In 2001 the USS Ronald Reagan was christened and immediately entered the record books. It was the first Naval vessel to ever be named after a former US President who was still living. Let’s take a few moments and explore a few of the other interesting facts about the vessel.
President Reagan was unable to attend the christening of the vessel due to his ongoing battle with Alzheimer’s disease, but his wife, the First Lady Nancy Reagan was the one to christen the vessel. After President Reagan’s death, Nancy was presented with the flag which had been flying over the USS Ronald Reagan at the time of his death, a fitting tribute to an American hero.
The ship is a Nimitz class nuclear-powered super-carrier. It cost $4.5 billion dollars to build the ship and outfit it for its maiden voyage. The ship’s maiden deployment did not occur until 2006, almost 5 years after the ship was christened.
The maiden voyage took the USS Ronald Reagan immediately into a war situation, as it was deployed to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, which were both the continuing response to the September 11th attack on the United States.
The length of the ship is 1092 feet, making it longer than 3 football fields. The 252-foot width makes it nearly as wide as a football field. The ship carries over 3,500 Naval personnel and supporting personnel during deployment. plus, another 2480 people from the air wing. With nearly 6,000 people aboard, it has a higher population than most small cities in the USA. The 2 nuclear reactors provide all of the energy for the ship and provide propulsion through 4 turbines. The ship can stay at sea indefinitely, with the nuclear reactors projected to fuel the ship for up to 25 years.
The super-carrier carries 90 aircraft, with a mix of fixed-wing planes and helicopters. The ship is outfitted with several missile defense systems to protect it from incoming aircraft and anti-ship weapons.
Hopefully, this brief introduction to the USS Ronald Reagan gets you interested in learning more about this amazing vessel and her other deployments.