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The USS Abraham Lincoln is objectively not the most nimble vehicle in the Pentagon’s arsenal. At 1,092 feet long, 252 feet wide and nearly 1,000 tons of naval engineering expertise, the nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier wasn’t designed to chase Russian submarines or blow up Somali pirates, but to serve as a floating hub for American airpower across the planet. Its motto of “shall not perish,” culled from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, is no wishful thinking: the Lincoln wasn’t just built to fight, but endure.

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