USS Ronald Reagan to Begin Asian Patrols with USS Carl Vinson This Month

By | May 09, 2017 10:43 PM EDT
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USS Ronald Reagan escorted by warships of Carrier Strike Group 5. (Photo : US Navy)

The U.S. Navy nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Roland Reagan (CVN-76) is now pushing through the Pacific Ocean off Tokyo for sea trials before beginning its annual patrol of the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean later this month along with another navy carrier, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and its Carrier Strike Group One (CSG-1).

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Both carrier strike groups are also expected to patrol in the Sea of Japan (or the East Sea) to the east of the Korean Peninsula.

The USS Ronald Reagan, the navy's only forward deployed carrier and the centerpiece of the navy's most powerful carrier strike group, took to sea once again on May 7 after a four month-long "Selected Restricted Availability" (SRA) maintenance at its homeport, the United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka or Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) in Yokosuka, Japan.

CFAY is the largest strategically important U.S. naval installation in the Western Pacific.

The carrier's crew will undergo a number of qualification and certification exercises while at sea.

"I am extremely proud of the Reagan crew's accomplishments up to this point of our SRA period," said Capt. Michael Donnelly, Commanding Office, USS Ronald Reagan.

"We are all looking forward to completing sea trials and returning to operations in the 7th Fleet."

The USS Ronald Reagan and its Carrier Strike Group 5 (CSG-5) is the navy's largest and most powerful carrier strike group.

The addition of the USS Ronald Reagan and its four squadrons from Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5) consisting of some 60 Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet strike fighters will bring to over 110 the number of strike fighters aboard the Reagan and the Vinson.

The CVW-5 strike fighter squadrons are VFA-27 (Royal Maces); VFA-102 (Diamondbacks); VFA-115 (Eagles) and VFA-195 (Dambusters). Including these four strike squadron, there are nine aircraft squadrons in CVW-5. Two of these squadrons operate Sikorsky MH-60 multi-mission helicopters.        

CSG-5 includes three Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers and DESRON 5 with its seven Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.

Ronald Reagan and the 10 surface combatant ships of CSG-5 operate out of CFAY while CVW-5 operates out of Atsugi, Japan when not embarked on the Reagan. Together, these units form the U.S. Navy's only continuously forward deployed carrier strike group.

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