West Orange native serves aboard USS Ronald Reagan in Indo-Pacific region

Ariel Falck Ponce

PACIFIC OCEAN — West Orange native Ariel Falck Ponce is serving aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), which is continuing to conduct operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Falck Ponce is a machinist’s mate second-class petty officer, maintaining and operating the air conditioning and refrigeration plants aboard the ship.

“I am happy to be deployed to this region doing the operations we do because it is important,” Falck Ponce said. “I learn a lot from my junior sailors.”

Since the ship’s Yokosuka departure in June, the USS Ronald Reagan continues to operate in the Indo-Pacific alongside allies and partners to demonstrate the United States of America’s commitment to defense agreements, as well as provide security and stability in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

In early July, USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups started conducting dual carrier operations in the Philippine and South China seas. These carrier strike groups incorporate the capabilities of embarked fixed and rotary wing aircraft, Aegis guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, and attack submarines. This opportunity for two carrier strike groups to train and operate together in the region provides combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility and capabilities.

Most recently, the USS Ronald Reagan completed a trilateral naval exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Australian Defense Force; Australia and Japan have both fostered long-standing alliances with the United States.