06 July, 2006


The airwing of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan carrier strike group did their fly off to Lemoore yesterday, and the ships are scheduled to pull into San Diego this morning (the first destroyer--Decatur--is already pulling into the harbor as I write this). They are completing their maiden deployment, which was to the Persian Gulf in support of the GWOT, and their crew of 5,000 are being greeted at the North Island pier today by an estimated 10,000 people.

#1 Local radio talk show host Mark Larsen has had repeated extensive visits with the strike group both before and during this deployment. On July 3rd and 4th he spent his entire show broadcasting live and archive interviews with ship's crew--everybody from the average sailor to the airwing commander and the admiral. Great stuff! You can find streaming or podcasts of the interviews here for at least the next 4 weeks or so (yeah, Larsen looks like a dork, but he has a long and respected history here with San Diego and the Navy).

You can hear live coverage on local radio station KOGO here. Between 9 and 12 pacific time they'll be covering it at the hour and half-hour, but Larsen will be on with full coverage at 12:00 [apparently I was misinformed. But I believe Larsen was out in the middle of the festivities and may be broadcasting on them at a later date. I'll post if he does].

More pics here. High-res photos here.