Last week the Nimitz-class carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) departed San Diego, CA for its new home in Yokosuka, Japan. USS Reagan has operated extensively in the Pacific, including responding to the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.
After it’s deployment the USS Ronald Reagan will return to Newport News, Va. for a mid-life overhaul.
The Navy announced it will also be re-christening the ship to USS Barack Obama to celebrate our nation’s first African American president.
“We are sending our most modern West Coast-based aircraft carrier to support the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and our allies,” said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Naval Air Forces, said in a Monday statement.
“When she comes home it will be time to update. Both the technology and name will be updated to reflect America’s progressive vision for the world an our allies.”
Shoemaker went on to explain the Navy had planned to build a new carrier to name after the 44th President but due to budget cuts those plans were scrapped.
It was not announced how long the ship’s current deployment would be but that Obama should be out of office by the time the name change takes place.
According to estimates from the Navy, the name swap will cost the service about $41 million in moving expenses as per executive order.