The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) departed Changi Naval Base, Singapore, July 26, concluding a port visit to the country.
Ronald Reagan arrived in Singapore July 22, and was welcomed by a visit from the Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, as well as the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, Jonathan Kaplan.
“We are very grateful to the people of Singapore for welcoming us, and consider ourselves very fortunate for having had the opportunity to visit this wonderful nation” said Capt. Fred Goldhammer, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer.
Prior to the visit, USS Ronald Reagan operated in the South China Sea.
“Throughout this deployment Ronald Reagan Strike Group operated with precision alongside our allies and partners throughout the region in accordance to international norms, standards and principles,” said Del Toro. “The Reagan Strike group operated in excellent fashion and they are very proud to be here today in Singapore.”
On July 24, Ronald Reagan hosted a hangar bay reception that welcomed several current and former ministers, ambassadors and other dignitaries from multiple nations aboard the ship. U.S. and foreign representatives toured the ship, enjoyed food made by the ship’s culinary specialists and met with Sailors from the crew and embarked units.
“We are fortunate to gather aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, another example of the robust partnership between the United States and Singapore,” said the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Jonathan Kaplan. “The Ronald Reagan is a powerful reminder of our enduring partnership with Singapore and [The Association of Southeast Asian Nations]. It represents the United States’ commitment to regional stability, to supporting sovereign nations, and to promoting a rules-based international order.”
While in Singapore, Sailors from Ronald Reagan, the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 staffs, volunteered in community relations projects with the Salvation Army, a local food bank and the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home.
“It felt great being able to help the Salvation Army here in Singapore sort through their donations and hopefully make it easier for them to raise money for the Singaporean people that need their help,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jorge Medina. “Being forward-deployed on an aircraft carrier can make it hard to see the impact you are making on the region, so it was really nice to be able to see the impact we were making in the community firsthand.”
Sailors were also able to experience local culture and visit several attractions through tours offered by the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department. These included tours of the Marina Bay Gardens, several city tours, and a trip to Singapore’s night safari.
“The crew enjoyed tremendously the rich cultural diversity of Singapore during this port visit,” added Goldhammer. “They had several opportunities to engage with local communities while enjoying some hard-earned time off.”
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest numbered fleet in the world, and with the help of 35 other maritime-nation allies and partners, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years, providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.