Ronald Reagan Strike Group Returns From Patrol
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​180723-N-GR120-0169 YOKOSUKA, Japan (July 23, 2018) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) pulls into Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations. Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anna Van Nuys/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) – The Ronald Reagan Strike Group returned to Yokosuka, Japan, July 24, following a patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

The strike group included the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Milius (DDG 69) and USS Mustin (DDG 89).

"USS Ronald Reagan and her crew completed an extremely successful patrol, including operations in multiple areas throughout the Indo-Pacific region, participating in the Malabar 18 exercise with our Japanese and Indian naval counterparts, and a memorable port visit to Manila, Philippines,” said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “I am very proud of the professionalism our Sailors consistently demonstrate on a daily basis: from executing liberty as a mission in Manila, to conducting complex flight and maritime operations underway, including seamless participation with our partners and allies. Our effective, safe execution reflects the immense capability, drive, and motivation onboard USS Ronald Reagan operating with Carrier Air Wing Five. It truly represents the strength and high operational readiness of our country's forward-deployed naval forces."

While underway, embarked Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70 held a change of command ceremony in Ronald Reagan’s hangar bay. Rear Adm. Karl O. Thomas relieved Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton as commander, Task Force 70, Battle Force 7th Fleet and commander, Carrier Strike Group Five.

"Relish every day at sea because from my experience these are the best days of your life," Thomas said. "I am very humbled to have the opportunity to serve on an aircraft carrier once again. Observing the teamwork, professionalism and enthusiasm of our Sailors at sea is surely the highlight of my career."

While in port, Sailors will have an opportunity for rest and relaxation with their friends and families. Sailors will have an opportunity to climb Mt. Fuji and participate in multiple events hosted by Morale, Welfare and Recreation and United Services Organizations while the ship is restocked and resupplied.

The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

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