JEBEL ALI, United Arab Emirates (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7, including USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 arrived in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates (UAE), March 15 for a scheduled port visit.
While in port, the 4,800 crew members will have a chance to tour, shop and enjoy liberty.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is currently conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf, as well as supporting operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Reagan's aircraft have been supporting ground troops in Iraq since arriving in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations last month.
Rear Adm. Michael H. Miller, commander of the Reagan Carrier Strike Group, said Sailors are excited about the visit to UAE because Reagan has been at sea for more than 30 consecutive days, and this would be the first port visit since the ship arrived in the region.
"Our aircraft have been supporting the troops on the ground in Iraq every day since we arrived," said Miller. "In addition to liberty for the crew, this port visit is a visible reminder of our commitment to security and stability throughout the region. We share a common goal with our friends in the UAE of preserving the free and secure use of the world's oceans, and denying terrorists the use of the high seas as a venue to transport personnel or materials."
Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Reagan's commanding officer, echoed the words of the Carrier Strike Group commander.
"Our port visit to Dubai is a well deserved break for the officers and crew who have been working very hard to support operations in the Arabian Gulf," said Kraft.
"Visits to places like Jebel Ali and Dubai in the UAE are a great opportunity for our Sailors to experience a culture much different from their own," said Kraft. "The UAE is an important ally in the region in supporting the efforts of coalition maritime forces who are supporting maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf."
During the port visit, Reagan's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program will be offering a variety of tours and activities for Sailors. Scheduled events will include shopping trips, desert safaris, city tours, golf and a visit to a local water park.
Commissioned in 2003, Reagan is the Navy's newest Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship left its homeport of San Diego Jan. 4 on her maiden deployment.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.