Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, the commanding officer of aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), made history on Monday as the first woman to command an aircraft carrier as it deployed to sea.
Bauernschmidt, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, assumed command of the aircraft carrier in August. With the ship’s departure from San Diego on Monday, she became the first woman to command a U.S. aircraft carrier at sea, according to the Stars & Stripes.
According to an August Navy press release, Bauernschmidt previously commanded the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70.
Bauernschmidt previously made history in August 2016 when she became the first woman to serve as the executive officer (XO) of a U.S. aircraft carrier, the second-in-command for the ship, in charge of managing the ship’s day-to-day operations.
“I would tell everyone that the Navy treats women fair and equally,” Bauernschmidt said in a 2017 interview where she discussed her selection as the first woman to serve as an aircraft carrier XO. “Throughout my career, I always felt I was treated as a naval officer first, an aviator second. I’ve been very fortunate in my career, but I think many women in the Navy have.”
In August after she assumed command of the docked USS Abraham Lincoln in San Diego, Bauernschmidt said, “There is no more humbling sense of responsibility than to know you are entrusted with the care of the people who have chosen to protect our nation.”
On Monday as the ship launched out to sea, Bauernschmidt said, “These Sailors are incredible professionals who have trained exceptionally hard to ensure they are ready for any operational obligations required of us on deployment. They are absolutely prepared for today’s deployment, and I have no doubt they will represent our nation proudly as we defend our national interests.”
The USS Abraham Lincoln departed from San Deigo alongside the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) and Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), USS Gridley (DDG-101), USS Sampson (DDG-10) and USS Spruance (DDG-111).
The Abraham Lincoln strike group also includes Carrier Air Wing 9, which the U.S. 3rd Fleet called “the most advanced air wing in the Navy.” Carrier Air Wing 9 includes Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314), the first Marine Corps squadron of F-35C fighter jets. The wing also includes three squadrons of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18 Growlers (an electronic warfare variant of the Super Hornet), and other aircraft.