APRA HARBOR, Guam -- USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) departed Apra Harbor to continue its scheduled deployment in the Indo-Pacific, June 4.
The ship left Naval Base Guam and entered the Philippine Sea manned and ready to provide maritime security, maintain freedom of the seas in accordance with international law and customs, and operate with international partners and allies to promote regional stability and prosperity.
“Our forward presence and engagement play an essential role in strengthening the capabilities of Indo-Pacific nations and partners.” said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9.
Theodore Roosevelt is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The ship pulled into Apra Harbor, Guam, on March 27 and immediately implemented a phased and methodical approach to address a COVID-19 outbreak among its crew.
After successfully recovering the ship and the crew, then proceeding to requalify the air wing via carrier qualification, the Theodore Roosevelt team recovered the rest of the crew fit for the mission from the shore, flying the iconic words of James Lawrence ‘Don’t Give Up The Ship’ flag from the port yardarm, representative of the ‘fighting spirit’ of the U.S. Navy Sailor.
“Returning to our mission in the Indo-Pacific after completing carrier qualifications is a significant milestone in Theodore Roosevelt’s conditions-based recovery plan,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer. “Our mission was to recover the ship and recover the crew. We did not give up the ship and now our focus is on combat readiness, safety, and wellness of the crew.”
Underway, the carrier operates under a newly implemented COVID-19 standard operating procedure which establishes the guidelines, responsibilities, and procedures for the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19. The crew has modified numerous procedures including how they transit through the ship, expanded meal hours, and created new social distancing procedures for almost every at-sea evolution.
“The crew humbly prepared to go back to sea, they had a job to do, and they did it without hesitation,” said Sardiello. “We have returned Theodore Roosevelt to sea as a symbol of hope and inspiration, and an instrument of national power because we are TR.”
When Theodore Roosevelt departed from Naval Base Guam, they manned the rails as a gesture of gratitude and thanksgiving to honor the people of Guam, the service members, and civilians who supported the recovery of the crew during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every recovered Sailor we embark is another victory against COVID,” said Sardiello. “We remain dedicated to the recovery of every TR Sailor. Those ashore will continue to receive the best medical care by military medical representatives. We greatly appreciate the continued support by Naval Base Guam, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and Expeditionary Medical Facility from Camp Pendleton.”
Theodore Roosevelt is the nation’s fourth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier with a crew of nearly 5,000 Sailors who support and conduct air operations at sea. Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled Indo-Pacific deployment January 17.