USS Abraham Lincoln deploys for first time with female captain

The ship is headed to the western Pacific amid rising tensions in the region

Updated: January 4, 2022 - 12:13pm

The USS Abraham Lincoln deployed Monday with the first female captain of nuclear-powered Navy aircraft carrier.

"These sailors are incredible professionals who have trained exceptionally hard to ensure they are ready for any operational obligations required of us on deployment," said Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, first woman to lead one of the Navy's 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. "They are going to do exceptional work out there, and I just can’t wait to watch them succeed."

Bauernschmidt graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1994, the first graduating class from which women were allowed to serve aboard combatant ships. Two years later, she became a Naval aviator, followed by a stint commanding the "Spartans" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 and amphibious transport dock USS San Diego.

Prior to taking control of the Lincoln, Bauernschmidt served as the executive officer of the ship from 2016-2019. 

The ship's current mission is a routine deployment to the western Pacific as tensions continue to escalate between China and Taiwan.

"Our mission is to provide combat capability and ready naval forces so that we can work alongside our allies and partners to be able to deter aggression and also counter malign influence," Rear Adm. Jeffrey Anderson at a press conference Monday.