The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is now en route to its new homeport in Japan. CVN 76 departed its home for nine years Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego August 31. USS Ronald Reagan replaced the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier and will assume duties in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility upon arrival.
“Ronald Reagan has been embraced as America’s Flagship. Not only does she have strong ties to Americans, she also has ties to the people of Japan,” said Rear Admiral John Alexander, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. “In 2011 Ronald Reagan was one of the first responders to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan during Operation Tomodachi. The ties that were established with the ship and our host nation will continue to grow.”
Seventh Fleet is responsible for maintaining United States military presence in Western Pacific and Indian Ocean to promote peace, regional cooperation and stability. Five of the seven US Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in the area which are Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
The area covers 36 maritime countries including China, Russia, India, North Korea and Republic of Korea.
“USS Ronald Reagan is 11 years newer than USS George Washington (CVN 73), which means the carrier has benefited from 11 years of evolving technology,” said Captain Christopher Bolt, USS Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “America’s Flagship will serve our nation as a cornerstone of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces based in Yokosuka, Japan.”
The US Navy said in a news release USS Ronald Reagan provides a combat-ready force that works with the navies of other nation partners to protect the collective maritime interests of the US and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.