About 6,000 sailors with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (CSG) are returning from the longest deployment in the post-World War II era, according to the U.S. Navy.
The CSG has been deployed for 294 days across the globe -- navigating more than 64,000 nautical miles -- in support of counterterrorism efforts with operations Freedom's Sentinel and Inherent Resolve, the U.S. Navy said.
Photos: Thousands of Sailors Return From 10-Month Deployment with Lincoln CSG
“This carrier is what kept us from going to war with Iran," CSG Commander Rear Adm. Michael E. Boyle said. "The deterrents that this carrier provides allowed us to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East and you can take that to the bank."
said the ship's seven-month presence in the Persian Gulf acted as a deterrent for escalations from Iran.
“If Iran decided they wanted to continue to escalate, they did that with the knowledge just over the horizon was Abraham Lincoln and the firepower that comes with this ship, the air wing and its strike group," Boyle said.
Service members deployed with the CSG have been trickling back to San Diego over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and on Monday, USS Lincoln will bring the rest to its new homeport of San Diego.
Eager San Diegans lined the base awaiting the return of their loved ones on Monday.
U.S. Navy Lt. Emily Judstra, a spokesperson for USS Lincoln, shared the overwhelming feeling of returning home.
“The emotions are really second to none. It's invigorating, it's exciting, it’s a little bit nerve-wracking, you’re a little bit anxious and overall its just a tremendous feeling,” Judstra said.
Their ‘around the world deployment’ from Norfolk, Virginia to San Diego, California was extended multiple times.
The CSG is comprised of flagship Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, Carrier Air Wing, and the staffs of Carrier Strike Group 12 and Destroyer Squadron 2.
Over the weekend, members of Helicopter Marine Strike Squadron 79, part of the Abraham Lincoln CSG, returned home.