The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to Yokosuka, Japan Dec. 16, following a seven-month strike group deployment across 7th Fleet.
During Ronald Reagan’s deployment, the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 flew more than 17,635 flight hours, and the ship transited nearly 57,000 nautical miles. The strike group departed Yokosuka May 20 and worked closely with Allies and partners in supporting the rules-based international order while maintaining presence and combat flexibility through participation in Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Exercise with Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, Exercise Valiant Shield 2022 around Guam with more than 13,000 joint force personnel in a U.S.-only biennial field training exercise in June, and operations in the South China Sea in July and August. In August, the ship returned to Yokosuka for a brief maintenance period.
The strike group returned to sea on Sept. 12 and participated in Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise with ROK forces near South Korea in September, trilateral and bilateral operations in the Sea of Japan in October, as well as Japan’s International Fleet Review, Malabar 2022, and Keen Sword 2023 in the Philippine Sea in November.
“Every step of Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group’s 2022 patrol was marked by critical and highly valuable coordination with our allies,” said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, commander of Task Force (CTF) 70/Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 5. “We enjoyed the opportunity to conduct extensive, integrated operations and exercises with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Republic of Korea Navy, and Royal Australian Navy, sailing side-by-side and integrating liaison officers onto our ships and amongst our crews. As well as the chance to work and exercise with the navies from Canada, India, Republic of Philippines, and United Kingdom. Combined with our visits to ports around the Pacific, our patrol demonstrated the combined resolve, common values, and credible capability of like-minded nations that is necessary to meet any challenge in ensuring regional stability and security in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The strike group conducted its first port visit since 2020, stopping in Guam in June, and during the deployment conducted four successful port visits, making additional stops in Singapore, Busan, Republic of Korea, and Manila, Republic of the Philippines, focusing on relationship-building with Allies and partners and conducting numerous community relations events.
“The crew is incredibly excited to return home to family and friends after more than 6 months at sea,” said Capt. Daryle Cardone, commanding officer, USS Ronald Reagan. “Each USS Ronald Reagan Sailor contributed to building the credible combat power inherent in our ship’s motto of ‘Peace through Strength,’ and it is that strength which further enhanced our integration with regional allies and partners. I am especially proud of the resilience and toughness our crew displayed throughout this deployment, and for the strengthened relationships with allied maritime forces.”
On the 2022 deployment, the carrier strike group included the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, and embarked staffs of Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Chancellorsville (CG 67), USS Shiloh (CG 62), and guided-missile destroyers assigned from Task Force 71.
Sailors manned the rails in their dress blue uniforms as the ship arrived pier side.
While in port, Ronald Reagan will remain in sustainment and ready to immediately redeploy in response to a crisis or other tasking. The crew maintains a high level of training, forward-presence, warfighting proficiency, quick-response posture, and readiness to respond to any regional contingency.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.