PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) – Ariel Falck Ponce, a native of West Orange, N.J., is serving aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), which is continuing to conduct operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Falck Ponce is a machinist’s mate Second Class petty officer, maintaining and operating the air conditioning and refrigeration plants aboard the ship.

“I am happy to be deployed to this region doing the operations we do because it is important,” said Falck Ponce. “I learn a lot from my junior Sailors.”

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Since the ship’s Yokosuka departure in June 2020, the Ronald Reagan continues to operate in the Indo-Pacific alongside allies and partners to demonstrate the United States of America’s commitment to defense agreements, as well as provide security and stability in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

In July 2020, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups started conducting dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea and South China Sea. These carrier strike groups incorporate the capabilities of embarked fixed and rotary wing aircraft, Aegis guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, and attack submarines. This opportunity for two carrier strike groups to train and operate together in the region provides combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility and capabilities that only the U.S. Navy can bring.

Most recently, the Ronald Reagan completed a trilateral naval exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Australian Defense Force (ADF). Australia and Japan have both fostered long-standing alliances with the United States. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the treaty of mutual cooperation and security between the United States and Japan.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is the Navy's only forward-deployed strike group and one of America's most visible symbols of resolve. The Ronald Reagan CSG, consists of Carrier Air Wing 5, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89).

 

This article was submitted by the Navy Office of Community Outreach.