Hundreds of Marines arrive on Guam to help virus-stricken carrier crew

NAVAL BASE GUAM (April 9, 2020) Sailors and Marines from 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, sterilize a building in support of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailors. Theodore Roosevelt is docked at Naval Base Guam where Sailors from the ship are practicing social distancing and following other guidelines from the CDC, U.S. Navy and the Governor of Guam as part of a COVID-19 mitigation effort during a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Julio Rivera/Released)

By 1st Lt. Tori Sharpe, 3rd Marine Logistics Group

NAVAL BASE GUAM – A team of medical professionals assigned to 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force deployed to Guam in order to augment the COVID-19 response efforts by USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Approximately 230 Sailors and Marines arrived in Guam throughout the first weeks of April and are supporting Theodore Roosevelt’s onboard medical staff in assessing, managing and treating the symptoms of COVID-19 cases while the ship is in port.

“As a Maritime Force, we need to work together as a Navy and Marine Corps team to stop the spread of COVID-19 in order to remain a ready force in the region,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Keith D. Reventlow, 3rd Marine Logistics Group Commanding General. “Soon after receiving the request for support, we rapidly deployed a team of highly skilled medical professionals to augment Theodore Roosevelt’s existing capabilities with manpower and resources to effectively assist with COVID-19 cases. Our combined efforts to combat the virus and protect the health of our force will allow us to continue our mission in Indo-Pacific theater.”

The team adds to the professional medical care already available aboard Theodore Roosevelt, including more than 70 embarked officers and corpsmen and a team from the Biological Defense Research Directorate, Fort Detrick, Maryland, which has been on board Theodore Roosevelt conducting early-warning surveillance testing for Sailors who present with influenza-like symptoms.

The 3rd Medical Battalion, based in Okinawa, Japan, maintains a deployable force ready to intervene to support natural disasters, humanitarian assistance and various other missions. After receiving official notice of the mission to support Theodore Roosevelt, the joint Navy and Marine Corps team was ready to deploy within 48 hours.

“The rapid response by the 3rd MLG was incredible,” said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. “Their footprint ashore will ensure our Sailors off ship are well cared for.”

Although Theodore Roosevelt recently conducted joint exercises with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, this deployment marks the first time the ship and the 3rd Marine Logistics Group have worked together in recent years.

The medical team, which is based at Naval Base Guam, will comply with all quarantine requirements set forth by Governor Leon Guerrero and will only be traveling to conduct critical official business on military installations.

Theodore Roosevelt is currently on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific and pulled in to Guam on March 27.

Sailors and Marines from 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, sterilize a building in support of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailors, April 9. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Julio Rivera)