To be able to do that, it needs to resupply, though, and there are several ways it can achieve that, without it coming back to port. One of those ways is clearly shown in the main photo of this piece, a picture Navy personnel snapped this week in the Indo-Pacific region, from where the Reagan leads Carrier Strike Group 5.
What we see here is an EC-225 Super Puma helicopter, dropping its cargo right on the carrier’s flight deck. This type of mission is called by sailors replenishment-at-sea.
The Super Puma is a European machine, being put together by Eurocopter, now Airbus Helicopters. The huge aircraft was first flown in service in 2004, having been devised primarily for long-range passenger transport. It is powered by a pair of turboshaft engines developing close to 2,400 hp each, and can reach top speeds of 275 kph (171 mph).
The thing can take off weighing as much as 11,200 kg (24,692 lbs), but we are not being told how much cargo it carried with it for the needs of the Reagan.
The Super Puma was sent over to the Reagan from the USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) ammunition ship, so at least we have an idea of what was moved over to the massive carrier.