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NEWS | Jan. 28, 2022

USS Ronald Reagan, U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka Sailors Administer COVID-19 Boosters to American, Japanese Base Employees

By Seaman Matthew Mitchell USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76)

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Sailors from the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) worked side-by-side with their counterparts from U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka (USNHY) onboard Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) to administer COVID-19 boosters to American and Japanese base civilian employees, Jan. 28.

Since November 2021, Ronald Reagan hospital corpsmen and USNHY staff have worked to ensure COVID-19 boosters were available for base personnel and their families across CFAY and other regional commands.

Ronald Reagan’s Commanding Officer Capt. Fred Goldhammer emphasized that being able to provide the booster shot to both American and Japanese civilian employees is an integral part to maintaining mission readiness while being forward-deployed in Japan.

“Whether the challenge is the global pandemic or the important task of ensuring freedom of the seas, our approach to success is the same - we are stronger together,” said Goldhammer. “Every day, U.S. service members work alongside Japanese military and civilian counterparts to ensure our safety and security, further strengthening the bonds between our two nations. With respect to COVID-19, the crew of USS Ronald Reagan is proud to assist Naval Hospital Yokosuka in our combined efforts with our host nation to prevent the effects of this disease. Together, we continue to reinforce a healthy community that is ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.”

This ongoing teamwork between military personnel and their civilian counterparts directly impacts mission readiness within the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility and will continue to improve overall health and wellness during the coming months.

“We are all about helping one another and this further solidifies that commitment,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Andrew Quigley, assigned to Ronald Reagan. “We are only as strong as our weakest link, and with these vaccinations we make each other stronger and more able to support the mission.”

Over the recent holidays, many Sailors were able to go home and reunite with their families and friends despite the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. With the ferocity and speed of the current spread, it is important for everyone onboard CFAY to have the tools and boosters necessary to help fend off COVID-19.

Travel limitations and restriction of movement protocols have been reestablished in Japan because of the recent holiday spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. However, base officials and health care professionals are adamant that the key to easing or lifting these restrictions is to increase the percentage of the base population receiving the COVID-19 booster shot.

“When we fight a war, it takes a whole team,” said Capt. Carolyn Rice, commanding officer of USNHY. “This team is not one country, but all our people including our Japanese partners that work alongside us every day. My corpsmen are proud to be a part of this!”

Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, and supports alliances, partnerships and collective maritime interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

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