Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reagan Carrier Strike Group Arrives in Thailand for Port Visit

ARABIAN SEA (July 6, 2009) - In this file photo, an F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the "Fighting Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Oliver Cole.)

Focus on Defense:

PHUKET, Thailand, Sept. 22, 2009 -- Three ships and more than 5,000 sailors from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group arrived at the island of Phuket, Thailand Sept. 22.

The strike group's flagship, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) anchored out near Thailand's largest island.

Nearly 330 strike group sailors are scheduled to participate in nine volunteer projects, including painting a Thai Islamic school and an orphanage for children who were victims of the 2004 tsunami. Sailors will also build a house for one Thai family as part of Habitat for Humanity.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group recently left the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR). They spent more than two months supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, counterpiracy operations off the coast of Somalia and the Horn of Africa, and Maritime Security Operations to include protecting vital Iraqi infrastructure in the North Arabian Gulf.

Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is currently in U.S. 7th Fleet AOR as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to promote cooperation, security and stability in the region.

The strike group is also comprised of the ships of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7; the guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73), USS Howard (DDG 83) and the guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43). Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 is embarked aboard Ronald Reagan. The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is commanded by Rear Adm. Scott Hebner.

The squadrons of CVW-14 include the "Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the "Fist of the Fleet" of VFA-25, the "Stingers" of VFA-113, the "Eagles" of VFA-115, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the "Cougars" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support (VRC) 30, and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.

This is the fourth deployment for USS Ronald Reagan. The ship is named after the 40th U.S. president, and carries the motto of "Peace through Strength," a recurrent theme during the Reagan presidency.

(Report from a Carrier Strike Group 7 Public Affairs news release.)

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