The USS Roosevelt has left Guam

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PHILIPPINE SEA (May 21, 2020) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) operates in the Philippine Sea May 21, 2020, following an extended visit to Guam in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Theodore Roosevelt is underway conducting carrier qualifications during a deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kaylianna Genier)

The USS Roosevelt left Guam this morning after being forced into port nearly two months ago to deal with a coronavirus outbreak amongst the sailors onboard.

Tug boats were seen nudging the aircraft carrier into position for departure around 7:30 a.m.

NAVAL BASE GUAM (May 21, 2020) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) departs Apra Harbor following an extended visit to Guam in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Theodore Roosevelt is underway conducting carrier qualifications during a deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan E. Gilbert)

The ship cleared Apra Harbor and entered the Philippine Sea shortly after 8 o’clock this morning.

Lt. Cmdr. Rick Moore, the spokesman for Joint Region Marianas, issued a brief statement confirming that “the ship has departed port.”

The Roosevelt’s Captain, Carlos Sardiello, was quoted in various national media reports yesterday as saying his sailors were making final preparations to depart with a scaled-back crew of 3,000, leaving nearly 2,000 others behind in quarantine at Naval Base Guam.

That includes more than a dozen sailors who recently tested positive again, just days after returning to the ship.

Lt. Moore told PNC News that the Roosevelt sailors who are still ashore on Guam “are completing quarantine in approved off-base Guam hotels and
locations onboard Naval Base Guam.”

NAVAL BASE GUAM (May 21, 2020) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) departs Apra Harbor following an extended visit to Guam in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Theodore Roosevelt is underway conducting carrier qualifications during a deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan E. Gilbert)

Captain Sardiello said he was confident that the ship will still be able to conduct missions as it resumes its deployment in the western Pacific over the next few months.

Parts of the ship have been re-configured to create one-way corridors, spaced out berthing areas for the crew, and expanded mess hall hours so fewer sailors are in the mess at any one time.

(PNC News photo)

READ the release from the USS Roosevelt Public Affairs office in FULL below:

USS Theodore Roosevelt Returns to Sea
From USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (May 21, 2020) – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is underway for the first time since arriving in Guam March 27. 

The ship left Naval Base Guam and entered the Philippine Sea May 21 to
conduct carrier qualification flights for the embarked Carrier Air Wing
(CVW) 11. 

“It feels great to be back at sea,” said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander,
Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9. “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.” 

Theodore Roosevelt is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 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. 

“We are scaling our manning on board based on our mission requirement,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “Carrier
qualification requires fewer personnel than other missions, and bringing
fewer Sailors on board will enable enhanced social distancing while
underway.” 

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% of the crew, adjusted meal hours, minimizing in-person meetings, sanitizing spaces and a simulated medevac. 

“It was an unprecedented challenge to get to this point and I’m proud of the
Rough Rider Team’s tenacity and resiliency in the face of uncertainty,” said
Sardiello. “We are extremely thankful for the dedicated support and
hospitality of Gov. Leon Guerrero, her staff and the people Guam. They have
been steadfast and proactive partners throughout. We are also thankful for
the efforts of our fellow service members on Guam for their resolute
support. We owe them all a debt of gratitude that words cannot express.” 

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. 

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit
www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/