Fact Check

USS Obama

Published Sept. 8, 2015


FACT CHECK:   Is the Navy ship the USS Ronald Reagan being renamed the USS Obama?

Claim:   The Navy ship USS Ronald Reagan is being renamed USS Obama.


Example:   [Collected via Twitter, September 2015]

uss reagan twitter

Origins:   On 7 September 2015, the entertainment Facebook group "Fox News The FB Page" (no affiliation with the Fox News Channel) posted a story claiming that the USS Ronald Reagan was being renamed the USS Obama:

uss barack obama
The U.S. Navy announced it's flagship and most advanced supercarrier warship will get a much needed refit and name change after it's next mission.

Last week the Nimitz-class carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) departed San Diego, Calif. for its new home in Yokosuka, Japan.Reagan has operated extensively in the Pacific, including responding to the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

After it's deployment the Reagan will return to Newport News, Va. for a mid-life overhaul.The Navy announced it will also be re-christening the ship to celebrate our nation's first African American president.

“We are sending our most modern West Coast-based aircraft carrier to support the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and our allies,” said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Naval Air Forces, said in a Monday statement.

“When she comes home it will be time to update.Both the technology and name will be updated to reflect America's progressive vision for the world an our allies.”

While the Fox News The FB Page is designed to look like the official page of Fox News, there are several ways to tell that this is a knockoff. First, Fox News The FB Page only has about 700 likes (compared to Fox News which has more than 10 million). Second, Fox News The FB Page is listed as a "Community Page about Fox News." Lastly, this Facebook page links to a blog and not Foxnews.com.

The USS Ronald Reagan is still named the USS Ronald Reagan and is still an active ship. Military.com reported on 1 September 2015, just a few days before rumors about the USS Obama began circulating, that the USS Ronald Reagan had departed for Japan:

"Ronald Reagan has been embraced as America's Flagship. Not only does she have strong ties to Americans, she also has ties to the people of Japan," said Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. "In 2011 Ronald Reagan was one of the first responders to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan during Operation Tomodachi. The ties that were established with the ship and our host nation will continue to grow."

Last updated:   8 September 2015

Originally published:   8 September 2015

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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