US carrier embarks air wing for 2018 Western Pacific patrol season

United States Navy forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) has completed the embarkation of Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW5) off the coast of Japan, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs said.

The three-day fly-on and requalification of flight deck crew and aircrew was completed on June 3. It involved more than 60 aircraft and included a pre-patrol embark of 1,900 Sailors who maintain and equip them.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) departed Yokosuka, Japan on May 29, for a regularly scheduled patrol to operate in the Western Pacific.

“The fly-on and carrier qualifications were conducted safely and professionally, and now this team is ready to complete our training that will ensure we are prepared to support Carrier Strike Group 5 throughout the 2018 patrol season,” CVW5 commander Captain Forrest Young said.

USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs said CVW5 is the air combat arm of Battle Force 7th Fleet, with warfighting assets that include the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, C2-A Greyhound, MH-60R and MH-60S, as well as the latest addition of the E-2D Hawkeye.

“It’s great to be reunited with our air wing team and impressive how seamlessly this force comes together as an effective fighting unit,” said Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer Captain Buzz Donnelly. “Carrier Air Wing 5 is a critical piece to our mission of promoting peace and stability in this region, and the agility that we have to respond to any contingency.”

“Ronald Reagan and CVW-5 completed more than 200 “touch-and-gos” and almost 500 arrested landings to qualify pilots in preparation for operations in the 7th Fleet area of operations,” USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs said.

“The air wing completed the qualifications, which certify pilots to operate on the carrier, over a three-day period, highlighting the teamwork and professionalism of USS Ronald Reagan and CVW5,” it added.

USS Ronald Reagan and the embarked air wing provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

Ronald Reagan Strike Group also includes Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62).