The Navy aircraft carrier made its final departure from Everett on Dec. 7, headed to a regularly scheduled deployment and then on to Virginia for an overhaul of its nuclear reactors.
If Port Gardner seems a little empty without the monolith, current technology provides an intimate, if limited, view of the ship and its crew.
The Lincoln's public affairs officer Lt. Cmdr. Steven Curry, who heads up the award-winning media team on the ship, invites people to become fans of the Abe on Facebook. Another way to see photos of what's happening on the Lincoln are available at www.navy.mil. Just search for the Lincoln.
On the Lincoln's Facebook page, one can find current videotaped reports by the skipper and other officers in the Lincoln's command.
A recent post is of the ship's air wing commander talking about counterpiracy operations in the Persian Gulf, along with thanks to the people of the "Lincoln Nation" for their support from home.
Issues of the Penny Press, the ship's weekly news magazine, are posted, complete with photos of the Nimitz-class carrier from the air and profiles of some of the sailors.
Videos of sailors' visits and humanitarian projects at various ports of call offer a travelogue for people who may never be able to take a vacation in places such as Thailand.
Other news department projects onboard include a chronicle of one sailor's 16-hour work day.
A highlight on the Facebook wall is access to the usually funny and always informative "Boat Show.''
In a recent show, sailors talk about exercise as a way to deal with stress, and how the ship's crew deals with the trash produced by the 5,000 people on board.
The Boat Show is alternately goofy and touching.
The "commercials" on the show are messages from sailors to their families. Most offer a "shout out" to spouses and parents and end their message with "Peace!"
The USS Nimitz is scheduled to move from Bremerton to its new homeport, Naval Station Everett, in the next several weeks.
The Nimitz also has a Facebook page, where fans can view issues of the Nimitz News.
There, for example, one can read about the late Lt. Cmdr. Regina Mills.
Mills, whose previous assignments included service on the Lincoln and at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, was killed Jan. 23 when she stopped to help a motorcyclist who had crashed on an icy stretch of Highway 16 near Bremerton. Mills was standing on the shoulder of the road when another crash caused a vehicle to hit and kill the officer.
Mills, 44, of Everett, was the aircraft handling officer on the Nimitz, responsible for the arrangement of aircraft on the flight and hangar decks.
The tributes on Facebook to Lt. Cmdr. Mills show the commitment of the Navy to its members and offer a peek at life on an aircraft carrier.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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