The U.S. Navy’s Ronald Reagan Strike Group arrived at Naval Base Guam for a port visit, Sept. 24, following the successful completion of Valiant Shield 2018.
Personnel from the Ronald Reagan Strike Group, to include Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), will have the opportunity to experience the island of Guam during the visit.
Over the previous week, the strike group joined with more than 15,000 U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps personnel, taking part in the U.S. – only field training exercise that takes place every two years. Participating forces exercised a wide range of capabilities of the joint force in carrying out a range of air, surface, sub-surface and land warfighting scenarios.
The port visit is an opportunity for ship leadership to reflect on the importance of Guam and the Marianas Island Range Complex in providing a premier training environment that boosts strike group readiness and efficiency. The air, land and sea ranges on Guam and the Marianas allow Naval forces and other service assets the location to carry out effective and realistic training.
U.S. Navy ships and aircraft leverage the unique training environment of the island chain, and in the recent Valiant Shield exercise, operate alongside their joint force partners in a geographic area that provides the full spectrum of conditions they might operate under in the future.
“Guam is a beautiful island and the surrounding waters afford a tremendous opportunity to train and execute our wide range of missions,” said Rear Adm. Karl O. Thomas, Commander, Task Force 70. “The U.S. Navy is committed to the defense of the island of Guam and its people, and Valiant Shield highlighted both joint interoperability and especially the inherent flexibility and lethality of our Carrier Strike Groups. We are grateful for the support that Guam provides us as the most capable maritime force in the world.”
The commitment to Guam stretches back decades and will remain strong as the region plays host to Naval forces who seek a broad range of options to conduct live training in a realistic environment. Additionally, Reagan strike group Sailors demonstrated that commitment to Guam in participating in the recent recovery efforts following Typhoon Mangkhut.
Sailors will also be taking the opportunity to give back to the locals in the area by participating in several community outreach events. Some of these events will include spending time with senior citizens in the area, playing sports and talking to kids at their school, and helping to clean up community beaches.
“After demonstrating United States strength and resolve across the region for the last month and completing combat exercises in local waters, Reagan Sailors have looked forward to visiting Guam for some time now,” said Capt. Pat Hannifin, commanding officer of Ronald Reagan. “While Guam’s strategic value and our common security interests bind us as a Nation, it is our shared values and genuine fellowship that unite us as a people. We are fortunate to enjoy an island of such scenic beauty and character, and look forward to both relaxing and engaging with the local community over the next several days.”
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.