The USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea on Dec. 10, 2010 (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Mickler)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — More than nine months after embarking on what was supposed to be a seven-month round-the-world deployment, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln is finally on course for its new home port of San Diego.

The ship, which has been operating in and around the Middle East since May, left the region in mid-December and is bound for home.

When the carrier left Norfolk, Va., on April 1, its crew knew it was in for a deployment that was outside the norm. Not only was it deploying to the Middle East, but it also was switching home ports from the East Coast to the West, originally due in San Diego around Halloween. Many Lincoln family members moved across the country over the summer — without the help of their sailors — in order for children to start school in time for the new school year.

World events — and maintenance issues on another carrier — led to the ship's mission being extended well beyond its original return date.

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The USS Harry S. Truman and ships assigned to its carrier trike group in the Atlantic Ocean during an exercise, February 16, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The Pentagon has tried twice in the past year to push a plan that would retire the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman decades early and cut its air wing.

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The aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Strike Groups and ships from the Republic of Korea Navy transit the Western Pacific Ocean Nov. 12, 2017. (U.S. Navy/ Lt. Aaron B. Hicks)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The new acting secretary of the Navy said recently that he is open to designing a fleet that is larger than the current 355-ship plan, one that relies significantly on unmanned systems rather than solely on traditional gray hulls.

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The Navy's beleaguered USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier may not have working weapons elevators, but it's certainly got some moves.

The $13 billion supercarrier on Wednesday returned to Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia after several days of sea trials, a major step for a much-hyped carrier that just spent 15 months undergoing post-shakedown repairs to correct a slew of ongoing technical problems.

But just because only four of the Ford's 11 critical weapons elevators doesn't mean you can't still have fun. According to a fresh batch of photos uploaded to the Defense Visual Imagery Distribution System on Tuesday, the Ford's sea trials included a raucous round of high-speed turns.

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor Loessin)

In January, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer promised President Donald Trump that the Ford's weapons elevators would be fully installed and operational by the time the carrier returned to the open ocean for fresh trials. No word yet on how that's going.

A U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat aircraft flies a combat mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on Aug. 14, 2004. (U.S. Navy/Staff Sgt. Lee O. Tucker)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Navy aircraft were sidelined as they awaited parts last year that the service actually had in a warehouse. The problem? They didn't even know the warehouse was there.

"Not only did we not know that the parts existed, we didn't even know the warehouse existed," Thomas Modly, the Navy's No. 2 civilian said at last week's annual Military Reporters and Editors conference.

The issue was discovered in last year's Navy- and Marine Corps-wide audit, which Modly said has helped the sea services correct some serious problems tracking inventory it owns.

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As Rep. Elaine Luria sees it, this week's decision to extend the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln speaks to a more serious problem with the aircraft carrier fleet, and the evidence is front and center in Hampton Roads.

The Lincoln will remain deployed for an unspecified time because repairs are taking longer than expected on the USS Harry S. Truman, the carrier assigned to replace it.

But at the moment, not one of the Navy's six East Coast carriers — either at Naval Station Norfolk or Newport News Shipbuilding — are close to combat-ready, Luria said in a House Armed Services hearing this week.

So when a single carrier is sidelined longer than expected, it can become a problem.

In an exchange with Navy leaders, the Virginia Beach Democrat said: "So the taxpayers have made a good investment to have six carriers on the East Coast, plus I understand one on the West Coast — seven of our 11 carriers — in a non-deployable status, and we're having to extend the Lincoln on deployment because of one emergent casualty on one carrier? That's where you desire to be?"

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