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    Commander, U.S. Fifth Fleet Welcomes Reagan Strike Group to Arabian Gulf Area of Operations

    Vice Adm. Walsh Speaks to Chief Petty Officers Aboard USS Ronald Reagan

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Kathleen Gorby | Vice Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Commander...... read more read more



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    By Chief Journalist (SW) Donnie W. Ryan

    USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) , At sea - Vice Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Commander U.S. Fifth Fleet, and Combined Forces Maritime Component Command, visited USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Feb. 27 to welcome the ship's crew, air wing and embarked carrier strike group staff to the 5th Fleet area of operations.

    The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is currently supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as well as conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the Arabian Gulf . Reagan's aircraft have been supporting ground troops in Iraq since arriving in the region less than a week ago.

    "Your support to U.S. , Iraqi and multi-national forces on the ground is vital," Walsh told Reagan Sailors. "Because of the contributions of the soldiers, Sailors and airmen who preceded you, the Iraqi people now have the opportunity to determine their own future, a future free from oppression. It's their country and their future. It's up to them to decide what Iraq will ultimately look like, but without your efforts and your guarantees, this will not be possible."

    MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons and other material.

    "With MSO, you will play a key role in helping to set the conditions necessary for stability in the region," said Walsh. "You're not in this alone. One-third of our maritime force is coalition. It is important to understand that no one country can tackle this challenge alone given the vast expanse of the ocean and collective interest.

    "You're arriving at a critical time," he said. "The daily routine is the most important time to keep our skills sharp and focused. Those skills can't be summoned at the moment of crisis if they've been squandered by complacency, or inconsistency, or a compromise of our standards.

    "The success of maritime security operations and support to multinational forces on the ground in Operation Iraqi Freedom is now in your hands," said Walsh. "You're trained, ready, and I have every confidence that you will succeed."

    "This is an important time in our history and one I think you'll find both interesting and rewarding," he said. "I'm glad that you're here and that you'll be playing a critical role in our efforts to help set the conditions for security and stability throughout the region."

    Reagan is the Navy's newest Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier and is currently on its maiden deployment. Commissioned in 2003, the San Diego-based aircraft carrier is part of a routine rotation of U.S. maritime forces in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.



    Date Taken: 02.28.2006
    Date Posted: 02.28.2006 09:26
    Story ID: 5535

    Web Views: 202
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