US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) returned to San Diego on May 25, completing a five-month deployment which took the ship and its carrier strike group all the way to the South China Sea.
Starting a back-to-back deployment in December 2020 (meaning the carrier deployed for a second time within a single 36-month readiness cycle), the ship operated in the US 3rd Fleet and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
“Whether it was operating in the Indo-Pacific and the South China Sea or high northern latitudes in the Gulf of Alaska, Carrier Strike Group Nine demonstrated that the US Navy is ready for anything,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. “We met the challenges that COVID-19 brought head-on and successfully deployed forward to work with our allies and partners from Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, and South Korea.”
It should be noted that the second stint started just six months after the ship completed a grueling 2020 deployment during which it spent two months in Guam, battling the outbreak of COVID-19 on board. The situation led to the death of one crew member and in the aftermath, to a political scandal and resignation of the US Navy secretary.
During this year’s operations in the US 7th Fleet, Theodore Roosevelt’s primary mission was conducting maritime security operations, ensuring freedom of navigation and economic trade in the Indo-Pacific region. The CSG conducted bilateral exercises with the Indian Navy and Air Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Navy, Republic of Korea Navy, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, focusing on building capabilities and increasing combat readiness to win the high-end fight.
In May, Theodore Roosevelt participated in exercise Northern Edge 2021 in the Gulf of Alaska.
“I am incredibly proud of this crew for all their hard work and sacrifice throughout this deployment,” said Capt. Eric Anduze, commanding officer of Theodore Roosevelt. “Our presence in the Indo-Pacific had a significant impact on maintaining stability and security in the region that would not have been possible without every single Sailor aboard.”
Theodore Roosevelt joined forces with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group to conduct dual-carrier operations and, on a later date, the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group in the South China Sea for expeditionary strike force operations, increasing interoperability as well as command and control capabilities.
The TRCSG consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59).