The Navy s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan (CVN 76
) will be
commissioned Saturday, July 12, 2003, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony at Norfolk
Naval Station, Va..
Vice President Richard Cheney will deliver the ceremony s principal address. Nancy
Reagan, wife of the ship s namesake, will serve as ship s sponsor. In the time
honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to
Capt. J. W. Goodwin of Dublin, Ga., is the first commanding officer
of a ship named
to honor America s 40th president Ronald Reagan who was born in Tampico, Ill., Feb.
6, 1911. With a crew of more than 5,500 men and women, including embarked air wing
personnel, Ronald Reagan will be homeported in San Diego as a member of the U.S.
Construction of the ninth Nimitz class ship
took place at Northrop Grumman Newport
News,Va., starting with the ship s keel laying Feb. 12, 1998, and christening Mar.
Ronald Reagan towers
20 stories above the waterline, displaces approximately 95,000
tons of water, has a flight deck width of 252 feet, and at 1,092 feet long, is
nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. This floating airfield has a
flight deck that covers 4.5 acres. Reagan s two nuclear reactors are capable of more
than 20 years of continuous service without refueling, providing virtually unlimited
range and endurance, and a top speed in excess of 30 knots.
The ship will support a wide variety of aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet and
F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters, the F-14 Tomcat fighter, the E-2 Hawkeye
airborne early warning aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound logistics aircraft, the S-3
Viking anti-submarine aircraft, the EA-6 Prowler electronic warfare aircraft and the
multi-role SH-60 and MH-60 helicopters.
Plans are in progress to broadcast the ceremony live by satellite, live to on-site
media, and live via streaming video to the web, through the Naval Media Center.
Satellite coordinates will be available in early July.