- USS Ronald Reagan bids farewell to SD homeport
Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on printShare on emailMore Sharing Services
By KATHERINE CONNOR, The Daily Transcript
Friday, July 3, 2015
It’s the end of an era.
San Diego welcomed the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to its first homeport in 2004 with great fanfare because of the city’s fondness for the ship’s namesake and the carrier’s status as the latest and greatest vessel.
The carrier will move in August to Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the Navy’s first three-hull crew and hull swap in modern times.
Capt. Garner Morgan, operations officer for Naval Air Forces Pacific, said the reason for undertaking this endeavor — more complicated from an operational standpoint than a traditional one-for-one carrier swap — was twofold.
First, the USS George Washington is due for its midlife reactor overhaul, and the only port capable of completing that work is Norfolk, Va.
Moving the George Washington to Norfolk from Yokosuka means a new carrier needs to be homeported in Yokosuka.
“The decision is really all about the service-life remaining on the carrier — we want the best capability forward deployed, especially with the pivot to Pacific,” Morgan said.
“Ronald Reagan is one of our most up-to-date aircraft carriers — it has all the modern innovations we need in theater. Principally based on the service life remaining on the ship and the capability of the ship, the Navy made the decision that that was the best hull to use.”
With the Navy’s increased focus on the Pacific, it was decided that a carrier would replace the Reagan in San Diego, and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which will move to San Diego directly from a nine and a half month deployment in the Persian Gulf — was the vessel of choice.