Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) attended a series of Return and Reunion training classes July 23 to Aug. 3, following eight months at sea and just prior to the ship’s arrival in Norfolk.
The Norfolk Fleet and Family Services office coordinated classes focusing on financial well-being, family reintegration, and building healthy relationships with both children and spouses.
Fleet and Family Services offered the classes to ease service members’ transitions to home life following an extended deployment period.
Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Kyle L. Smith said he gained insight into some of the changes he will face after an eight-month deployment.
“The instructors did not sugarcoat what to expect when we are with our loved ones at home,”Smith said. “They talked to us about how to deal with the different levels of stress and anger that are to be expected.”
In addition to the relationship classes, Virginia State Police Trooper Mark S. Walden visited the ship to educate Sailors about Virginia laws and how they apply to service members. Walden covered topics ranging from vehicle safety to newer state laws and existing laws he said many people aren’t aware of.
“As a retired boatswain’s mate, I understand exactly where every Sailor on board is at right now,” said Walden. “My suggestion would be to ride around with someone for the first few days so you can have time to acclimate yourself to traffic and the rules of the road. Norfolk is far stricter on state laws than other cities because of the high military traffic that comes through the city.”
Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Dec. 7, for a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility (AORs) and to change homeports from Everett to Norfolk for a periodic refueling complex overhaul.
Lincoln deployed as the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 9, which was also comprised of Carrier Air Wing 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and Destroyer Squadron 9, composed of guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104).
Naval Today Staff, August 7, 2012; Image: US Navy