USS Ronald Reagan Departs Japan after 8½-Year Mission; Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Set for Major Renovation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan departs the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Thursday.

YOKOSUKA, Kanagawa — The nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which had been stationed at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture, departed on Thursday, completing its 8½-year mission. The ship will undergo major renovations after returning to its home country.

Since October 2015, the ship has patrolled the Indo-Pacific region and participated in joint exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, among other missions. Before its deployment to Yokosuka, it served as the main vessel in the U.S. military’s Operation Tomodachi, providing relief immediately after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The crew bade farewell by manning the rails on the flight deck of the Ronald Reagan as it departed Yokosuka shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday. Capt. Daryle Cardone, commanding officer of the ship, expressed his gratitude at a press conference before departure, saying he was thankful for the support of the people in Japan. The USS George Washington, another vessel of the same class, will be redeployed as its successor.