200120-N-HD110-0245 SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits San Diego Bay. Lincoln arrives at Naval Air Station North Island after a 10-month deployment to the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operations. U.S. Navy Photo

U.S. Navy Names First Female Commanding Officer of a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier

Mike Schuler
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January 5, 2021

The U.S. Navy for the first time in its history has named a woman to lead one of the service’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

The Navy announced last Friday that Captain Amy Bauernschmidt will assume the role of commanding officer aboard the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) beginning next summer after completing the nuclear power, aviation, and leadership training required of all aircraft carrier commanding officers.

Captain Amy Bauernschmidt. U.S. Navy Photo

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be selected,” said Bauernschmidt. “I love leading Sailors and I take that responsibility extremely seriously.”

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Bauernschmidt graduated from the United Stated Naval Academy in May 1994 as part of the first graduating class in which women were allowed to serve aboard combatant ships and aircraft. She was later designated as a Naval Aviator in 1996 and served with several helicopter squadrons throughout her career, having commanded the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 and amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD-22).

Bauernschmidt was also the first woman to serve as the executive officer aboard an aircraft carrier, a position she held on the Lincoln from September 2016 to January 2019.

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