May 26 (UPI) — The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt returned to San Diego Tuesday, wrapping its deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, the Navy announced.
The vessel deployed in December to the 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 U.S. Navy is ready for anything,” Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine, said in a Navy press release.
“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,” Verissimo added.
The ship conducted bilateral exercises with the Indian Navy and Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Air Force as well as the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Navy and South Korea’s Republic of Korea Navy, the Navy said.
In May, the TR carrier strike group 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,” Capt. Eric Anduze, commanding officer of Theodore Roosevelt, said in the Navy’s release.
The strike group also conducted operations in the South China Sea in February and again in April.
Last year the vessel’s deployment in the Pacific was extended by a COVID-19 outbreak that infected 1,000 of its crew of 4,800 and killed one.
The outbreak resulted in an outcry that went directly to the top of the Navy’s hierarchy after commanding officer who sent a pleading memo asking for more resources to contain the outbreak was fired — and the Navy’s secretary subsequently resigned.