New US aircraft carrier set to patrol Asia-Pacific

The United States Navy reports that Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is now in San Diego, a major city in California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, to conduct a 10-day hull swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) as part of a force structure change. USS George Washington arrived in San Diego August 10.

USS Ronald Reagan will relieve USS George Washington as US Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan. George Washington will return to Newport News, Virginia, for a mid-life refueling complex overhaul following a deployment around South America.

“Key personnel, especially those related to unique systems, will remain with their ships. For training of new crews, each ship will go through a tailored syllabus following the crew swap.” Captain Timothy Kuehhas, USS George Washington’s commanding officer.

Following the turnover and personnel swap between RR and GW, RR will conduct a flight deck certification and tailor the ship’s training availability before departing the Southern California operating area to proceed to the US 7th Fleet area of responsibility. The 7th Fleet is headquartered at US Fleet Activities Yokosuka, in Yokosuka, Japan.

Five of the seven US Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in 7th Fleet area of responsibility which are Republic of the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.