(STL.News) USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is a Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered supercarrier in the service of the United States Navy. Named in honor of Ronald W. Reagan, President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. At May 2012, the boat was operationally part of Carrier Strike Group Nine and administratively under the command of Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific/Commander, Naval Air Forces. Both administrative titles actually refer to a command carrying two purposes. In October 2015, Ronald Reagan substituted USS George Washington as the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Five, the only forward-based carrier strike team home-ported at Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the United States Seventh Fleet. The arrangement to build Ronald Reagan was given to Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia, on 8 December 1994, and her keel was laid down on 12 February 1998. The funding for the ship needed to be raised several times, and finally $4.5 billion were invested on her structure. This included a redesigned boat island. Ronald Reagan was christened by Reagan’s wife Nancy on 4 March 2001 at Newport News Shipbuilding, the crew moved aboard 30 October 2002, and the ship was commissioned on 12 July 2003 at Naval Station Norfolk, with Captain J. W. Goodwin in command.
Commissioning service of Ronald Reagan, 2003 Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney were both present in the service, as well as Nancy Reagan, that gave the ship’s crew the standard first order as an active component of the Navy: “Man that the boat and bring her to life” President Reagan, who did not attend either the launch and also the commissioning because of Alzheimer’s disease, died 11 months after. At the close of the graveside services, the ship’s commanding officer then, Captain James Symonds, presented the flag that draped the former president’s casket to Mrs. Reagan at her request. This was the flag which had flown over Capitol Hill about 20 January 1981, once the president was inaugurated. In a subsequent date, Captain Symonds also introduced Mrs. Reagan that the flag that had been flying Ronald Reagan when the former president died.
YouTube video courtesy of Spark