US aircraft carrier docks in Singapore for the first time since 2019

SINGAPORE — The USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and one of the largest ships in the U.S. Navy, docked at Changi Naval Base Friday (July 22) — the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier stopped in Singapore since 2019.

The ship is here for a routine port call for a few days to refuel and allow those on board to take a break ashore.

It is the first time in a month that the ship has docked since its last stop in the US island territory of Guam in June.

In brief remarks to reporters aboard the ship, US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro paid tribute to the strong US-Singaporean relationship.

“I am very grateful to Singapore for the long history of friendly relations we have had…so that our two nations can prosper economically, as two free and independent democratic nations,” he said.

The USS Ronald Reagan has been deployed to patrol the Asia-Pacific region as part of routine U.S. Seventh Fleet operations in the region since May 21.

A spokesperson for the ship declined to reveal how long the USS Ronald Reagan and her crew will remain in Singapore, citing operational security concerns.

The Nimitz-class ship, which can carry more than 5,000 people and around 100 aircraft, has been based in Yokosuka, Japan since 2015.

Mr. Del Toro also said that the purpose of his visit to the Republic was twofold: “First, to thank Singapore for hosting rotating American forces such as the littoral combat ship, USS Charleston, but also … learn how (Singapore sees) the region and identify challenges we can work on together.

Del Toro’s visit to Changi Naval Base is part of his three-day introductory visit to Singapore, which ends on July 23.

According to a statement from the Singapore Ministry of Defense (Mindef) on Friday, he visited Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen at Mindef headquarters in Bukit Gombak on Friday afternoon.

Mindef added that the two men reaffirmed the excellent long-standing bilateral defense relationship between Singapore and the United States, as well as the close cooperation between the two militaries.

Mr. Del Toro will leave Singapore for Thailand and the Philippines to discuss how to strengthen collaboration between the United States and the two countries.

He added: “Our security alliance with Singapore and with these two nations is ironclad.”

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