After nine years of calling Naval Air Station North Island its homeport, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) departed San Diego for Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, Aug. 31.
The vessel replaced the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier and will assume duties in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility upon arrival.
Ronald Reagan successfully completed a post-hull swap assessment and sea trials, which included a flight deck certification, preparing ship and its crew to assume its new role as the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier.
The force structure change and initiation of the historic three-crew hull swap between George Washington, Ronald Reagan and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) was put into action by George Washington’s need to undergo her mid-life refueling complex overhaul (RCOH).
Ronald Reagan is scheduled to arrive in Japan in the fall of 2015 which will mark the ship’s first time back to Japan since supporting Operation Tomodachi.
Image: US Navy