USS Ronald Reagan returns to Japan after three-month patrol

U.S. Navy’s carrier strike group five (CSG 5) and its flagship USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to Yokosuka, Japan, November 21 following a three-month patrol of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The strike group visited two countries, participated in three major military exercises, and hosted distinguished visitors from several countries while patrolling the Western Pacific.

During the patrol, CSG 5 completed its annual strike group certification along with participating in the biennial exercise Valiant Shield 2016 (VS16), from Sept. 12-23.

The exercise is a U.S. only, field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on joint training among U.S. forces to conduct a range of missions in the air, sea, land, and cyberspace.

CSG 5 also participated in the biannual exercise Invincible Spirit 2016, Oct. 11-14. Invincible Spirit is a bilateral exercise conducted with the Republic of Korea Navy, in the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula, and consisting of routine carrier strike group operations in support of maritime counter-special operating forces and integrated maritime operations.

The strike group and the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) went on to complete the biennial exercise Keen Sword 17 (KS17), Nov. 11. Directed by the commander of U.S. Forces Japan and the Chief of Staff of the Japan Joint Staff, KS17 is the latest in a series of joint and bilateral field training exercises since 1986 involving U.S. military and JSDF personnel designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

While on patrol, CSG 5 was comprised of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), carrier air wing five (CVW 5), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Chancellorsville and USS Shiloh, destroyer squadron fifteen (DESRON 15), the Arleigh Burke-class guided- missile destroyers USS Barry, USS Curtis Wilbur and USS McCampbell. While USS McCampbell continues its patrol, the remainder of the strike group has returned to Yokosuka and Atsugi.