A MIGHTY ALLY SAILS BY

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY

THE pride of the United States Navy showed off its strength, power and might off the Queens­land coast yes­ter­day as the 97,000- tonne ves­sel par­tic­i­pates in Ex­er­cise Tal­is­man Sabre.

The USS Ron­ald Rea­gan, with Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer Cap­tain Buzz Don­nelly at the helm, is Amer­ica’s flag­ship – a highly vis­i­ble sym­bol of its com­mit­ment to al­lies, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, and of the na­tion’s re­solve to main­tain in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity.

There are more than 5000 men and women on board, in­clud­ing Aus­tralians, and the ship can carry more than 70 air­craft in­clud­ing re­con­nais­sance planes, fighter jets and he­li­copters. The Bulletin was given a tour of the ship yes­ter­day off the coast of Rock­hamp­ton, which in­cluded a visit to the flight deck as F/ A- 18 jets con­ducted ar­rested land­ing and cat­a­pult take­offs.

An F/ A- 18 lands on the USS off Rock­hamp­ton yes­ter­day.

Ron­ald Rea­gan

Main­te­nance crew check a jet be­low the flight deck.

Rear Ad­mi­ral Charles Wil­liams, Com­man­der Bat­tle Force 7th Fleet, Task Force 70, Car­rier Strike Group 5, aboard the USS off Rock­hamp­ton. Pic­tures: WES­LEY MONTS

Rea­gan Ron­ald

A pi­lot climbs into an F/ A- 18 jet be­fore tak­ing off and (

right)

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