US Navy Ronald Reagan CVN 76 aircraft carrier conducts flight operations in the Indo-Pacific

According to pictures released on the United States Media Center on October 4, 2020, the U.S. Navy Ronald Reagan CVN 76 Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has conducted flight operations with F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter aircraft and E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft in the Indo-Pacific.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the Dambusters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195, launches from the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (Picture source U.S. Navy)

Currently, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) aircraft carrier, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, as well as the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

The Carrier Strike Group 5, also known as CSG 5, is the U.S. Navy carrier strike group assigned to the United States Pacific Fleet and permanently forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet.

The Strike Group Flagship is the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) which also embarks Strike Warfare Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5) and its nine squadrons. Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) is a United States Navy aircraft carrier air wing based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.

The CVW-5 consists of eight Squadrons and one Fleet Logistics Squadron Detachment including the Strike Fighter Squadron 27 with F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter aircraft, Strike Fighter Squadron 102 F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter aircraft, Strike Fighter Squadron 115 with F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter aircraft, Strike Fighter Squadron 195 with F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter aircraft, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 with E-2 Hawkeye with carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, Electronic Attack Squadron 141 with EA-18G Growler carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Det. 5 with C-2 Greyhound cargo aircraft, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 with MH-60S Seahawk naval helicopter and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 with MH-60R Seahawk naval helicopters.

CSG 5 includes the Aegis Cruisers USS SHILOH (CG 67), USS ANTIETAM (CG 54) and USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (CG 62) Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers. Destroyer Squadron FIFTEEN (CDS 15) serves as the Sea Combat Commander and is also responsible for the seven permanently assigned Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, USS BARRY (DDG 52), USS BENFOLD (DDG 65), USS CURTIS WILBUR (DDG 54), USS JOHN S. MCCAIN (DDG 56), USS MCCAMPBELL (DDG 85), USS MILIUS (DDG 69), and USS MUSTIN (DDG 89).

A Nimitz-class aircraft carrier can accommodate a maximum of 130 F/A-18 Hornets or 85–90 aircraft of different types, but current numbers are typically 64 aircraft. A typical carrier air wing can include 24–36 F/A-18E or F Super Hornets as strike fighters; two squadrons of 10–12 F/A-18C Hornets, with one of these often provided by the U.S. Marine Corps (VMFA), also as strike fighters; 4–6 EA-18G Growlers for electronic warfare; 4–6 E-2C or D Hawkeyes for airborne early warning (AEW), C-2 Greyhounds used for logistics (to be replaced by MV-22 Ospreys); and a Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron of 6–8 SH-60F and HH-60H Seahawks.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet is a naval fighter aircraft manufactured by the company Boeing. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system.

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