Wednesday, August 20, 2008

USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group Arrives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Bill Larned, Carrier Strike Group 7 Public Affairs

PORT KELANG, Malaysia (NNS) -- Three ships and more than 5,500 Sailors of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7 arrived in Malaysia for a port visit Aug. 18.

The strike group's flagship, the Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) pulled into Port Kelang.

"This visit helps build maritime cooperation and cultural understanding between the United States and Malaysia," said Rear Adm. Phil Wisecup, commander, Carrier Strike Group 7. "We're all pretty excited to visit a modern, vibrant city like Kuala Lumpur."

This marks the fifth port visit for CSG 7 during its 2008 Western Pacific deployment, and the second visit to Malaysia by USS Ronald Reagan. The carrier last visited in June 2006.

"Our Sailors plan to do some sightseeing and shopping in this magnificent country," said Capt. Kenneth Norton, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer. "They'll also make a positive impact for the needy ashore."

More than 320 strike group Sailors will volunteer their time and efforts in eight community service projects in Malaysian orphanages, schools and homes for the elderly.
Sailors will have opportunities to explore Malaysia during Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities, including rock climbing, elephant rides in Kuala Gandah and tours of downtown Kuala Lumpur and historical Malacca.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is currently in the U.S. 7th Fleet's area of responsibility as part of a routine deployment to promote peace, cooperation and stability in the region. Homeported in San Diego, USS Ronald Reagan is the Navy's newest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.