One of the US Navy’s Pacific-based aircraft carriers, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and Carrier Air Wing 11 completed carrier qualifications following a return to sea post-COVID isolation in Guam.
Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) qualified pilots from the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-31), “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146, “Black Knights” of VFA-154, “Liberty Bells” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW-115), “The Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-142), and the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC-30).
Carrier qualifications are a time for naval aviators to refine their skills practiced during field carrier landing practice (FCLP) for sustained operations at sea aboard the aircraft carrier. Carrier qualifications fortified the operational relationship between CVW-11 and the Theodore Roosevelt.
Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-11 are on a scheduled deployment to the US 7th Fleet area of operations 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.
Captain Steve Jaureguizar, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW-11) said, “It is very gratifying to be able to return to our primary mission in the Indo-Pacific. The carrier air wing joined together with the carrier is the bedrock of naval aviation and power projection.”
Completing carrier qualification was the last milestone in returning Theodore Roosevelt to sea as a ready, credible naval asset capable of projecting power over the horizon.
Captain Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer, added, “You can see and feel the excitement around the ship as we have returned to flight operations. It is very rewarding for all sailors involved to exercise their skill set and see the TR back in action.”
Prior to completion of carrier qualifications, CVW-11 completed FCLP at Andersen Air Force Base to prepare pilots for underway operations. Completion of FCLP ensures that pilots have the requisite day and night practice for operations at sea aboard the carrier.
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.