CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The crew of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned home Dec. 17 to Naval Air Station North Island after completing Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 06-2 off the coast of Southern California with Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7.
The nine-day exercise tested the Ronald Reagan Strike Group's ability to operate alongside other U.S. and coalition forces in a complex, hostile war-fighting environment. JFTEX was also the final step in preparing the strike group for deployment.
"The Sailors participating in this exercise performed better than any group I've experienced," said Rear Adm. Michael H. Miller, Carrier Strike Group 7 commander. "We proved that the Ronald Reagan, DESRON (Destroyer Squadron) 7 and CVW (Carrier Air Wing) 14 have the speed and agility to quickly execute operations around the world in support of the war on terrorism," he added.
According to Ronald Reagan Commanding Officer Capt. Terry B. Kraft, the success of JTFEX 06-2 was the direct result of all of the hard work and dedication exhibited by the officers and crew of the ship.
"It is just great to watch the way a crew, a ship and an air wing come together to meet the kind of high level of tasking that we're performing right now, and we're ready for more" said Kraft.
While underway for JTFEX, Reagan also raised more than $240,000 for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) as part of the annual fund drive. The amount set an all-time record for CFC contributions aboard an aircraft carrier, and qualified Reagan for the coveted "silver award" for level of donations.
The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is comprised of CVW-14, DESRON 7, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Reagan, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the guided-missile destroyers USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), the fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7), the fast-attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 15.
The squadrons of CVW-14 include the "Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squardron (VFA) 22, the "Fist of the Fleet" of VFA-25, the "Stingers" of VFA-113, the "Eagles" of VFA-115, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 113, the "Cougars" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squardron 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron 30, and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 4.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.