From Ang Malaya (Sep 1): ‘America’s Flagship’ now en route to Asia providing combat-ready force
The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is now en route to its new homeport in Japan. CVN 76 departed its home for nine years Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego August 31. USS Ronald Reagan replaced the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier and will assume duties in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility upon arrival.
“Ronald Reagan has been embraced as America’s Flagship. Not only does she have strong ties to Americans, she also has ties to the people of Japan,” said Rear Admiral John Alexander, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. “In 2011 Ronald Reagan was one of the first responders to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan during Operation Tomodachi. The ties that were established with the ship and our host nation will continue to grow.”
Seventh Fleet is responsible for maintaining United States military presence in Western Pacific and Indian Ocean to promote peace, regional cooperation and stability. Five of the seven US Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in the area which are Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
The area covers 36 maritime countries including China, Russia, India, North Korea and Republic of Korea.
“USS Ronald Reagan is 11 years newer than USS George Washington (CVN 73), which means the carrier has benefited from 11 years of evolving technology,” said Captain Christopher Bolt, USS Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “America’s Flagship will serve our nation as a cornerstone of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces based in Yokosuka, Japan.”
The US Navy said in a news release USS Ronald Reagan provides a combat-ready force that works with the navies of other nation partners to protect the collective maritime interests of the US and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The signing was made in the presence of MILF Chairman Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim, Second Vice Chairman Pangalian Solaiman, and members of the Central Committee. Also in attendance to witness the signing were members of UNFPA delegation and BDA employees.
The LOU refers to a program of Strengthening Capacities for Reproductive Health, (RH) Service and Advocacy in the Bangsamoro. It is the first time that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, thru the BDA is collaborating with UNFPA particularly on the issue of Reproductive Health.
The MILF leadership appreciated the LOU signing and hoped that UNFPA and BDA can work together along the relevance of one of the agreements in the peace process which is the Normalization Annex. As a component, health program is one of the priorities.
In explaining the UNFPA's objectives for visiting Camp Darapanan, Mr. Beck said "Our commitment to improve the lives of the people in Bangsamoro is an everlasting commitment despite or regardless of insecurities and uncertainties, new challenges that would be thrown on our way. Continuous commitment is our commitment".
In response, Chairman Al Hajj Murad reiterated their acceptance of collaboration between MILF and UNFPA, working together for the development of Bangsamoro, and for attaining lasting peace in the area. He again expressed thanks and gratitude for the coming of Beck’s delegation and UNFPA’s assistance thru the development programs that were long been necessary.