USS RONALD REAGAN, At sea (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 concluded military operations as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7, in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) on April 6.
The more than 6,000 Sailors assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group deployed Jan. 27 under the Navy's Fleet Response Plan (FRP), which provides the U.S. the ability to respond globally to a wide range of situations, on short notice, with flexible and sustainable forces.
Demonstrating the commitment of the United States to peace, security and stability in the Pacific region, the Ronald Reagan strike group deployed to the Western Pacific while USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, underwent scheduled maintenance in Yokosuka, Japan.
"The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group performed a key role in providing stability in the Western Pacific region during its surge deployment," said Vice Adm. Doug Crowder, U.S. 7th Fleet Commander. "I am very impressed with the high level of readiness the strike group showed working with Japanese and Korean naval forces. These Sailors are great ambassadors for the United States."
Rear Adm. Charles W. Martoglio, Commander of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group was also pleased with the performance of the strike group.
"Our strike group made a significant, positive contribution to our relationships with friends, allies and coalition partners as well as improved the readiness of our forces to meet the broad array of challenges in the maritime environment," said Martoglio. "We value the close relationship with our friends in this part of the world and we work very closely to address regional issues of vital importance to us all."
During their time in the 7th Fleet AOR, the Ronald Reagan Strike Group participated in joint exercises with the Republic of Korea as well as the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The ship also hosted numerous distinguished visitors from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer, added, "The officers and crew of Ronald Reagan were able to accomplish every mission while in the 7th Fleet AOR and were good ambassadors at each and every port call."
According to Capt. Richard Butler, commander, CVW-14, the embarked air wing maintained an intense flight schedule while the carrier strike group was operating in the 7th Fleet AOR.
"The air wing, comprised of some of the most advanced aircraft in the world, is an example of naval airpower that can be quickly relocated to support U.S. interests and our allies in the region," said Butler. "Our focus each day was to keep the best-trained aircrews and best-maintained aircraft ready to execute missions when called upon."
While in the region, the Reagan strike group also made three port calls: Sasebo, Japan; Hong Kong; and Busan, Republic of Korea. During the port visits, the Sailors enjoyed the local culture, purchased souvenirs, and hundreds volunteered their time in various orphanages, homes for the elderly, and assisted living centers for the disabled.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is comprised of CVW-14, 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 Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 15.
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 Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support (VRC) 30, and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.
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.
Commissioned in July 2003, Ronald Reagan is the ninth and newest 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.
For more news from USS Ronald Reagan, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.