The US Navy's USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has departed Naval Station Norfolk to conduct carrier qualifications (CQ) and flight deck certification (FDC) tests.
USS Abraham Lincoln has recently completed a four-year mid-life refuelling and complex overhaul service at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding site.
CQ and FDC certification procedures mark major milestones in the vessel’s journey from the shipyard to be deployment with the US Navy as a fully capable warship.
Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln's crew will be assessed to determine their capability in successfully conducting day and night-time flight deck operations as part of the evaluations.
They will also undergo assessment for emergency barricade testing, flight deck firefighting and crash and salvage drills.
Abraham Lincoln air boss commander David Burmeister said: “For the past year, air department sailors have trained and prepared for this underway period.
“Everyone has been waiting for this opportunity to get our flight deck certified and bring Lincoln back to operational status.”
CQ operations involve longer work hours for every sailor involved, along with a significant increase in workload and longer deployment periods.
Additionally, the CQ will test the crew's ability to work together as a team, as sailors from almost every department aboard are involved in the successful launch and recovery of aircraft.
The US navy aircraft carrier is designed to launch and recover pilots from Carrier Air Wing 7 in F / A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets, E-A-18G Growlers and C-2 Greyhounds.
It will be the first CVN capable of accommodating the F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter.
Image: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) conducts high-speed turn drills during sea trials. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3nd Class Juan A. Cubano / Released.