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Friday, August 5, 2011

A True Adventure Abroad the USS Abraham Lincoln Aircraft Carrier

Navy Week Los Angeles 2011
Last week was Navy Week in Los Angeles. For a few days, the Navy allowed civilians to board and tour the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. Seeing as this was a very rare opportunity (and the fact that an aircraft carrier hasn't been docked in the Port of Los Angeles in 20 years!), I was really eager to go!
Cruise Terminal during Navy Week
But as you can imagine, I wasn't the only one! THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of people descended upon the harbor!
The line to see the USS Abraham Lincoln during Navy Week
It was so crazy that there was a 2.5-HOUR WAIT! Just to board the shuttle bus that takes you to the area where the carrier was docked!
The line for the security screening
Once the bus dropped us off, there was another line to go through security. Wow! I wonder if the Navy expected this big of a turnout. Fortunately, security was fairly quick - your typical airport security procedure and then finally, what I had been waiting for...
USS Abraham Lincoln
...the USS Abraham Lincoln! Isn't she breath-taking?
So formidable.
 So intimidating.
Inside the USS Abraham Lincoln
 So... big!
Rescue Equipment used on the USS Abraham Lincoln
Inside, they had various stations and displays showing some of the equipment used aboard the aircraft carrier. We got to see some of the rescue equipment and even try on the firefighting suits and helmets!
The US Flag abroad the USS Abraham Lincoln
One of the highlights was actually getting to ride the large platform elevator! You're probably thinking, "Elevator? What's so great about that?"

USS Abraham Lincoln elevator going up
USS Abraham Lincoln elevator continuing up
Well, like everything else on the ship, the elevator was HUGE! How else are you supposed to transport aircrafts on this carrier?
Here's a video of us descending from the top floor (the flight deck/runway) to the lower floor!

On the flight deck, various planes were on display with their pilots, who were more than happy to answer any questions.
E-2C Hawkeye 2000 on the USS Abraham Lincoln
F/A-18F Super Hornet on the USS Abraham Lincoln
HSM-77 Saberhawk on the USS Abraham Lincoln
 Just look at the size of the machine gun pointed out the door!
Another F/A-18F Super Hornet on the USS Abraham Lincoln
The flight deck runway of the USS Abraham Lincoln
From here, the runway seems fairly decent sized, but out at sea, I'd imagine this would seem more like a postage stamp! The pilots who take off and land here must possess amazing skill.
USS Abraham Lincoln Control Tower
Another view of the USS Abraham Lincoln Control Tower
USS Abraham Lincoln
USS Abraham Lincoln in the Port of Los Angeles
The USS Abraham Lincoln is truly remarkable. It was such an honor being aboard her. Thank you to the Navy for giving us the chance to see inside this aircraft carrier! And thank you to all the fine men and women risking their lives to protect us! It was a true adventure!


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