Visitors Flock to TR During Fleet Fest

NORFOLK (Oct. 18, 2014) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) welcomed aboard thousands of visitors from the Hampton Roads area during Naval Station Norfolk’s Fleet Fest Oct. 18.

141018-N-VH385-041 The 3rd annual event featured ship tours of Theodore Roosevelt (TR), the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), a chili cook-off challenge and a car show.

Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Jonathan Pauler, from Lagrange, Texas, was one of many Sailors who helped guide tour groups around the TR.

“This is really good for our ship and the community,” said Pauler. “A lot of people have never seen a Navy ship before so this is really helping us build a good relationship with the community. They get to come aboard, see the ship and what we do.”

141018-N-KA273-057.JPGTR treated guests to tours of the hangar bay and flight deck, as well as various static displays. Guests also learned about life aboard an aircraft carrier from Sailors along the way.

The Broadwater family, including Paul, Kira and their three young daughters, from Virginia Beach, Va., said the elevator ride aboard TR and seeing the inside of the Gravely were some of their favorite parts of the day.

“A friend told us about the event and figured it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Kira. “Seeing how the Navy still keeps its traditions is amazing. The whole thing was incredible.”


The day wrapped up with TR hosting a Navy birthday celebration that featured an award ceremony, cake cutting and U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Band concert in the ship’s hangar bay.

Retired Vice Adm. James Zortman presented Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, USFF, with the Gray Eagle award, designating him as the Naval aviation officer with the longest continuous active service in the Navy or Marine Corps.

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