The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transiting the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Sherman

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) is America’s fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship was named in honor of our nation’s 16th president and is the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear his name.

“Shall Not Perish”

The Nimitz Class aircraft carrier continues to be the hub of forces necessary for operating forward. In times of crisis, the first question leaders ask is: “Where are the carriers?”

Namesake: Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States
Class: Nimitz-class Aircraft Carrier
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co. in VA
Flagship: Carrier Strike Group 12
Cost: $5.2 billion
Laid Down: 3 November 1984
Launched: 13 February 1988
Christened: 13 February 1988
Commissioned: 11 November 1989
Homeport: NS Norfolk, Virginia
Motto: Shall Not Perish
Nicknames: Abe
Status: active service as of 2018
Refuel & Complex Overhaul: May 2, 2017 returned to fleet.
Displacement: 104,112 long tons
Length: Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 M)
Propulsion: 2 x Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors, 4 steam turbines, 4 x shafts, 260,000 shp (194 MW)
Speed: 30+ knots (56+km/h; 35+mph)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20-25 years
Complement: Ships Company: 3,200, Airwing: 2,480
Sensors & processing systems: AN/SPS-48E 3-D air search radar, AN/SPS-49(V)5 2-D air search radar, AN/SPQ-9B target acquisition radar, AN/SPN-46 air traffic control radars, AN/SPN-43C air traffic control radar, AN/SPN-41 landing aid radars, 4 x Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems, 4 x Mk 95 radars
Aircraft Carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters

Sideboys render honors to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson upon his arrival to the aircraft carrier. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary P. Wickline

A U.S. Navy supercarrier’s 5,500-plus person crew exists to do one thing: to consistently put aircraft into the air and safely recover them after they launch. In order to make this happen, there exists a small army of flight deck crew, and each individual has their own role primarily designated by the color of the shirt they wear.

A Guide to the Color Coded Shirts of Flight Deck Crew on All U.S. Aircraft Carriers

Purple – Aviation Fuels nicknamed “Grapes”
Blue – Plane Handlers, Aircraft Elevator Operators, Tractor Drivers, Messengers & Phone Talkers
Green – Catapult & Arresting Gear Crews, Air Wing Maintenance Personnel, Cargo-Handling Personnel, Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Troubleshooters, Hook Runners, Photographer’s Mates, Helicopter Landing Signal Enlisted Personnel (LSE)
Yellow – Aircraft Handling Officers, Catapult & Arresting Gear Officers, Plane Directors
Red – Ordnancemen, Crash & Salvage Crews, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
Brown – Air Wing Plane Captains, Air Wing Line Leading Petty Officers
White – Air Wing Quality Control Personnel, Squadron Plane Inspectors, Landing Signal Officer (LSO), Air Transfer Officers (ATO), Liquid Oxygen (LOX) Crews, Safety Observers, Medical Personnel

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) launches a Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) during a Live Fire With a Purpose (LFWAP) exercise. U.S. Navy photo
Information on this carrier courtesy of the United States Navy and