USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is underway for the first time since arriving in Guam in late-March due to an outbreak of COVID-19. The ship left Naval Base Guam and entered the Philippine Seaon 21 May to conduct carrier qualification flights for the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.
Theodore Roosevelt is on a scheduled deployment to the US 7th Fleet area of operations. It moored in Guam after some members of the crew displayed symptoms and later tested positive for COVID-19.
After moving nearly 4,000 crewmembers off ship and cleaning the entire ship from bow to stern, the appropriate number of crewmembers to operate the ship underway have returned from quarantine after passing rigorous return-to-work criteria.
Scaled manning allows the ship to bring on board the right makeup of personnel required to safely operate and complete a particular mission requirement.
Rear Admiral Stu Baker, Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, said, “It feels great to be back at sea. Getting Theodore Roosevelt and Carrier Air Wing 11 one step closer to returning to their mission in the Indo-Pacific is a great achievement for the crew.”
In addition to social distancing, Theodore Roosevelt sailors will execute Navy COVID prevention and mitigation policies, including all required lessons learned from a safety stand down last week and a simulated underway earlier this week. During the simulated underway, the crew walked through routine and emergency procedures while executing COVID-19 mitigation measures, including wearing masks, medical surveillance of 100 per cent of the crew, adjusted meal hours, minimising in-person meetings, sanitising spaces and a simulated medevac.
Captain Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer reinforced RADM Baker’s comments, saying, “We are scaling our manning on board based on our mission requirement.
“Carrier qualification requires fewer personnel than other missions, and bringing fewer sailors on board will enable enhanced social distancing while underway.”
Theodore Roosevelt is the US Navy’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 on 17 January.