincoln's first flight of the deployment in support of OEF, Oct. 20, 2010, Lincoln's air wing (CVW-2) has launched more than 1,800 combat sorties in excess of 10,000 flight hours with a 100 percent completion rate.

Lt. Charles Schellhorn, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2 pilot, said the deployment has definitely been a success.

"For four months, we supported coalition troops on the ground in Afghanistan, giving them the safety and security that only we can provide," Schellhorn said. "These contributions made Afghanistan a safer place and helped to strengthen the government forces while simultaneously helping to eradicate terrorist networks that bring violence and instability to the region."

Having passed the torch to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to take up the ongoing support of OEF, Lincoln Sailors can reflect on their experiences and accomplishments.

Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Allissa Kinsey said she has enjoyed contributing to the success of the OEF mission.

"There is a feeling of relief knowing that we have done our part and supported the troops on the ground," Kinsey said. "We can leave knowing that the Vinson is taking over, and they will do a great job, just as we did."

Kinsey and her colleagues loaded missiles, bombs and 20 mm rounds equaling more than 900,000 lbs. of ordnance during the deployment.

"I'm honored to be on the Lincoln and to be involved with the OEF mission," said Kinsey. "I finally had the chance to say that I am protecting our country and our freedom."

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation.

This article was sponsored by Military Books.

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