Bush on Deck, USS Abraham Lincoln, declares major combat over. On May 1st, 2003, President Bush took the co-pilot's seat in an S-3 patrol aircraft as a former Air National Guard Aviator, and flew out to the returning aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln. He was the first president in history to make the dangerous carrier-arrested landing on an aircraft carrier. While there, he gave a speech declaring that major combat operations in Iraq were over, that the Hussein, Ba'athist regime was destroyed and that the still dangerous task of rebuilding Iraq was in full gear. Read his full speech HERE.