By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) welcomed more than 15,000 visitors while the ship was moored at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, Oct. 12.
America’s Flagship opened her brows to allow visitors the opportunity to tour the ship, learn how it operates and interact with Sailors who work on board.
“It’s a chance for us to show off the ship and what we do,” said Capt. Brett Crozier, Ronald Reagan’s executive officer. “It helps us establish and build relationship’s that we are looking forward to over the next seven to eight years as the forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) carrier.”
Crozier also stressed the importance of the event to the local community.
“I think it is extremely important to the local community because, as the FDNF carrier, we are going to rely on them for support both on base and certainly out in town,” said Crozier. “Allowing the people of Yokosuka to come on board to see what we do, allows us to feel more comfortable as we explore the town and go on liberty. Again, I think it helps to build that long-term relationship we are looking to establish.”
Guests travelled from near and far to visit a U.S. Navy ship for the first time.
“I am very fascinated with the American military and I never get to see military ships this close. So I travelled all the way from Sapporo,” said Masaharu Isawa, from Sapporo, Hokkaido. “I hope that opening up the ship will educate more people on how important they are so that the relationship between the people of Japan, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and the American military will be perfect.”
Visitors had the opportunity to ride an aircraft elevator to the flight deck, watch damage control demonstrations as well as look at a jet engine, weapons and medical displays.
“In the 30 to 40 minutes they are aboard they’ll have a chance see the Navy’s most advanced ship and will hopefully leave knowing that the U.S. has committed to our relationship with Japan by sending such a capable carrier here, FDNF to Yokosuka,” said Crozier.
According to Toshie Tanaka, from Yokohama, Japan, it was very exiting for her and her family to visit Ronald Reagan because of her family’s admiration for the military and the ship’s involvement in Operation Tomodachi.
“I have goose bumps,” said Tanaka.
Ronald Reagan and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide 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.