Washington [US], June 26 (ANI): The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), flagship of the Ronald Reagan carrier strike group (CSG), along with guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) and guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), entered the US 5th Fleet area of operations on Friday.
The CSG's arrival marks the first time that the Ronald Reagan has entered the US 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) since 2012, according to a statement by the US Central Command.
"Ronald Reagan's flexible presence is a key element in helping assure our regional partners that the United States remains committed to ensuring freedom of the seas," said Captain Fred Goldhammer, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer.
"The crew aboard Ronald Reagan seeks to preserve 'peace through strength' and remains ready to answer the call," added Goldhammer.
While in the US 5th Fleet area of operations, the Ronald Reagan CSG will operate and train alongside regional and coalition partners, and provide airpower to protect the US and coalition forces as they conduct drawdown operations from Afghanistan, according to the Central Command.
"Our commitment to regional stability strengthens those we sail with and discourages anyone who would seek to disrupt international norms, no matter where we deploy in the world," said Rear Admiral Will Pennington, commander, Task Force 50, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5.
"The Ronald Reagan carrier strike group has professional Sailors with unmatched capability. We will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows," added Pennington.
Deploying units of the strike group, commanded by Pennington, include Ronald Reagan, Shiloh, Halsey, the embarked aircraft of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, and the embarked CTF 50 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 staffs.
The US 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. (ANI)