The USS Theodore Roosevelt departed Guam on Thursday to continue its scheduled deployment after 10 weeks of quarantine due to a coronavirus outbreak.
The Navy said the San Diego-based aircraft carrier left Naval Base Guam and entered the Philippine Sea manned and ready to perform its role in maintaining freedom of the seas.
“Returning to our mission in the Indo-Pacific after completing carrier qualifications is a significant milestone in Theodore Roosevelt’s conditions-based recovery plan,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, the commanding officer. “Our mission was to recover the ship and recover the crew. We did not give up the ship and now our focus is on combat readiness, safety, and wellness of the crew.”
The ship docked on March 27 aftes its former captain, Brett Crozier, pleaded with the Navy for help with the outbreak. Crozier was fired when his memo was leaked to the press, but cheered by the crew as he departed. His case is under review.
For the past 10 weeks, the Navy quarantined crew members in hotels, cleaned all surfaces in the giant ship, and tested every crew member multiple times. Over 1,000 sailors contracted the disease, many were hospitalized, and one died.
The carrier is operating under new procedures to prevent another outbreak, with the crew wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
“Every recovered sailor we embark is another victory against COVID,” said Sardiello. “We remain dedicated to the recovery of every TR Sailor. Those ashore will continue to receive the best medical care by military medical representatives.”
The ship left San Diego in January on a routine deployment.