Broward County’s Port Everglades saluted the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), this month as the 1,092-foot-long ship and several thousand sailors made their first port call since the ship’s commissioning in July 2003.
“Broward County has always been a favorite destination for Navy ships, which is due in part to the many attractions and sites this area has to offer young people, and to the warm reception they receive from our local residents as well as our active Navy Leagues
,” said Broward County Mayor Diana Wasserman-Rubin.
Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, Jr., Port Director Ken Krauter and mayors from cities within the port’s jurisdiction greeted Commanding Officer Capt. James A. Symonds and his crew in an official welcoming and reenlistment ceremony aboard the carrier on Wednesday, Nov. 12. During the Reagan’s liberty call, Broward County’s Navy Leagues, residents and area companies treated the visiting sailors to dinner receptions, a Florida Panthers hockey game, golf at area courses, and tickets to entertainment venues.
“Despite the security and logistical challenges that we face post 9/11, Port Everglades’ commitment to the U.S. Navy has never been stronger,” said Port Director Krauter. “We always try to accommodate naval vessels and look forward to hosting the men and women who serve in our armed forces.”
The USS Ronald Reagan is the largest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier carrying
approximately 6,000 personnel with a flight deck that cover about 4.5 acres each. This aircraft carrier is powered by two nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refueling and is expected to be in service for the next 50 years. The carrier towers 20 stories above the waterline and is 1,092 feet long, nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall.
The Navy’s ninth Nimitz-class carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July of this year in Norfolk, Va., and will be homeported in San Diego, Calif. The ship supports approximately 80 aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet strike fighters, the F-14 Tomcat fighter, the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound logistics aircraft, the S-3B Viking anti-submarine aircraft, the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, and the multi-role SH-60F and MH-60 R/ S helicopters.