Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group 7 Enters 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility

USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The six ships of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group crossed the international date line June 9, entering the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

The strike group is made up 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); and the ships of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7--the guided missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73), USS Gridley (DDG 101) and USS Howard (DDG 83) and the guided missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43). The strike group entered the theatre after successful training in the 3rd Fleet (Eastern Pacific) area of responsibility.

"We are ready for any mission, any tasking," said Capt. Kenneth Norton, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer. "Our Sailors are prepared to carry out any mission in this region."

During their last visit to the 7th Fleet AOR, in 2008, the ships and aircraft of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group conducted an eight-day humanitarian assistance mission for the victims of Typhoon Fengshen in the Republic of the Philippines.

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.

USS Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth and newest 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 Reagan's presidency.