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Uss Abraham Lincoln, Crew Join Puget Sound Fleet

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has added a second aircraft carrier to its ranks with the arrival of the USS Abraham Lincoln and its crew of 3,000.

The ship’s arrival Friday is part of a major Navy expansion on Puget Sound.

The Lincoln, formerly based in Alameda, Calif., will undergo a 12-month overhaul at the shipyard before moving in December 1996 to its permanent base at the new Everett Naval Station.

Several thousand new families from the Lincoln’s crew are settling in the area, said Cathy Howard, a family ombudsman whose husband, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Clint Howard, serves on the carrier.

The ship arrived in Bremerton carrying 50 families, 575 vehicles and some household goods.

“We call it a ‘Noah Ark’ cruise because of the cars and pets being carried aboard,” Howard said.

The Navy said Friday that its original plan to house many of the Lincoln’s crew in the Everett area and bus them to Bremerton each day has been scrapped.

Instead, about 1,150 of the Lincoln’s 1,800 single crew members will stay in leased hotel or motel rooms during the carrier’s overhaul. Leased buses transport people to and from work.

Another 650 sailors will live in government quarters at the shipyard and the 1,000 married crew members and their families, who receive government housing allowances, will use private-sector housing.

Leasing the motel-hotel space in Bremerton and Tacoma will cost $8.3 million and transportation will cost $575,000, said shipyard spokesman John Dennis.

The 1,096-foot-long Lincoln joined its sister ship, the USS Nimitz, which is preparing for a six-month tour in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.

Tags: military

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