USS Ronald Reagan strike group anchors off Phuket

PHUKET: The nuclear-powered US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan dropped anchor in Ao Makham today ahead of about 7,000 US Navy servicemen who will be taking shore leave in Phuket.

Accompanying the 332-meter supercarrier are the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville and the destroyer USS Preble, altogether designated as the ‘USS Ronald Reagan strike group’.

The convoy recently completed its part in providing disaster relief assistance to Japan as part of Operation Tomodachi, a mission that received a message of thanks from Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.

Not all will enjoy R&R (rest and recreation) leave on Phuket, however, with many staying on board their ships to ensure operations run smoothly, the Phuket Gazette was told this morning.

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Also, as usual, volunteers among the crews will be out and about on the island helping with community projects as part of the US Navy’s “Comrel” (community relations) campaign.

The Ronald Reagan, the Chancellorsville and the Preble are all scheduled to depart Phuket on Thursday.

The USS Gridley, which arrived at Phuket Deep Sea Port on Friday, is scheduled to depart tomorrow.

Thus far in the Navy’s visit, the Phuket Gazette has neither seen nor heard of any problems with local tuk-tuk and taxi drivers.

In June last year, US Navy servicemen faced an ugly blockade by local drivers protesting the sailors’ use of other means of transportation in leaving the port. That event made headlines worldwide, as did last month’s blockade of a luxury cruise ship here.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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