Most modern US aircraft carrier departs to support allies in Asia-Pacific

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is set to depart Naval Air Station North Island August 31 and sail the United States 7th Fleet area of responsibility to serve with the US Navy’s forward deployed naval forces (FDNF). “We are sending our most modern West Coast-based aircraft carrier to support the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and our allies,” Naval Air Forces commander Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker said.

The US Navy said USS Ronald Reagan’s departure from San Diego is part of the three-carrier swap announced by the Navy January 2014 involving Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS George Washington (CVN 73). The initial phase of the swap began when George Washington arrived in San Diego Aug. 10. Upon arrival, George Washington commenced a 10-day crew and equipment swap with Ronald Reagan.

Approximately two-thirds of American sailors deployed in USS George Washington are now members of the Ronald Reagan crew, while one-third remained with their ship, including Reactor Department personnel and aircraft carrier Commanding Officers, Executive Officers, and Command Master Chiefs.

USS Ronald Reagan completed sea trials and a post hull swap assessment August 29.

“Anytime there is a significant change of personnel the ship has to re-certify its flight deck and hangar bay,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate First Class Demetrius Davis, V-3 division leading petty officer. “The certification process ensured our personnel were able to secure aircraft properly, combat causalities and properly execute drills such as moving aircraft to different spots on the flight deck and hangar bay.”