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Nimitz-class carrier USS Ronald Reagan begins sea trials

By Stephen Carlson

May 8 (UPI) -- The USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, left Command Fleet Activities Yokosaka base to begin sea trials over the weekend, the U.S. Navy announced on Monday.

The carrier, one of the only forward deployed aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy at this time, set sail for sea trials on Sunday.

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"I am extremely proud of the Reagan crew's accomplishments up to this point of our SRA period," Capt. Buzz Donnelly, commanding officer of the new carrier, said in a press release. "We are all looking forward to completing sea trials and returning to operations in the 7th Fleet."

The crew will undergo a number of qualification and certification exercises while at sea.

"The crew has worked tirelessly to get the ship ready to succeed at our mission at sea," said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, executive officer of the ship. "In partnership with our ship repair facility, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Sumitomo Heavy Industries teammates, we've been able to complete a tremendous amount of work in a very compressed period."

"The ship is clearly in an improved material condition and we're excited to be back into operations."

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The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is is the primary warship of the U.S. Navy. The Ronald Reagan is the 9th ship of it's class, named after the U.S. president who served from 1981 to 1988. The vessel is a massive nuclear-powered ship that can maintain and launch more than 85 aircraft, and displaces nearly 97,000 tons of water.

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