KNOW YOUR SHIP: "Peace Through Strength" - What Presidential Candidates Should Heed from USS Ronald Reagan

LOGO_KnowYourShip.jpgAircraft carrier serves as a reminder of the need for robust Navy

"Preserving the peace, which I believe is a responsibility, peculiar to our country, that we cannot shirk... We are the oly one that can do it and therefore the burden of maintaining the peace falls on us, and to maintain that peace requires strength."  - President Ronald Reagan 

WASHINGTON (September 14, 2015) - On September 16, the Republican presidential candidates will gather at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. where the legacy of "peace through strength," one of President Reagan's enduring policy platforms, still rings true. Nearly 30 years after he served office, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) continues the former President's legacy and serves as a reminder for his call for a robust Navy to provide peace through strength. 

With more than 6,000 men and women and 90 aircraft aboard, the USS Ronald Reaganis effectively a small city. The carrier serves as the nucleus to its own carrier strike group made up of at least four additional ships ranging from submarines to destroyers. Since her commissioning in 2003, she has been deployed five times, most recently to the Seventh Fleet in Japan, and continues to serve today in times of global strife and conflict. 

While the incredible power of ths ship is used every day to deter agression, preserve freedom of maritime access, and protect the economic livelihood of America and our friends, it is often forgotten that the ship's namesake, President Ronald Reagan, called for a 600-ship Navy. When President Reagan assumed office, there were 538 ships in the Navy; today there are less than 300 due to the mistaken assumption the world would be a safer place after the Cold War. 

The USS Ronald Reagan,"America's Flagship," is the ninth ship in the Nimitz class and was built by over 20,000 men and women in Newport News, Va. According to the U.S. Maritime Administration, for every one shipyard job, five more jobs are created nationwide. This is especially true for the industry supporting the Navy's aircraft carriers where nearly 1,200 suppliers worth over $6.4 billion support local economies in 44 states. 

"America's strength depends on maintaining our industrial base and our capability to build these ships now and for future generations," said Matthew Paxton, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America. "The shipbuilding and repair industry and our workforce of more than 400,000 people nationwide will continue to build and maintain these ships and help America provide peace through strength." 

Every day, the U.S. Navy is called upon to protect international trade routes, assist in times of need after natural disasters and maintain forward presence that brings stability to international waters. In the years since President Reagan took office, the world has become more complicated and dangerous, and the Navy's job continues to grow. Navy ships fight on the sea, Navy submarines fight under the sea, and Navy aircraft fight over the sea, taking off from and landing on Navy aircraft carriers. As a maritime nation, a firm commitment from our leaders to build and maintain the world's greatest Navy is not only desirable, it is neccessary. 

As the Republican candidates descend upon southern California and will no doubt invoke the legacy of President Reagan, it is imperative that they remember President Reagan's commitment to peace through strength, and the need for a robust and healthy Navy. 

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Contact: Danielle Hagen - 202. 365.6112

About the KNOW YOUR SHIP Campaign 

Shipbuilders Council of America launched the KNOW YOUR SHIP Campaign in the summer of 2015 to tell the story of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry and the national and economic security the trade provides. To learn more about KNOW YOUR SHIP, click HERE