NORFOLK -- Nearly 6,000 sailors are scheduled to deploy Monday with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group.
The deployment is being capped off by a homeport change, during which the USS Abraham Lincoln will return to San Diego, the Navy said in a news release Wednesday. The USS John C. Stennis is expected to arrive later this spring for the aircraft carrier's anticipated mid-life refueling and overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding. The Stennis is next in line after the USS George Washington, which has been at the shipyard since summer 2017.
Lincoln completed its midlife refueling and overhaul in 2017, during which it became the first Nimitz-class carrier capable of accommodating the Navy's F-35C Lightning II aircraft.
The Lincoln strike group includes the embarked Carrier Air Wing 7. The guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf and guided-missile destroyers USS Bainbridge, USS Mason and USS Nitze will also deploy April 1, the Navy said. The guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzales left earlier this month to perform ballistic missile defense and other missions. Spanish frigate ESPS Mendez Nunez will also join the Lincoln and stay with the strike group until October, the Spanish Navy said.
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