“Santa Claus” directs the launch of an F/A-18 Super Hornet aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeremiah Bartelt

A sailor dressed as Santa Claus directs the launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet aboard the San Diego-based USS Abraham Lincoln in a holiday photo released by the Navy.

The nuclear-powered super carrier was in the South China Sea when “Santa” gave the thumbs up to launch this attack jet attached to the “Pukin’ Dogs” of Strike Fighter Squadron 143.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations along with Destroyer Squadron 2 and Carrier Air Wing 7.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeremiah Bartelt captured this photo on Christmas Eve.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.