Reagan Carrier Strike Group Wraps Spring Patrol Following Chinese Military Drills Near Taiwan

August 19, 2022 1:43 PM
Sailors on the bridge wing of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) observe a replenishment-at-sea between the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204) in the Philippine Sea on Aug. 12, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) pulled into Yokosuka, Japan on Friday, wrapping a three-month patrol in the Western Pacific, USNI News has learned.

USNI News confirmed ship spotter reports that the carrier had returned to its Japan homeport. The forward-deployed carrier will now start its annual maintenance period at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News.

After departing for its patrol on May 20, Reagan was active in the Philippine and South China seas during its three months underway, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker.

In mid-June Reagan and Carrier Strike Group 5 linked up with carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) for the American exercise Valiant Shield near Guam. Following the drills, Reagan entered the South China Sea in July. The carrier made a port call in Singapore on July 22 – the first for the carrier since 2019.

Following the port visit, Reagan made a swift transit across the South China Sea and took up station along with Tripoli at the western edge of the Philippine Sea ahead of U.S. House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to Taiwan in early August.

Following Pelosi’s visit, the Chinese military kicked off a provocative series of air and naval drills near Taiwan. Tripoli and Reagan stayed on station as the drills progressed.

Reagan will now start its annual maintenance period. Unlike carriers based in the U.S. that deploy on the 36-month Optimized Fleet Response Plan cycle, Reagan has a yearly repair period and typically goes on two three-month patrols each year.

The following is the composition of the Strike Group when it embarked on its patrol.

Carrier Strike Group 5

Aircraft carrier

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Carrier Air Wing 5

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is embarked aboard Ronald Reagan and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • The “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Eagles” of VFA-115 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Dambusters” of VFA-195 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Shadowhawks” of VAQ-141 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Tiger Tails” of VAW-125 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment 5 – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Golden Falcons” of HSC-12 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
  • The “Saberhawks” of HSM-77 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi.


USS Antietam (CG-54), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Destroyer Squadron 15

Destroyer Squadron 15 is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is embarked on the carrier.

  • USS Benfold (DDG-65), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.
Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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