The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to its homeport here, Thursday, March 21, after more than a year away.
The ship and her 2,500 person crew departed last January and spent more than 14 months completing a dry dock maintenance availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton,Washington.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be going back to Southern California,” said Capt. Thom Burke, Reagan’s commanding officer. “Our crew has put in a significant amount of effort over the last year to ensure this ship is ready and able to do our nation’s work, and they are definitely ready to head home.”
Though some Reagan Sailors elected to bring their families to Washington during the availability, more than 600 chose to leave their loved ones in California.
Aircraft carriers generally undergo a year-long maintenance period such as the one Reagan just completed between the eight and 10 year point in the ship’s service life.
“Completing an availability such as this ensures that Ronald Reagan will reach her 50-year life span,” said Burke. “There’s a lot of work and a lot of planning that goes into maintaining these combat vessels, and the last year was a major step in ensuring we’re ready to successfully operate at sea when our country calls upon us.”