USS Ronald Reagan Commissioned in Norfolk

Monday, July 14, 2003
The Navy’s newest and most sophisticated nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), was commissioned July 12, 2003 at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Va. Named after America's 40th president, Reagan is the ninth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier built by Northrop Grumman Newport News and the first carrier named for a living president. The keynote speaker for the commissioning ceremony was Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Mrs. Ronald Reagan also attended the ceremony and served as the ship’s sponsor. Other ceremony participants included Virginia Governor Mark Warner, Virginia Senator John Warner, Acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford Johnson, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark, and Northrop Grumman Newport News President Tom Schievelbein. Northrop Grumman Chairman of the Board Kent Kresa and Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Officer and President Ron Sugar were also in attendance. The Navy’s newest and most sophisticated nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), was commissioned July 12, 2003 at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Va. Named after America's 40th president, Reagan is the ninth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier built by Northrop Grumman Newport News and the first carrier named for a living president. The keynote speaker for the commissioning ceremony was Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Mrs. Ronald Reagan also attended the ceremony and served as the ship’s sponsor. Other ceremony participants included Virginia Governor Mark Warner, Virginia Senator John Warner, Acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford Johnson, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark, and Northrop Grumman Newport News President Tom Schievelbein. Northrop Grumman Chairman of the Board Kent Kresa and Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Officer and President Ron Sugar were also in attendance. The USS Ronald Reagan incorporates dozens of new technologies and innovations developed since the first Nimitz-class carrier, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), was delivered to the Navy in 1975. Among the changes are a completely redesigned island, a bulbous bow for improved hull efficiency, highly and integrated ship systems with increased capacity to support future upgrades and more facilities for women than on previous ships of the class. Virginia Senator John Warner paid special tribute to the shipbuilders of Northrop Grumman Newport News during his remarks at the USS Ronald Reagan Commissioning Ceremony. “I also salute – and I hope you will to – the men and women whose brains, brawn and skilled hands built this majestic ship.” The USS Ronald Reagan towers 20 stories above the waterline, and at 1,092 feet long, is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. The ship displaces approximately 95,000 tons of water when afloat. Reagan has a 4.5-acre flight deck, more than seven million feet of cable, and when operational will house approximately 6,000 personnel and 80 aircraft onboard. The keynote speaker for the commissioning ceremony was Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. He told the audience that the USS Ronald Reagan was the only commissioned aircraft carrier name after a living U.S. president and he thanked those responsible for building her. “I want to congratulate everyone who helped build this ship and everyone who will sail it,” Cheney said. “You’ve made it what it is today” Mrs. Ronald Reagan served as the ship’s sponsor during the commissioning of the USS Ronald Reagan. As she took her place at the podium, the large crowd gave the former First Lady a standing ovation and cheered loudly for her. In the time honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Reagan then gave the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

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