SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group, comprised of Ronald Reagan, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, returned to San Diego Nov. 21 following a 12-day quarterly sustainment training under the Navy's Fleet Response Training Plan (FRTP).
Ronald Reagan's participation in the FRTP was part of the Navy's continuing effort to ensure ships maintain a heightened state of readiness for short-notice deployments in support of the global war on terrorism.
Additionally, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group played a vital role with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group during Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 07-1 off the coast of southern California.
"The crew may not realize the importance of an underway like this. However, these are perishable skills, and we need to practice if we are going to be ready in case the president calls on us to support combat operations," said Cmdr. C. J. Deni, Ronald Reagan's operations officer.
"In addition to working with two new destroyers, USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Russell (DDG 59), we have taken TSTA [Tailored Ship's Training Assessment], COMPTUEX [Composite Training Unit Exercise] and JTFEX, which took us between July and December last year and compressed it into only 12 days of intense but critical training," said Deni.
According to the DESRON 7 staff, the underway period provided a variety of training scenarios, including exercises in anti-submarine warfare, plane guard and front-line defense.
"We used this underway to recertify our ability to conduct combat operations while also joining forces with the Stennis Strike group for dual-carrier operations," said Lt. Cmdr. Duane Lambert, DESRON 7 operations officer.
"These exercises tested our warfare commanders, pilots, ships and operators to respond to challenging and dynamic scenarios designed to force quick analysis, measured reaction and consideration for the rules of engagement," said Lambert.
The success of the underway period was shared by Ronald Reagan's commanding officer.
"This sustainment training proved that the Ronald Reagan and CVW-14 team can still perform at the same level we demonstrated during our combat deployment," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft. "Our goal was to refresh the skills we utilized earlier this year, and we certainly succeeded."
Ronald Reagan is the Navy's newest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and returned to San Diego July 6 following its maiden combat deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.
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