NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- PCU Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Sailors embarked aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), which is currently underway participating in combined Composite Training Unit (COMTUEX) and Joint Task Force (JTFX) exercises, Jan. 28.
These exercises are the final training evolutions a carrier participates in prior to deployment. Seventeen Sailors from Reagan's aircraft intermediate maintenance department (AIMD) joined the 50 CVN 76 Sailors already aboard.
"I'm ready to go. I love sea duty. I'm proud to go support the war effort," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Michael Harrison, AIMD administration leading petty officer. "It's a great chance for me to show the Sailors how to do their jobs, and it will give them hands-on training so when they return to Ronald Reagan, they can be that much better at what they do."
"It says U.S. Navy on my uniform," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Ronald A. Burgess, who went on the last Theodore Roosevelt deployment. "We all have a job to do."
Burgess' past experience deploying on Theodore Roosevelt was a great help when it came to preparing the rest of the Sailors for the deployment.
"We just need to follow the little details, making sure everyone's records are updated and that they get collected. There's a lot of little things that goes into coordinating deployment. Since I've done this before, I knew what humps the Sailors would encounter, and I could help them get past that," he said.
For many of the Sailors, this is their first time at sea. "I'm glad to go," said Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Eddie Cobb. "This is what I joined for. It's my first time going anywhere. All through Boot Camp and 'A' school, our instructors would talk about the 'real' Navy. Now I get to see the Navy. I'm excited."
In the last two years, nearly 1,000 Ronald Reagan Sailors have deployed on seven aircraft carriers, most recently in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
For more information about the Sailors who will serve aboard Ronald Reagan, visit www.reagan.navy.mil.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76.