ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN (NNS) -- Sailors from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 sailed back to sea after a third scheduled port visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) May 14-18.
During the four-day port visit, Sailors enjoyed the opportunity to experience the culture of the city of Dubai while shopping and sightseeing. Additionally, Ronald Reagan's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division offered a variety of sporting events and tours as inexpensive opportunities for Sailors to see the sights and relax.
"I participated in a walking tour offer through the USO [United Service Organizations]," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class William Finnelli, a flight deck crash and salvage crewman. "It gave me the opportunity to experience the sites and culture of the city that I most likely wouldn't have been able to experience on my own."
"The tour took me to parts of the city that as a tourist, I wouldn't usually think of going into," he added. "It gave me the chance to actually get a glimpse of everyday life of the local population of Dubai."
Some Ronald Reagan Sailors also took the opportunity to taste some traditional Arabic food and to acquire some last-minute souvenirs.
"This port visit, I found the Karama, a local market place full of local artwork and crafts," said Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class Brian Black. "There, I was able to find the last few mementoes to make my visits to Dubai complete."
Ronald Reagan is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of a routine rotation of U.S. maritime forces in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the region.
MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations.
MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
Commissioned in 2003, Reagan is the Navy's newest Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and departed San Diego Jan. 4 on her maiden deployment.
For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.