In an address to the American people on September 24, 1988, then-President Ronald Reagan boldly declared, “One thing is certain. If we are to continue to advance world peace and human freedom, America must stay strong. If we have learned anything over the past eight years, it is that peace through strength works.
It would be hard to argue with those words. Less than 14 months later, the The Berlin Wall has fallen and at the end of 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. America’s strength ensured peace – and the end of the Cold War.
Today, the currency of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), the ninth nuclear-powered ship Nimitz-classmaintains the motto “peace through strengthand highlights the recurring theme of President Reagan during his public service.
strength and peace
Named for Ronald W. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, who served from 1981 to 1989, the carrier was laid down in early 1998. She was launched in March 2001 and commissioned in July 2003. CVN-76 had the distinction of being the first carrier to be named after a then-living former president. Although Reagan did not serve in the United States Navy, one of his major initiatives during his tenure was the Navy’s 600-ship program, which proved to be a key effort to maintain peace through force.
Even in the post-Cold War era, the CVN-76 serves to project the power of the United States Navy.
It serves as a floating air base and the one who is well defended at this. USS Ronald Reagan is equipped with the SLQ-32A(V)4 countermeasure suite and SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures. She is also armed with advanced Sea Sparrow missiles that can counter supersonic anti-ship missiles, the light infrared-guided Rolling Air Frame surface-to-air missile, and a close-in weapons system (CIWS) – the Multi-Barrel Weapon System. to detect and destroy incoming missiles at close range and enemy aircraft that have successfully penetrated the outer defenses.
Since entering service, the aircraft carrier has deployed to the Middle East several times as part of a show of force, but it has also played a role in peacetime, provide humanitarian aid following the massive Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.
The nuclear-powered car transporter
The aircraft carrier also had the particularity of once having its cockpit filled not with planes, but rather with civilian cars!
When the USS by Ronald Reagan the official homeport was changed from Bremerton, Washington to San Diego in 2012, the Navy allowed sailors to be moved to have their personal vehicles transported on the ship’s deck as a cost-saving measure. Since it was a short trip along the coast, the carrier did not need to operate its air wing. This provided ample room for the crew to bring their cars to the new home base – and allowed Ronald Reagan at serve as a $5 billion nuclear-powered car ferry!
The flagship of the CSG-5
In October 2015, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) became the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG-5), the only forward-based carrier strike group based in Yokosuka, Japan. Permanently deployed forward of the US 7th Fleet, CSG-5 is also the largest carrier strike group in the US Navy.
Since deployment, CVN-76 has conducted numerous fleet exercises with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force as well as the Republic of Korea Navy. In July 2020, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group was deployed to the South China Sea with USS Nimitz (CVN-68) for twin-carrier operations in the Philippine Sea. Ronald Reagan returned to Japan in November 2020, after a Six-month Indo-Pacific deployment.
In December, a project team from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Ship Repair Facility (PSNS & IMF) and the Japan Regional Maintenance Center began some Restricted Availability (SRA) repairs on the carrier. Major SRA work completed included the non-skid replacement of the flight deck and hangar bay, repair of the aircraft’s elevator, and repair of valves and components.
Following the completion of the SRA, the Gipper was deployed to the Middle East in June 2021 to support the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. End of May 2022, she was relieved by USS abraham lincoln (CVN-72), while CVN-76 led CSG6 to promote the stability of the 7th Fleet.
Wherever USS Ronald Reagan heads then, it will certainly be to help maintain peace by force.
Today’s editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He writes regularly on military hardware, the history of firearms, cybersecurity and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing author for Forbes.