WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (June 3, 2018) – The forward-deployed aircraft
carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), embarked Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5) while
underway off the coast of Japan, May 28.
The three-day fly-on and requalification of flight deck crew and aircrew involved
more than 60 aircraft and included a pre-patrol embark of 1,900 Sailors who maintain and
"This is a significant first step in reforming the Freedom/Badman team," said
Capt. Forrest Young, commander Carrier Air Wing 5. "The fly-on and carrier
qualifications were conducted safely and professionally, and now this team is ready to
complete our training that will ensure we are prepared to support Carrier Strike Group 5
throughout the 2018 patrol season."
CVW-5 is the air combat arm of Battle Force, 7th Fleet, with warfighting assets
that include the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, C2-A Greyhound, MH-60R
and MH-60S, as well as the latest addition of the E-2D Hawkeye.
“It’s great to be reunited with our air wing team and impressive how seamlessly
this force comes together as an effective fighting unit,” said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, Ronald
Reagan’s commanding officer. “Carrier Air Wing 5 is a critical piece to our mission of
promoting peace and stability in this region, and the agility that we have to respond to
Following the air wing fly on, the ship and air wing team completed an annual
certification of flight deck operations and aircrew carrier qualifications for more than 100
pilots and 60 aircraft based out of Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Marine Corps Air
Station Iwakuni, Japan. Ronald Reagan and CVW-5 completed more than 200 “touch-
and-gos” and almost 500 arrested landings to qualify pilots in preparation for operations
in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
The air wing completed the qualifications, which certify pilots to operate on the
carrier, over a three-day period, highlighting the teamwork and professionalism of USS
Ronald Reagan and CVW-5.
Accomplishing this major milestone so efficiently after months of being in port
and ashore, reflects the high readiness for operations required as Forward Deployed
Naval Forces, said Donnelly.
“Our constant training and mission-ready focus, even when the ship and air wing
are not operating together at sea,” said Donnelly, “allows us to come back together very
effectively and efficiently to respond to any situation.”
As a carrier and air wing team, the shared goal now becomes training, executing
the strike group’s missions and developing and demonstrating our interoperability with
friends and allied forces in the region, said Donnelly.
“We set the standard,” said Donnelly, “not only here in the Indo-Pacific region,
but throughout the Navy, in terms of how teamwork and cohesiveness translates into
CVW-5’s mission is to conduct carrier air warfare operations and assist in the
planning, control, coordination and integration of nine air wing squadrons in support of
Ronald Reagan and the embarked air wing provide a combat-ready force that
protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners
in the Indo-Pacific region.