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USS Ronald Reagan and USS Lake Champlain Arrive in Sasebo, Japan

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070224-03
Release Date: 2/24/2007 11:19:00 AM


From USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) arrived in Sasebo, Japan Feb. 23 for a scheduled port visit. While in port, the ships' crew members will have a chance to participate in friendship-building and goodwill-generating activities, as well as cultural exchanges.

Currently in the U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility (AOR) as part of a surge deployment to promote peace, cooperation and stability in the region, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is commanded by Rear Adm. Charles W. Martoglio. Homeported in San Diego, Ronald Reagan is the Navy’s newest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

“Our goal is to maintain and strengthen our alliances and friendships in the Pacific region,” said Martoglio.

“This deployment to the Western Pacific is a visible demonstration of the United States’ commitment to Japan and our other allies, friends, and coalition partners in the region. The United States Navy has and will continue to maintain a persistent forward presence in support of our treaty obligations, regional security, security of the maritime commons, and provision of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. We also greatly value our exceptionally strong relationship with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and this visit gives us the opportunity to make new friends and renew old friendships," added Martoglio.

Capt. Terry B. Kraft, the ship’s commanding officer, explained, “This surge deployment has kept us busy since we left. The ship and airwing have worked hard to refine their skills. This first-ever stop in Sasebo for USS Ronald Reagan will be a welcome break."

While in Sasebo, 150 crew members from Ronald Reagan will take part in six community service projects, including volunteering at three homes for the elderly and two children’s homes. Sailors will also donate their time to several community projects at Seiwa High School.

The Ronald Reagan CSG is comprised of Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 7, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain, the guided-missile destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 15. More than 6,000 Sailors are currently assigned to Ronald Reagan CSG.

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.

Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet is permanently embarked aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), which is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. The 7th Fleet AOR includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian oceans -- stretching from the international date line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.

More than half of the world's population lives within the 7th Fleet AOR. In addition, more than 80 percent of that population lives within 500 miles of the oceans. U.S. naval forces in Japan include six bases, 17 ships, hundreds of aircraft and thousands of personnel, which provide the foundation of the U.S. Navy’s forward deployed force of stability in this region.

Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier. 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. The ship returned to San Diego in July after a six-month maiden deployment.

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