San Diego August 31, 2015 - The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to Naval Base Coronado in San Diego after completing sea trials and a post hull swap assessment, Aug. 29.
In order to prepare the ship for her upcoming patrol and to re-certify shipboard qualifications, the crew completed five days of drills and training. Carrier Air Wing (CVW-11) was embarked to assist.
"Anytime there is a significant change of personnel the ship has to re-certify its flight deck and hangar bay,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate First Class Demetrius Davis, V-3 division leading petty officer. “The certification process ensured our personnel were able to secure aircraft properly, combat causalities and properly execute drills such as moving aircraft to different spots on the flight deck and hangar bay.”
Not only were newly updated networking systems tested during the evolution, but after completing a recent hull swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) a newly integrated Ronald Reagan team was tested as well.
“This was our first time operating the entire system underway with the staff, squadron, and airwing onboard,” said Ensign Kyle DeVries, Ronald Reagan’s Combat Systems division officer. “This is a relatively new system for aircraft carriers, so we tested to see how the system would work in support of this ship’s new mission as the forward-deployed aircraft carrier.”
Afloat Training Group (ATG) Pacific was on board for the last time before the ship’s departure to Yokosuka, Japan to evaluate the damage control teams as they conducted drills.
"ATG was here to evaluate how well the two crews blended together and to provide training to ensure the unified Reagan team is on the right track as we transition to deployment," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Schaub, Ronald Reagan's Damage Control Assistant. "They are here to certify we are training watch standers properly, our flying squad is capable of handling casualties and the ship as a whole is still capable of combating causalities."
Ronald Reagan is the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier.