ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. embarked the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), while it conducted routine carrier qualifications off the coast of San Diego June 27 and 28.
The 24-hour visit was part of a Navy program that helps community leaders learn more about carrier operations and the crews that direct them. Governor Huntsman traveled quite a distance from Utah, but that didn't keep the statesman from learning more about the operation of the mobile combat airport or its Sailors. The trip gave the governor new insights, but he was also able to pass along a message of his own.
"This visit gave me great appreciation, not only for the citizens of my country who serve in the Navy, but also the citizens of our state as well," said Huntsman. "The people back home are extremely proud of them."
After a day of watching flight operations and receiving an extensive tour of the ship, the governor ate breakfast with Utah Sailors on board. The state's sons and daughters were excited about the rare opportunity.
"Visiting with the governor and his staff was a wonderful experience," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Michael Benson, a native of Cedar City, Utah. "It is a good reminder that people in our home states appreciate what we are doing and support our efforts. It makes all the hard work worth it."
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.