2008-06-19 10:33:09 GMT 2008-06-19 18:33:09 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
HONG KONG, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The United States aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan strike group pulled in Hong Kong port on Thursday to get replenishment on its third port call in two years to the city.
Rear Admiral James Wisecup, commander of the United States Carrier Strike Group Seven, extended condolences to those who were affected by the Sichuan earthquake.
"We truly feel for them," he said at a news briefing on the carrier.
Wisecup said that it was his fourth visit to Hong Kong and that the crew members were also delighted to be able to visit Hong Kong, where the east and the west joined to make one of the most beautiful cities he had ever visited.
It was the third port call by the USS Ronald Reagan in Hong Kong, following previous port calls in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Hong Kong remained one of the favorite ports for the crew members because of its shopping and cultural attractions, Wisecup said, declining to disclose where the strike group was heading to next and how long they would be staying in Hong Kong.
The carrier departed its home port of San Diego on May 19, 2008on "deployment to the 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility," said a statement issued by the group.
The aircraft carrier, with over 5,000 crew members on board, was joined by several other cruisers and destroyers to make the port call in Hong Kong.
Commissioned in July 2003, the Ronald Reagan is the United States' ninth and newest Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Displacing 97,000 tons at full load, the gigantic ship is1,096 feet long and towers 20 stories above the waterline.
It was the fourth U.S. aircraft carrier to make port calls in Hong Kong this year, after the Blue Ridge in January, the Nimitz and the Kitty Hawk in April.