USS Theodore Roosevelt departs Guam

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 among the sailors on board.

Tug boats were seen nudging the aircraft carrier into position for departure at around 7:30 a.m. The ship cleared Apra Harbor and entered the Philippine Sea shortly after 8 a.m. this morning.

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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.

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