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Navy declares missing USS Abraham Lincoln sailor dead

Petty Officer 2nd Class Slayton Saldana, a sailor on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, has been officially declared dead after he went missing on July 17, 2019, and search and rescue efforts failed to find him.

U.S. NAVY

By JOSHUA KARSTEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 30, 2019

MANAMA, Bahrain — The USS Abraham Lincoln sailor who was reported overboard earlier this month in the Arabian Sea has been declared dead, Navy officials said Wednesday.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Slayton Saldana, an aviation electronics technician from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 5, was initially listed as duty status whereabouts unknown, or DUSTWUN, 5th Fleet said in a statement July 21. He had been reported overboard on July 17, and “extensive” search and rescue efforts ended on July 19.

A Navy official who declined to be named confirmed that Saldana’s status was changed from DUSTWUN to “deceased,” in line with military policy.

Saldana, a native of San Antonio, Texas, attended high school in Virginia and enlisted in the Navy in 2015, Saldana’s father said to San Antonio’s local NBC affiliate News S4SA. Saldana served with the helicopter squadron since 2018, USNI News reported.

Lincoln and her carrier strike group deployed from Norfolk, Va., in April. They are scheduled to circumnavigate the globe in route to new homeport of San Diego as part of a three-carrier homeport swap with the USS Vinson and USS Stennis.

Lincoln’s deployment to 5th Fleet waters was rushed ahead in May when tensions escalated between the U.S. and Iran.

karsten.joshua@stripes.com
Twitter: @joshua_karsten

 

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