PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (RRCSG), pulled into Naval Station Pearl Harbor on April 9 for a scheduled port visit on the return leg of its 2007 deployment in support of operations in the Western Pacific.
"The crew is excited to return to Hawaii because it means we are one step closer to home," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer. "The crew has worked hard over the past several months and this port visit will be a welcome break from our surge deployment schedule."
RRCSG is comprised of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 7, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7.
The more than 6,000 Sailors assigned to the Ronald Reagan Strike Group deployed Jan. 27 from San Diego 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.
Many Sailors from Ronald Reagan are planning on taking advantage of the ship's and Naval Station Pearl Harbor's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) discounted ticket program for tours and attractions all over the island -- including luaus, golfing, surfing and tours.
"I'm going to the Paradise Cove Luau," said Cryptologic Technician Maintenance 2nd Class (SW) Candice Holliday. "The pineapples are my favorite thing in Hawaii. I encourage anyone who hasn't been to Hawaii before to go to Diamond Head because it's so beautiful."
Some Ronald Reagan Sailors are making special plans to reenlist at both the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri Museum.
"Being from the state of Missouri I thought it would make sense for me to reenlist on the USS Missouri," said Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joanna Rippee. "It has a lot of history and I'm glad Ronald Reagan Sailors have the opportunity to reenlist on the historic battleship."
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.
During their time in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, the strike group participated in joint exercises with the Republic of Korea (ROK) as well as the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The ship also hosted numerous distinguished visitors from China, Japan and ROK.
Before departing Pearl Harbor, more than 500 friends and family members of the Ronald Reagan crew are expected to board the ship as part of a scheduled "Tiger Cruise."
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 (CVN 76) visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.