A graduate of Auburn University, David F. Baucom served in numerous assignments over 34 years in the United States Navy and retired in the rank of rear admiral. A former White House military aide to President Ronald Reagan, David Baucom also served aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.
Christened by Nancy Reagan in March, 2001, the USS Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July, 2003, at the Norfolk Naval Station and first departed for its home port of San Diego in May, 2004. The aircraft carrier departed for its maiden deployment in January, 2006, eight years after construction began, as part of a mission in support of the global war on terrorism, which included Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
The ship has also been used to support humanitarian efforts and disaster relief, most notably in response to the sinking of the 24,000 ton MV Princess of the Stars, which sank south of Manila as a result of Typhoon Fengshen in 2008. It has also been deployed to Japan following the catastrophic 9.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011 that resulted in thousands of casualties. Two days after being order to provide disaster relief to Japan, USS Ronald Reagan arrived off the coast of Honshu, where it served as a refueling platform for Japanese Self Defense Force helicopters conducting rescue and recovery missions.