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    Millville, New Jersey Native Serves Abroad as part of the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group

    Millville, New Jersey Native Serves Abroad as part of the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Askia Collins | 221012-N-YQ181-1041 PHILIPPINE SEA (Oct. 12, 2022) Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 3rd...... read more read more

    PHILIPPINE SEA – A Millville, New Jersey native and 2017 Millville Senior High School graduate is underway aboard the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), assigned to the Shadowhawks of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141.

    Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 3rd Class Richard Buckmon III is currently on his first deployment since joining the U.S. Navy in 2019.

    Petty Officer Buckmon ensures all worn survival equipment used by pilots and Naval Flight Officers in VAQ 141 is fully operational. The Shadowhawks fly EA-18G Growlers and their primary role is to disrupt the ability to communicate between units in combat through the use of electronic warfare.

    “I enjoy my job and this squadron,” said Buckmon. “This is my first sea duty after leaving shore. At first it was hard to adjust but VAQ 141 has been a good place for my first sea command.”

    After finishing Sea Trials and departing Yokosuka, Japan, in late May, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returned to sea. The CSG has conducted exercises across multiple bodies of water, including the highly contested South China Sea. They conducted bi-lateral and tri-lateral exercises with allies in the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Republic of Korea (ROK) armed forces. By working with allies and partners, the CSG promoted adherence to a rules-based
    International order, as well as maintained its presence and flexibility.

    “I understand that we are out here for a good reason,” said Buckmon. “I just want to be good at my job.”

    In late May the Strike Group participated in bi-lateral operations with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Teruzuki, integrating the destroyer into the strike group for operations near Japan. After training and certifying the Air Wing for full operations, USS Ronald Reagan participated in CSG EX with our ROK Navy Allies in early June. Also in June, the strike group completed its participation in Exercise Valiant Shield 2022 with the Abraham Lincoln CSG, USS Tripoli, and worked with more than 200 aircraft and an estimated 13,000 personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps and Space Force during the Valiant Shield Exercise, a U.S.-only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) focused on integration of joint training in a multi-domain environment.

    Ronald Reagan had port visits in Guam, Singapore, ROK, also known as South Korea, and the Philippines; these were the carrier’s first port visits in two years. The ship’s visit to South Korea was the first time a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier visited the country since 2017.

    “I went sightseeing and took a lot of pictures,” said Buckmon. “Busan reminded me of big cities, like New York, back in the states.”

    While underway, Buckmon has accomplished attaining qualifications that will help him build his skills and advance his career.

    “I completed duct diver training,” said Blackmon. “This means I’m qualified to examine the ducts of our EA-18G Growlers for discrepancies.”

    Beyond working on professional goals, Sailors have access to recreational activities provided by the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team. MWR plans events such as movie nights, video game tournaments and workout challenges. A few hobbies of Buckmon include working out and listening to music.

    “I listen to a wide variety of music when I work out,” said Buckmon. “Since I’m always meeting someone from somewhere different I’m always learning about new artists and genres.”

    Buckmon works diligently to ensure the success of their team. They do so knowing that their hard work ultimately plays a part in ensuring their friends and families back home remain safe.

    “To all my friends and family, I hope you are doing well in my absence,” said Buckmon. “I love you all.”

    The Ronald Reagan CSG is committed to continuing the long legacy of building and maintaining alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. Ensuring a continuation of peace and prosperity while promoting a rules-based international order for all countries in the region. The efforts of Sailors, like Petty Officer Buckmon, aboard Ronald Reagan is crucial to protecting the rights, freedoms, and lawful use of the sea and the ability of all countries to exercise those rights.



    Date Taken: 10.31.2022
    Date Posted: 10.31.2022 04:39
    Story ID: 432296
    Location: PHILIPPINE SEA

    Web Views: 176
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