Navy Captain Makes History as First Woman to Command an Aircraft Carrier

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Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, USN, became the first woman to take command of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Aug. 19 at a change-of-command ceremony for USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in San Diego.
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Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, USN, became the first woman to take command of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Aug. 19 at a change-of-command ceremony for USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in San Diego.

Bauernschmidt, who was tapped for a 2022 carrier command in December along with five fellow officers, served as the carrier’s executive officer from 2016-2019, the first woman to serve in that capacity aboard a nuclear-powered flattop. She recently commanded USS San Diego (LPD-22), an amphibious transport dock.

“There is no more humbling sense of responsibility than to know you are entrusted with the care of the people who have chosen to protect our nation,” Bauernschmidt said at the Aug. 19 ceremony, according to a Navy press release. She also thanked outgoing commanding officer Capt. Walt “Sarge” Slaughter for turning over “the finest ship in the fleet.”

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the United States Navy. She is the second Navy ship to have been named after the former President Abraham Lincoln. Her home port is NAS North Island, San Diego, CA; she is a member of the United States Pacific Fleet. She is administratively responsible to Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific, and operationally served as the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Nine and host to Carrier Air Wing Two until 2012. She was returned to the fleet on 12 May 2017, marking the successful completion of her refueling and complex overhaul carried out at Newport News Shipyard. On 1 April 2019 USS Abraham Lincoln was deployed to the Middle East as the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 12 and Carrier Air Wing Seven assigned to her. Read more

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, USN, reads her orders during a change-of-command ceremony held Aug. 19 on the flight deck of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeremiah Bartelt/Navy)
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) underway in the Atlantic Ocean during a strait transit exercise on 30 January 2019. Abraham Lincoln, with assigned Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7), was underway conducting a composite training unit exercise with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12.

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