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, September 23. During the port visit, Ronald Reagan is scheduled to host several U.S. and Republic of Korea 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.This visit is the ship’s first to Busan in nearly five years, and first to the Republic of Korea in nearly four years.
“As always, we look forward to every opportunity to work with our partners in the Republic of Korea. 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,” said Capt. Fred Goldhammer, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer.
“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. 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,” said Rear Adm. Buzz Donnelly, commander, CSG 5.
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. More than 200 of the ship’s 4,900 Sailors will participate in community relations (COMREL) projects. 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. 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.
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is a Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered supercarrier in the service of the United States Navy. The ninth ship of her class, she is named in honor of Ronald W. Reagan, President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. She was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, and was commissioned on 12 July 2003. Ronald Reagan made five deployments to the Pacific and Middle East between 2006 and 2011 while based at Naval Air Station North Island. In October 2015, Ronald Reagan replaced USS George Washington as the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Five, the only forward-based carrier strike group home-ported at Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the United States Seventh Fleet.