Navy Makes History with First Female Captain to Take U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Sea

On August 29, 2021, the United States Navy entered another first into the logs of U.S. naval history. It was on that day that Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt was commissioned as the first female sailor to command a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln.

As you may know, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is one of the most complex and most powerful warships in the world. Such ships are literally floating cities with their own airports, hospitals, and everything else that goes along with almost 6,000 crew, including 3,200 in the ship’s company and 2,480 in its Air Wing. Its range, as a nuclear-powered ship, is unlimited, and the huge ship can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.

Photo: YouTube/CBS 8 San Diego

The Air Wing on the USS Abraham Lincoln, in this case, Carrier Air Wing 9, is considered the most advanced Air Wing in the U.S. Navy and includes:

  • 8 squadrons of F-35C Lightning IIs,
  • F/A-18/F Super Hornets,
  • EA-18G Growlers,
  • E-2C Hawkeyes,
  • C-2A Greyhounds and MH-60R/S Sea Hawks
Photo: YouTube/CBS 8 San Diego

The USS Abraham Lincoln is the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 3. She departed San Diego under the command of Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt on January 3, 2022, and will lead Carrier Strike Group 3, which includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), USS Gridley (DDG-101), USS Sampson (DDG-102), and USS Spruance (DDG-111)

As you can surmise, the command of such a large ship and its complement of other warships, supply ships, subs, etc., is a monumental responsibility requiring experience and recognized strategic and leadership skills. The sailors chosen for such responsibilities are of the highest quality in the U.S. Naval Service. Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt is just such a person.

Photo: YouTube/CBS 8 San Diego

Bauernschmidt graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1994, the same year that service on combat ships and planes was opened to female sailors. She has over 3,000 flight hours under her belt. Her command experience includes being the CO of Helicopter Maritime Squadron 70 (HSM-70) and of the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD-22).

Photo: YouTube/CBS 8 San Diego

In a 3rd Fleet press release, she is quoted as saying: “These sailors are incredible professionals who have trained exceptionally hard to ensure they are ready for any operational obligations required of us on 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.”

The Veterans Site wishes Fair Winds and Following Seas to the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), her crew, and her new Commanding Officer, Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, as she leads Carrier Strike Group 3 of the U.S. 3rd Fleet and joins the U.S. 7th Fleet on their missions during these challenging times around the world. Godspeed to all!

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