USS Ronald Reagan to relocate to Japan in 2015 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USS Ronald Reagan to relocate to Japan in 2015

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The USS Ronald Reagan will be relocated from Coronado to Japan next year as part of the U.S.'s plan to keep six aircraft carriers in commission in the Asia-Pacific region, Navy officials announced this week.

The Reagan has been chosen to replace the USS George Washington at Yokosuka Naval Base so that the Washington, which was commissioned in 1992, can move to Virginia to complete a lengthy nuclear refueling and overhaul, according to the Navy.

"Our aircraft carriers and their embarked air wings must operate forward because the truth is you simply must be present to influence events in the world," said Vice Adm. David H. Buss, commander, Naval Air Forces. "No matter the mission, whether the situation is promptly delivering humanitarian aid in a sudden crisis or conducting combat operations, when hours count, help can't be weeks away."

Though its losing the Reagan, the San Diego region will not be down an aircraft carrier. The USS Theodore Roosevelt has been tapped to relocate from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego.

Sailors assigned to the Reagan and their families will, for the most part, not be relocated to Japan. Instead, those assigned to the Reagan will remain in San Diego to operate the Roosevelt and the Reagan will be operated by sailors already in Japan.

"The Navy is making every effort to avoid unnecessary permanent change of station moves for sailors and their families due to the relocation of these aircraft carriers," said Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, spokesman for the commander, U.S. Naval Air Forces.

Sailors who will not avoid the move include those in key leadership positions and sailors with certain specialization or skill sets specific to a particular carrier, Stephens said.

A more specific timeline for the moves is expected to be made public closer to their actual departures.

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