Ronald Reagan Strike Group Returns following 6-month Deployment

Story Number: NNS060707-14Release Date: 7/7/2006 12:30:00 PM
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By Mass Comunications Specialist 3rd Class Ashley Hickman, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned from a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific Ocean, July 6.

During the deployment, Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7 supported Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, conducted maritime security operations, and participated in joint and coalition exercises, including exercise Valiant Shield 2006, a major military exercise involving three strike groups and land-based Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard assets.

"The biggest exercise we took part in was exercise Valiant Shield at the end of cruise," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Reagan's commanding officer. "This exercise involved three strike groups coming together off the coast of Guam. It was the biggest gathering in that area since the Vietnam time frame. It was quite a challenging exercise to get all those units together, but the crew pulled it off beautifully."

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is made 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 McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), the fast-combat support ship USS Rainier (T-AOE 7), and Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit 11, Detachment (Det.) 15.

"The Ronald Reagan Strike Group has made a significant, positive contribution to military operations during this deployment," said Rear Adm. Michael H. Miller, commander of CSG 7. "We proved that President Reagan's motto, 'Peace through Strength,' is as applicable today as it was during his administration. With the speed, agility and persistence of this modern strike group, we made a difference in helping deter terrorism around the globe."

Reagan made port calls in Brisbane, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Hong Kong. During these port calls, Sailors volunteered in many local community projects to help those in need.

"When we deployed in January, over 60 percent of the crew had never been on a deployment," Kraft said. "So I got to watch them grow from being a brand new untested crew to being a combat proven aircraft carrier. I'm just so proud of these 5,000 Americans on board Ronald Reagan. The ship, air wing, and the staff really came together and just did an unbelievable job."

Reagan Sailors and thier families are also proud of the work the Sailors aboard Reagan did.

"I am so happy to have my son coming home," said Aurelia Parra, the mother of a Sailor aboard Reagan. "I'm so proud of all that he's accomplished in the Navy. This is his sixth deployment and probably the last. I can't express how much I've missed him."

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The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and her carrier strike group sail through the Philippine Sea as part of a 15-ship formation.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and her carrier strike group.
June 19, 2006
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