NORTH ISLAND, Calif. (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and attached ships of the Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) surge deployed to the 7th Fleet Area of Operations from Naval Station North Island on Jan 27.
Surge deployments are part of the Navy's Fleet Response Plan (FRP), that ensures ships are able to respond to real-world situations by maintaining high states of readiness during their surge windows.
"The biggest thing is getting yourself and your family mentally ready," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Reagan's commanding officer.
According to the wife of Lt. Cmdr. Nick L. Rapley, "I kind of got used to the routine of not having my husband around [during the ship's maiden deployment last year.] It doesn't mean it's not hard being alone, but with him being in the Navy, we are always ready for things like this. The ship's ready, my husband's ready and I'm ready to help support him while he's gone."
Other families have come up with creative ways to deal with the absence of deploying Sailors.
The wife of Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Dennis P. Anders, created what she calls, "Daddy Kisses." Their four children each get a chocolate kiss before bedtime as a way of saying goodnight to their father.
"They each have a picture of him by their beds and we make calendars to count down the days. We also talk about him, write letters and send packages," she said.
Sailors also have ways of communicating with their families back home with family video conferencing, phone calls, e-mail, and United Through Reading, a program in which families receive videotapes of their Sailors reading books to their young children.
"I am so proud of the Sailors and their families. It's never easy to deploy, but the support of America is so important. It's so important to cherish that," said Reagan CSG Commander Rear Adm. Charles W. Martoglio.
The CSG is includes, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Commander Carrier Strike Group 7 (CCG 7), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Detachment 15.
Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named for the 40th U.S. president; its motto, "Peace Through Strength," was a recurrent theme during the Reagan presidency.
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