USS Ronald Reagan departs San Diego Harbor - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USS Ronald Reagan departs San Diego Harbor

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The USS Ronald Reagan deployed Wednesday, leaving San Diego without aircraft carriers for about a week, according to the Navy.

The Reagan is going on a final "shakedown" cruise, then heading for the Middle East.

"We are ready to go to sea to finish our final qualifications before deployment," said Capt. Thom W. Burke, the carrier's commanding officer. "My sailors have been well trained throughout this process and are excited and ready for any challenges that we may meet."

With the USS Carl Vinson already deployed and the USS Nimitz undergoing repairs, there are no carriers at NAS North Island. But the USS John Stennis is scheduled to arrive in time for the 100th anniversary of Naval aviation at Coronado on Feb. 12.

The Reagan is accompanied by the USS Chancellorsville, a guided-missile cruiser, and the USS Preble, a destroyer. Those two ships left Naval Station San Diego.

Carrier Air Wing 14, which includes eight Navy and Marine air squadrons -- from jet fighters to anti-submarine helicopters -- are also with the Reagan.

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