USS RONALD REAGAN, At sea (NNS) -- The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group (RRSG) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet's area of responsibility (AOR) Feb. 9, as part of a surge deployment to promote peace, cooperation and stability in the region.
Led by Rear Adm. Charles W. Martoglio, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group will be filling the role of USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), the Navy's only permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier, which is undergoing scheduled maintenance in Yokuska, Japan.
"Our friends and allies in the region can be assured of continued, robust interaction with our Navy in the form of mutual training opportunities, exchanges, and port visits," said Martoglio, commander, Carrier Strike Group Seven (CCSG 7). "We are committed to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Pacific region."
The RRSG completed its maiden combat deployment in July, 2006, following six months of supporting Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, as well as conducting maritime security operations.
"Our mission during this surge deployment is to support our nation's defense and our cooperative security commitments overseas," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer. "We are ready and able to rapidly respond to a range of situations on very short notice."
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is comprised of CCSG 7, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the guided-missile destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 15. More than 6,000 Sailors are currently assigned to RRSG.
The squadrons of CVW-14 include the "Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the "Fist of the Fleet" of VFA-25, the "Stingers" of VFA-113, the "Eagles" of VFA-115, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the "Cougars" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support (VRC) 30, and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.
Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet is permanently embarked aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), which is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. The 7th Fleet AOR includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian oceans -- stretching from the international date line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.
More than half of the world's population lives within the 7th Fleet AOR. In addition, more than 80 percent of that population lives within 500 miles of the oceans, which means this is an inherently maritime region.
Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth and newest Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named after the 40th U.S. president, and carries the motto of "Peace through Strength," a recurrent theme during the Reagan presidency.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.