Ten weeks after a major coronavirus outbreak left the United States, one of the Navy’s signature warships, Theodore Roosevelt returned to the sea and ran military operations in the Pacific region.
While hanging the flight deck in the dress’s white uniforms, the sailors wearing white face masks stood with a virus-safe 10-meter gap, on Thursday, departing from the port of Guam and heading towards the Philippine Sea.
“We ran the railway, which we don’t normally do. There was a lot of symbolism in this, ”Navy Capt Carlos Sardiello told the Associated Press in a ship interview Thursday. “Exciting cost. They were fired to be on the sea again. “
Roosevelt retreated to Guam on March 27, and a growing number of sailors tested positive for the virus. Over time, it was infected with more than 1,000 COVID-19s, creating a long and systematic process to transport about 4,000 seafarers to land for quarantine and treatment, while about 800 remained on board to protect and operate high-tech systems, including nuclear reactors. running.
Gradually, seafarers were methodically brought back to the ship, while the rest landed for two-week compulsory quarantines. And at the end of March, the ship, which had only about 3,000 crew members on board, sailed for about two weeks of training, including recertification of the war fleet, such as the take-off and landing of the flight deck and aircraft carrier.
Earlier this week, Roosevelt completed his training and returned to Guam to complete his quarantines or to pick up about 1000 seafarers who remained there to manage and work on the island. As the ship advanced towards the harbor, a famous Navy battle from the War of 1812 was flying a flag with the word “Don’t Give Up”.
“Our sailors did not give up the ship. They fought and took it back. I thought it was okay, ”said Sardiello, who asked one of the other Navy ships to borrow their flags. “The ship was clean and the ship was healthy without any COVID cases. I said, okay, once we’re going to Guam, we’ll fly it as a symbol to strengthen your morale. “
RS1 Katie VanDrimmelen was one of the sailors who landed during the two-week training. Tested positively for the virus and quarantined for about five weeks. On returning to the ship, he said it was like being admitted home without a deployment.
“It was incredible,” said VanDrimmelen of Utah Ogden. “It was very comforting to return to the normal atmosphere. Everyone was happy. “
Sardiello said it was a great feeling to watch the sailors board, but he knows he is not done yet. There are about 350 seafarers in Guam either in isolation or working as support staff.
“These seafarers meet the criteria for getting back to work more and more and we fly on board every day. We are reducing this number every day, ”said Sardiello. “But I really want the 350s to lag behind. And we work hard on this. “
He said that the sailors who did not recover on time would be sent back to the US and expected the ship to continue its operations in the Pacific, and then to San Diego this summer.
Roosevelt is at the center of an unresolved debate that led to the firing of the previous captain of the ship, the resignation of the Navy secretary and an extended investigation into what triggered the outbreak and how well senior naval commanders handled.
Sardiello had previously taken Roosevelt, but was suddenly sent back to the ship in early April to command after Capt. Brett Crozier was fired for calling his commanders to act faster to start a virus outbreak.
After a preliminary examination last month, the Navy’s senior manager Adam Mike Gilday suggested that Crozier be reinstated as the ship’s captain. However, the Navy decided to conduct a more extensive investigation.
This review, which effectively delayed Crozier’s decision to reinstate, was sent to Gilday at the end of March and examines the comprehensive report of hundreds of pages of interviews, documents and recommendations.
Commander. Gilday spokesperson Nate Christensen said it would take time for the admiral to finish the investigation and decide.