USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 and Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 7 staff are back at sea after visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) March 15-19.
During the four-day visit, Sailors spent their free time shopping, sightseeing, and experiencing the local culture of the city of Dubai. Reagan is currently on its maiden deployment, and this was the first time the ship has ever made a port visit to the UAE.
During the in-port period, Reagan's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program offered a variety of opportunities for Sailors to relax and have fun, including trips to a local water park, golf venues, desert safaris and various city tours.
"I didn't go on any tours, but I did go sightseeing," said Storekeeper Seaman Dominique Whitlock, of Chicago. "I've never seen a hotel in the shape of a sailboat or an actual ski resort attached to the mall until now."
Hull Technician 3rd Class William Clark said he was amazed by the city's landscape. "The architecture was nice," said Clark, a native of Detroit. "It shows how modernized the city has become."
Some Sailors enjoyed the many shopping opportunities Dubai had to offer. "I didn't expect to see designer stores out here," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Don Hammonds. "That kind of stuff isn't cheap. I took advantage of the currency exchange."
Reagan's visit to the UAE provided some much-needed rest and relaxation for the ship's crew, as well as a chance to experience a foreign culture firsthand. But after four days off, Reagan and the embarked air wing are back in business and conducting operations in the Persian Gulf.
Reagan is part of a regular rotation of U.S. forces currently supporting operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Arabian Gulf.
MSO sets the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and compliments the counter-terrorism and security efforts in regional nations. MSO denies international terrorist use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel weapons or other material.
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