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USS Abraham Lincoln finishes seven months of maintenance, upgrades

USS Abraham Lincoln departed San Diego Monday for two days of sea trials after undergoing a seven-month Planned Incremental Availability for maintenance and upgrades. Photo by Robin Lee/U.S. Navy
USS Abraham Lincoln departed San Diego Monday for two days of sea trials after undergoing a seven-month Planned Incremental Availability for maintenance and upgrades. Photo by Robin Lee/U.S. Navy

April 8 (UPI) -- The USS Abraham Lincoln has completed a seven-month planned incremental availability for maintenance and upgrades, the Navy announced Thursday.

According to a Navy press release, the availability included periodic maintenance and modernization of combat systems as well as upgrades to crew living, refrigeration and laundry spaces.

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The vessel also underwent retrofits to accommodate F-35 aircraft during the availability, which began at the end of September and cost about $160 million.

The work took place at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility's San Diego Detachment.

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The aircraft carrier departed San Diego on Monday for sea trials after completing the availability, and completed sea trials Wednesday, according to the Navy.

"No availability is easy, and this one was no exception to that, but as a team we navigated and overcame each challenge," Paula Chapman, project superintendent, said in the Navy's release.

"As the project superintendent I am proud of every member of 'Team Lincoln,' for the ability to fight through challenges together in support of the mission," Chapman said.

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The Navy's release said the project team organized military aircraft flights to maintain "bubble-to-bubble transport" for project members to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

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The Navy also set up handwashing and sanitizer stations, installed temporary barriers between desks and used teleconferences when possible.

"The [uniformed] Navy has a long-standing relationship with Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility that has gone on for decades," Capt. Walt Slaughter, commanding officer, Abraham Lincoln, said in the release.

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"The experts, technicians and engineers assigned to those units bring a unique and extremely diverse set of skills to the project that allows us to update and maintain all the complex machinery and equipment that make up this warship," Slaughter said.

In December, the Navy announced that Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt had been selected to assume command of the USS Lincoln, making her the first female commanding officer of an aircraft carrier.

Bauernschmidt is scheduled to take command of the vessel this summer, after she completes training, aviation and leadership training required of aircraft carrier commanding officer.

In May 2019, the carrier conducted joint operations with USS Kearsarge and their respective strike groups in the Persian gulf.

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