TR Visits Singapore

INDIAN OCEAN (Oct. 29, 2015) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and her crew pulled into Singapore, Oct. 24-28.

TR’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) offered event and excursion options including trips to Universal Studios, the Singapore Zoo, S.E.A. Aquarium, Cloud Forest and Flower Dome indoor gardens, Jurong Bird Park, Adventure Cove Waterpark, a night safari in the nocturnal animal park, a ride down the Singapore River in a bumboat and a cultural tour of the city.

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“We have a wide variety of interests on board so we try to find something for everyone to enjoy,” said Megan Villapudua, TR’s Funboss. “It sounds like people have really enjoyed the tours. Responses are still coming in and so far everyone really loved Singapore as a whole.”

Three of the tours were completely sold out, and the night safari was among the most popular. The night safari gave adventurers a rare view of nocturnal animals out and about in the moonlight. Additionally, they were treated to a fire-eating show.

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Operations Specialist 3rd Class Kali Washington had a chance to get closer to local creatures of the night than she ever thought she would.

“We rode through the jungle – there weren’t any gates so we got to see the animals up close and personal,” said Washington. “That was the coolest part.”

TR’s Command Religious Ministries department facilitated a number of community service projects. A trip to the Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen was the perfect way for Operations Specialist 1st Class Jere Alan Geiger to thank Singapore for its remarkable hospitality.

“I volunteer for events like these to reach out and help people,” said Geiger. “These people are nice enough to open up their country to us so I wanted to do something nice for them.”

Singapore provided TR’s crew with an opportunity to see something different.

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“It was nice to see greenery and not to be sweating while standing all the time,” said Villapudua. “I think a lot of people had a lot of fun. They got to explore and it wasn’t just the same routine.”

The Singaporean people’s hospitality left an impact on TR’s crew.

“I thought that the people in Singapore were probably the nicest people I’ve ever encountered,” said Villapudua. “I don’t think I had ever really thought of Singapore as a destination place to visit, but it was beautiful, easy to transit, everyone was super accommodating, the food was great, the experiences were cool and I just had a lot of fun.”

Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Farragut (DDG 90) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).

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Theodore Roosevelt is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations as part of a worldwide deployment en route to its new homeport in San Diego to complete a three-carrier homeport shift.

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chad M. Trudeau, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

A Legend is Born

INDIAN OCEAN (October 22, 2015)– This October, Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN71) will celebrate many birthdays with cake and festivities on the aft mess deck as they have every month since going on deployment in March. However, this month holds a special place for two birthdays that all Sailors aboard the ship celebrate. Oct. 25 will mark the 29th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Theodore Roosevelt while Oct. 27 is the 157th birthday of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States and the ship’s namesake.

“I think it would be nice if people took the time to learn about Theodore Roosevelt because I think most people would find something interesting or relatable about him,” said Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian Flood, a Naval Heritage Coordinator for the ship’s enlisted surface warfare program.

There are certainly volumes of literature written about Theodore Roosevelt, and while it may seem odd that a Navy ship takes its name from a man famous for fighting in the Army during the Spanish-American War, it was Theodore Roosevelt who wrote a letter urging the Navy to look into purchasing aircraft for use in naval warfare.
Shortly after that, the Navy chose to act on Theodore Roosevelt’s advice and naval aviation was born with the purchase of Curtiss Hydroplanes. Sailors aboard TR need only look beneath their feet to see the impact that letter had and the progress that has been made in just a little more than a hundred years.

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It’s not surprising then that so much of the ship’s character borrows from aspects of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy ranging from the call sign “Rough Rider,” a name given to Roosevelt’s 1st U.S. Voluntary Cavalry, all the way down to the ship’s seal.

“The ships seal was designed based on Theodore Roosevelt and his family,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Dameion Meikl, a Naval Heritage Coordinator for the ship’s enlisted surface and air warfare programs. “The inside blue portion is Alice Blue, his daughter’s favorite color. The mooring line has 58 strands around it, which represents 1858, the year TR was born. The roses are from his family’s name, which means ‘field of roses’ and you have his initials and photograph in the center.”

When asked what he’ll remember most about his time on TR, Meikl said he’ll remember becoming a shellback.

“I think TR would have had a good time doing that. I think it would have been even more fun and maybe a little scarier,” said Meikl.

Roosevelt was a big proponent of what he called “the strenuous life” and was known for saying: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” In contrast to his later years, Roosevelt started his life off as a frail young man with asthma and other health problems, but his father, who never gave up on him, put a gymnasium in their home and told his son that it was up to him to make something of himself. By the time Roosevelt graduated high school, headed for Harvard University, he was not only an experienced hunter and outdoorsman, but he was also a formidable boxer.

Much like Theodore Roosevelt, the man, CVN 71 had its share of troubles to overcome before construction even began. Initially President Gerald Ford, namesake of the latest class of aircraft carrier, cancelled the order for the ship in favor of two smaller, conventional aircraft carriers. Three years later President Jimmy Carter vetoed a Department of Defense authorization bill proposing to build CVN 71; however Carter reversed his veto due to trouble brewing in the location the ship is currently operating, the Indian Ocean.

Roosevelt eventually graduated from Harvard, but left law school in favor of a lifetime of public service which began with a position as a member of the New York State Assembly. During that time Roosevelt’s primary focus was to fight greed and corruption, which led to Roosevelt making a name for himself as a man of strong principles.

The ship’s lifetime of service started on December 30, 1988 with its first deployment patrolling the Mediterranean Sea before returning on June 30, 1989. Soon after the ship received her first of four Battle Efficiency awards.

Currently USS Theodore Roosevelt is making its way home from deployment at the age of 29. Theodore Roosevelt was the same age when he had his second child, formed the Boone and Crockett Club and lost more than $40,000 of his investment in cattle ranching. It would still be another 14 years before Roosevelt took the office of Vice President, when he popularized the African proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far,” from which the ship got its nickname, ’Big Stick.’

Six months after his election to the vice-presidency, President William McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, and Roosevelt was sworn in for the first time as President of the United States, making him the youngest person to hold that position to this day.

Much like Theodore Roosevelt, the man at the age of 29, this ship is far from reaching its prime. With many years ahead, only time will tell what is in store for the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

Theodore Roosevelt Wraps Up Malabar 2015

BAY OF BENGAL (Oct. 19, 2015) – The tri-lateral exercise Malabar came to a close as Indian, Japanese and U.S. naval forces completed training, Oct. 19.

The annual high-end war fighting exercise, which began in 1992, featured maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, air defense exercises (ADEX), and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.

“Every Malabar we really go one notch up, and I think we’ve have achieved the same thing this time,” said Indian Navy Rear Adm. SV Bhokare, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. “We have really achieved a high level of interoperability and I’m sure we will do better next time.”

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At-sea events started with an ADEX involving the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the Indian frigate INS Shivalik (F 47).

“Exercise Malabar has enabled the Indian Navy, JMSDF [Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force], and the U.S. Navy to further our interoperability,” said Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander, Carrier Strike Group 12. “This in turn will allow for enhanced support from any one Navy to the next as they operate within and outside their nation’s maritime region, enabling a more global presence for all. Presence is important because being there matters. It matters in global businesses, it matters in international relations, and it certainly matters in maritime security where our navies ensure the freedom of navigation and flow of commerce.”

The ashore portion of the exercise featured information exchanges from professionals and subject-matter experts on a wide variety of military operations including helicopter operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, damage control, carrier strike group operations and explosive ordnance disposal.

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“I think we have built upon each of the exercises annually to broaden and deepen the complexity,” said Capt. Craig Clapperton, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “I think the lessons learned from the interoperability of all of these ships and planes in very close proximity and doing so effectively and safely will be invaluable to all three navies.”

Capt. Scott Robertson, Normandy’s commanding officer, was confident the exercise improved interoperability between the three countries.

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“With the talent and capability that we saw here over the last four days, if there is ever a need to actually form a tri-lateral strike group, we absolutely could do it,” said Robertson.

While conducting the at-sea portion of the training, ships from the Indian Navy, the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy collaborated to advance their ability to plan and coordinate tactical operations in a multinational environment. Events at sea included submarine familiarization, surface warfare exercises, liaison officer professional exchanges and embarkations, high-value unit defense, mine exercise, medevac, search and rescue exercises, communication exercises and an opposed underway replenishment.

Theodore Roosevelt also welcomed aboard officers and dignitaries from each nation for a chance to exchange information and observe operations.

“I think the biggest highlight of this Malabar is that despite so many operations, everything went on safely. There were no incidents, and I think it really speaks volumes of our Sailors because they are the ones who actually conduct these exercises,” said Bhokare. “You make new friends and that’s one of the bigger highlights of this exercise. So I thank each one of you for your participation and I am looking forward to Malabar 2016.”

Months of planning go in to creating these exercises, and years of partnership are what bring these governments together.

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“The exercise has come a long way over the years and there has been great cooperation and coordination in making this come together,” said Kelley.

TR, Normandy, Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), Los Angeles-class submarine USS Corpus Christi (SSN 705), the Japanese Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki (DD 108), the Indian Navy Brahmaputra-class guided-missile frigate INS Betwa (F 39), the Rajput-class destroyer INS Ravijay (D 55), the Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric submarine INS Sindhuraj (S 57), INS Shivalik and INS Shakti were all participants in Exercise Malabar 2015.

Malabar is a continuing series of complex, high-end war fighting exercises conducted to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security. It features complex exercises both ashore and at sea.

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chad M. Trudeau, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

Theodore Roosevelt Hosts Distinguished Visitors for Malabar 2015

BAY OF BENGAL (Oct. 18, 2015) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) welcomed aboard 28 senior Indian, Japanese and U.S. civilian and military officials to observe the tri-lateral Exercise Malabar 2015, Oct. 18.

Distinguished visitors included Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of India Takeshi Yagi, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of India Richard Verma, Indian Navy Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Adm. R.K. Pattanik, and Indian Navy Rear Adm. S.V. Bhokare, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.

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Malabar is a continuing series of complex, high-end war fighting exercises conducted to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security. It features complex exercises both ashore and at sea, and has grown in magnitude and complexity since its conception in 1992.

“All three countries have very capable navies, and we’re good partners for each other. When you practice and train together in this way it really does help us when we might actually have to work together on those things that we hold very dear,” said U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma. “It has been a terrific success made possible by the incredible service of all these professionals from the three militaries that are present here.”

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During their time aboard Theodore Roosevelt, distinguished visitors observed flight operations, coordinated Indian, Japanese and U.S. ship maneuvers and toured Theodore Roosevelt.

“I think this is a great boost to the maritime cooperation between the U.S., India and Japan,” said Yagi. “We attach great importance to this and we hope we can continue to participate in the Malabar exercise.”

Earlier in the day, in a clear display of tri-lateral capability, the Indian Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti (A 57) conducted an underway replenishment with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki (DD 108) and Theodore Roosevelt simultaneously.

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“We have been progressing every year and lessons learned have been passed down to increase interoperability,” said Bhokare. “Now it has become a trilateral exercise, so we are learning even more every year.”

This year the exercise has expanded to include Japan.

“This exercise has a good effect on peace and stability in this region,” said Capt. Masahiko Hoshino, commander, Escort Division 14, JMSDF. “JMSDF, U.S. Navy and Indian Navy have years of experience, [and] we have to make an effort to strengthen the trilateral cooperation.”

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Exercises such as Malabar allow for practical training while exchanging both skills and cultures and increasing understanding of multinational operations.

“The whole idea is to get the three different navies together, do our operations, figure out how we operate differently, and how we can coordinate our operations. We practice the exercises and make sure we’re comfortable operating with each other and can trust each other,” said Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander, Carrier Strike Group 12. “We want to make sure that everyone leaves this exercise feeling like we are very comfortable in how we operate and we have a good exchange.”

Theodore Roosevelt, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Corpus Christi (SSN 705), JS Fuyuzuki, the Indian Navy Brahmaputra-class guided-missile frigate INS Betwa (F 39), the Rajput-class destroyer INS Ravijay (D 55), the Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric submarine INS Sindhuraj (S 57), INS Shivalik and INS Shakti are all participants in Exercise Malabar 2015.

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Theodore Roosevelt is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations as part of a worldwide deployment en route to its new homeport in San Diego to complete a three-carrier homeport shift.

Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

Trilateral Air Defense Exercise Launches Malabar 2015

BAY OF BENGAL – Naval forces and liaisons from India, Japan and United States begin Exercise Malabar 2015, Oct. 16, through air defense collaboration.

The featured cooperation consists of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Airwing (CVW) 1, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and Indian frigate INS Shivalik (F 47).

Exercise Malabar is an annual event designed to enhance naval cooperation through engagement with India and Japan while demonstrating U.S. Naval presence in the Indo-Asia region.

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“We launched aircraft from TR to simulate scenarios to exercise the Indian’s self-defense,” said Lt. Sean McDonnell, Normandy’s air defense officer. “[It] supports the overall Malabar exercise by sharing how we control aircraft and learning how the Indian navy controls their aircraft. We’re up on the same voice circuit, so it’s a nice opportunity to collaborate and compare and contrast our procedures. We’ve sent liaison officers to the Indian vessels and welcomed their officers aboard our vessels as well to observe and learn.”

McDonnell embarked TR as a liaison officer to the Normandy to help facilitate the coordination.

“My captain’s responsibility is air defense of the strike group,” he said. “I pass along the word from the strike group to help coordinate between the needs of the strike group and that of my commanding officer.”

Capt. Scott Robertson, Normandy’s commanding officer, welcomed liaison officers from both Malabar participants aboard and was pleased with the collaboration so far.

“I’ve been very impressed by the professionalism and maritime skill of our Indian and Japanese navy partners, and the Normandy crew is enjoying this unique opportunity,” said Robertson. “The [air defense portion] kicked off a great first underway day for the Malabar exercise. The purpose of this particular [exercise] was to build familiarity and appreciation for the capabilities each of the participating navies brings to the modern air defense environment with a special emphasis on control of fighter aircraft.”

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The exercise allowed for hand-in-hand, shared communication to learn from each other.

“… As overall observers to manage the exercise …,” said Normandy’s Senior Chief Fire Controlman Jeremiah Lawrence. “… we learned a lot about the willingness to learn from our partner nations and they performed excellently under the guidance of the tasking at hand.”

Planning for the exercise began long before any of the partners embarked to the other’s vessels. Lt. Cmdr. Erin Ceschini, Carrier Strike Group 12’s future plans and staff meteorological and oceanographic officer, started coordination in July via video teleconferencing.

“We’ve got a lot of different events planned,” said Ceschini, “We have air defense exercises, search and rescue, anti-submarine warfare events with Indian and U.S. submarines, along with a dry hook up with an Indian oiler and a war-at-sea exercise.

“This exercise is a big deal to the Indian, Japanese and U.S. navies,” said Ceschini. “We are three democratic countries that are working together to strengthen our military relationships as well as the relationships between our nations. The success of these exercises is important especially considering the effort, planning and resources put into this exercise for these great navies to work together.”

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Malabar is a continuing series of complex, high-end war fighting exercises conducted to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security. It will include collaboration between Theodore Roosevelt, Normandy, Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), Los Angeles-class submarine USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki (DD 118), Indian Navy Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti (A 57), Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate INS Betwa (F 39), Rajput-class destroyer INS Ravijay (D 55), Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric submarine INS Sindhuraj (S 57) and INS Shivalik.

Theodore Roosevelt is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations as part of a worldwide deployment en route to its new homeport in San Diego to complete a three-carrier homeport shift.

Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.