The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier and the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 5 (CSG 5), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), along with USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Barry (DDG 52), arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) for a regularly scheduled port visit, Sept. 23.
During the port visit, Ronald Reagan is scheduled to host several U.S. and ROK dignitaries aboard the ship at a “Big Top” reception and conduct several key leader engagements ashore. USS Benfold (DDG 65) pulled into Chinhae as part of the strike group’s visit.
“The Ronald Reagan Strike Group’s visit is of strategic importance to the U.S. and Republic of Korea relationship and is a clear and unambiguous demonstration of U.S. commitment to the Alliance,” said Rear Adm. Buzz Donnelly, commander, CSG 5. “We’re excited to return to Busan. Our presence and commitments to the Republic of Korea and the Indo-Pacific region are not new, and visits like this are part of our routine operations in the region that have helped maintain peace for more than 70 years.”
This visit is the ship’s first to Busan in nearly five years, and first to the ROK in nearly four years.
“As always, we look forward to every opportunity to work with our partners in the Republic of Korea,” said Capt. Fred Goldhammer, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “Thank you to the government and people of Busan for hosting us in our return visit, which will undoubtedly further strengthen our ties. The people of Busan have always warmly welcomed our Sailors to their city and I know the crew is excited to explore all that this fantastic city has to offer.”
More than 200 of the ship’s 4,900 Sailors will participate in community relations (COMREL) projects. COMREL events are scheduled at local orphanages and temples that will provide Sailors the opportunity to volunteer and learn about the local culture and people.
The ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation office is providing Sailors with cultural and sightseeing tours to experience the attractions Busan and the ROK have to offer.
“As a huge K-Pop fan, I look forward to experiencing the local music scene in Busan,” said Ensign Noah Gratias, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27. “I’m definitely excited to try some local food as well as seeing what the city has to offer.”
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 25 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.