Operations Specialist 3rd Class Meagan Turner scans the horizon while standing lookout watch as Quartermaster 3rd Class Chris Rexrode stands by to relay the ship's position to the navigation bridge aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy/MCSN Jamaal Liddell)

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka, May 9.

Ronald Reagan’s crew shifted colors at approximately 10 a.m. and made way to conduct sea trials in the final phase of the ship’s selective restricted availability (SRA) maintenance period which began Jan. 12.

“I am extremely proud of the Reagan crew’s accomplishment up to this point of our SRA period,” said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, commanding officer. “We are all looking forward to completing sea trials and returning to operations in the 7th Fleet area responsibility.

During sea trials, Ronald Reagan’s crew will undergo multiple training and qualification exercises to include engineering and medical drills as well as air, flight deck and hangar bay operations to evaluate the performance of Sailors and their departments.

“Our number one priority is the safety of our crew as we continue to make advancements to our ship and return to sea,” said Cmdr. Holly Hart, Ronald Reagan’s safety officer. “To achieve maximum readiness, it is imperative that we make every effort to identify and reduce risk.”

According to Donnelly, with Ronald Reagan’s newest technology and well-experienced crew, her return to operations in the 7th Fleet will mark a significant milestone for the forward-deployed naval forces, reaffirming the United States commitment to the region.

“The crew has made a tremendous effort to have the ship in her current condition and ready to conduct sea trials,” said Capt. Brett Crozier, executive officer. “The crew has contributed an impressive combined total of more than 1.2 million man hours.”

Ronald Reagan’s departure from Yokosuka marks the first time the ship has been underway since completing her 2015 patrol, Dec. 3.

Ronald Reagan provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.