Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group Concludes Operations in 7th Fleet, Scheduled to Head Home
Dispatches from the Front:
ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN, Nov. 16, 2008 -- The six ships of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group concluded military operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) Nov. 14.
Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7 is comprised of the flagship, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76); embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14; the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62); guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73), USS Howard (DDG 83) and USS Gridley (DDG 101); and the guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43). The more than 6,000 Sailors assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group departed its homeport of San Diego May 19.
"The talented and dedicated Sailors of this strike group performed at the highest levels of excellence," said Rear Adm. Scott Hebner, commander of CSG-7. "I'm tremendously honored to sail with them all.
The Ronald Reagan Strike Group's deployment was a busy one, to say the least. While in the 7th Fleet AOR, Sailors and air crews from all six ships responded to the aftermath of Typhoon Fengshen in the Philippines.
U.S. Navy and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel coordinated efforts, forming an emergency response team to distribute immediate aid to stricken typhoon victims. Engineers from Ronald Reagan repaired two hospital generators, restoring electrical power. Air crews flew 332 sorties around Panay Island, delivering more than 519,000 pounds of vital supplies to typhoon victims.
The strike group also participated in training exercise with key maritime partners. USS Howard participated in South East Asia Cooperation against Terrorism (SEACAT), training with the navies of Brunei, Singapore and the Republic of the Philippines in maritime security operations. Later, the strike group took part in Exercise Malabar 2008, a bilateral training exercise with the Indian Navy, improving the communications and coordination capabilities of the two navies as a dozen U.S. and Indian ships drilled in surface, air and subsurface training.
Another key mission area for the Ronald Reagan Strike Group was engagement. While in 7th fleet, CSG-7 ships made port calls to Sasebo, Japan; Hong Kong; Busan, Republic of Korea; Guam; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand and Singapore. During the port visits, Sailors enjoyed tours, purchased souvenirs, tasted Asian cuisine and volunteered their time in various orphanages, schools and elderly care centers.
"Ronald Reagan Sailors were models of ambassadorship at each and every stop we made. Our Sailors consider these port visits 'duty ashore' and performed these duties in an exemplary fashion, showing our friends around Asia the best America has to offer," said Capt. Kenneth Norton, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer.
Now in the U.S. 3rd Fleet Area of Responsibility, the ships of CSG-7 are scheduled to return to their homeport of San Diego later this month.
(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bill Larned, Carrier Strike Group 7 Public Affairs.)
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