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Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet visits USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group

11 June 2021

From Petty Officer 3rd Class Askia Collins

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Samuel Paparo met with Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 Rear Adm. Will Pennington and warfare commanders from CSG-5 aboard the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), June 9.

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Samuel Paparo met with Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 Rear Adm. Will Pennington and warfare commanders from CSG-5 aboard the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), June 9.

The carrier strike group leaders from Ronald Reagan, the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, embarked staffs of Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), met to discuss warfighting readiness and professional development. After meeting with the warfare commanders and commanding officers from the strike group, the Pacific Fleet admiral addressed the crew over the ship’s announcement system from the combat direction center.

“It was very important to me to come out and talk with you, here, as you continue to hone the razor’s edge to be ready for combat throughout the world,” said Paparo. “I have a particular appreciation for you and your teamwork, your hard work, your combat readiness, your fidelity, and your zeal. I could not be more proud to be associated with this team.”

Ronald Reagan and Shiloh departed Yokosuka, Japan, in mid-May to begin their deployment, and were joined by Halsey arriving in U.S. 7th Fleet from Hawaii at the end of May. The meeting with the Pacific Fleet commander represented the first time that all CSG-5 leadership could meet in person.

“It is incredibly important for our team to hear from the commander of Pacific Fleet,” said Cmdr. Kelechi Ndukwe, commanding officer, USS Halsey. “I’m going to reiterate to my crew what he said about the incredible environment we’re operating in.”

In their discussion, Paparo touched on a variety of topics, many of which will serve as a guide for Sailors in the days ahead.

“It’s great to hear from the former U.S. 5th Fleet commander and the perspective he now brings as Pacific Fleet commander,’ said Cmdr. Justin Ott, commanding officer of the “Golden Falcons” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12. “Knowing the admiral’s thoughts on making an impact as leaders helps greatly as we continue our deployment.”

Carrier Strike Group 5 is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world, and with the help of 35 other maritime-nation allies and partners, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years, providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.

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