Theodore Roosevelt Joins The Big Leagues

160424-N-DV340-218 SAN DIEGO (April 24, 2016) – Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear) 1st Class Alexander Bryans, representing the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), throws the ceremonial first pitch on the field at Petco Park, home field of the San Diego Padres during Petco Park’s Theodore Roosevelt Day. Theodore Roosevelt is currently homeported in San Diego awaiting a regularly scheduled maintenance period. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chase C. Lacombe/Released)

SAN DIEGO – Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) were honored at Petco Park, home field of the San Diego Padres, during the park’s Theodore Roosevelt Day April 24.

Sailors participated in various pre-game events such as the ceremonial first pitch, joining the starting nine on the field, reenlistments, lining the bases and performing the national anthem prior to the Padres taking on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Capt. Craig Clapperton, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer, personally reenlisted six Sailors on the field behind home plate, a unique opportunity for Sailors who have chosen to continue their naval career.

160424-N-DV340-151 SAN DIEGO (April 24, 2016) – Capt. Craig Clapperton, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), reenlists six Sailors on the field at Petco Park, home field of the San Diego Padres during Petco Park’s Theodore Roosevelt Day. Theodore Roosevelt is currently homeported in San Diego awaiting a regularly scheduled maintenance period. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chase C. Lacombe/Released)

“Reenlisting Sailors is one of the best parts of my job,” Clapperton said. “I admire and appreciate the choice these young men and women make to continue to serve our nation, and it’s a great opportunity to show a stadium filled with our neighbors how important and special that choice is.”

Approximately 35 Sailors took the field and lined the bases as the crowd erupted in a chorus of cheers and remained standing as Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Grace Layugan performed the national anthem.

“HM3 Layugan did an outstanding job singing our national anthem,” said Clapperton. “It was a wonderful opportunity for some of our best and most talented Sailors to represent our Navy and their community. So many of our Sailors have hidden talents that are rarely seen on board, and even after all the time I have been in the Navy, I am still amazed at just how gifted many of these fantastic young men and women are. I am sure it was a moment she will carry with her for the rest of her life.”

160424-N-DV340-196 SAN DIEGO (April 24, 2016) – Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Grace Layugan, representing the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), performs the national anthem on the field at Petco Park, home field of the San Diego Padres during Petco Park’s Theodore Roosevelt Day. Theodore Roosevelt is currently homeported in San Diego awaiting a regularly scheduled maintenance period. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chase C. Lacombe/Released)

A traditional mainstay in baseball is the ceremonial first pitch thrown by an individual recognized prior to the actual game itself. Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear) 1st Class Alexander Bryans, Reactor Electrical Division’s Leading Petty Officer, was selected by the command to throw the first pitch.

Theodore Roosevelt Sailors continued to be honored with nine crewmembers taking the field alongside the Padres’ starting nine, taking their places at all bases as well as infield and outfield locations. Immediately thereafter, continuing the ceremonial festivities recognizing the Roosevelt’s Sailors, Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Jasmine Richards rang the ceremonial bell signifying the start of the game.

During the seventh inning stretch, before the crowd sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jessica Bourque preformed “God Bless America.”

It was a close game throughout most of the match up and was tied five to five at the end of the 7th inning stretch. However, the Cardinals three runs in the 8th inning left the game as a hard-fought loss for the Padres.

“It was a great privilege to be a part of this momentous day with our Sailors at Petco Park,” said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, Commander Carrier Strike Group Nine. “We thank the city of San Diego and the Padres’ organization for giving the USS Theodore Roosevelt team such a warm and memorable welcome to her new homeport city. We were deeply honored to have our command recognized in such a grand fashion and greatly appreciate the opportunity for so many of our Sailors to take part in this day.”


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chase C. Lacombe, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

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Operation Gratitude



The unmistakable roar of jets launching and landing aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) reverberated through the signal shack while Sailors with smile-creased faces rummaged through boxes filled with snacks, letters and other luxuries.

     These Sailors from TR’s Navigation department were just the latest recipients of care packages sent by a group of grateful strangers.

     “I found out about the program while I was on my second deployment on the USS Enterprise (CVN 65),” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Meghan Carter. “A Sailor’s wife signed us all up and we all got unexpected care packages.”

     This time it was Carter’s turn to make sure her shipmates received recognition for their service when she signed up for the appreciative parcels through the program Operation Gratitude.  

     “We got a little bit of everything in our packages; things like sunscreen, cold medicine, sewing kits, books, DVDs, toiletries, candy, and coffee,” said Carter. “Not to mention we all got letters from students around the country.”

     Operation Gratitude, founded in 2003, is a non-profit organization that annually sends more than 100,000 care packages to America’s deployed forces around the world. Funded entirely by private donations and the volunteered time of grateful Americans, the program has mailed more than 1.2 million packages to service members since its inception.


     “Mail day is a lot like Christmas morning when you’re on deployment,” said Carter. “People get antsy waiting when they know that the mail is coming. I thought it would be a good morale booster for everyone, since only five of the 22 people in our department have ever deployed.”

     In return, the Sailor’s from Navigation department plan on putting together a few packages of their own filled with letters of gratitude and photos of themselves displaying what they received from Operation Gratitude.

     “To show our appreciation for the care packages and the work that went into them, we are going to send the organization an American flag that we have flown while on deployment, not just from Navigation department, but from the whole ship as I’m sure that there are other people [on the ship] who received packages from Operation Gratitude,” said Carter.

     Operation Gratitude sends packages not only to individuals, but to large groups as well.

     “The organization sends packages twice per year and it is super easy to get enrolled,” said Carter. “All you have to do is go to their website and sign up.”

     To sign up for the program visit Operation Gratitude’s website at

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Spears, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

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Earth Day: Sorting Trash Saves The Environment


Sterile, blue latex gloves snap against the hands of Sailors preparing to start their day in a place you may not often think about. These crewmembers work in a place you rely on, on station around the clock even after Earth Day passes.

     U.S. Navy commands all over the world celebrated Earth Day, April 22. Although USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is forward-deployed to the 5th Fleet area of operations, the ship still did her part by continuing to separate trash to help keep the environment around her clean.

     In one of several waste rooms aboard TR, a mighty few of the aircraft carrier’s Sailors sort through the day’s accumulation of trash.

     Theodore Roosevelt’s waste management team does more than meets the eye. The team’s charge isn’t just about getting garbage out of each space, but more focused on challenging the entire crew to make sure everything is sorted properly and to keep the environment clean.

     “Our job is already hard enough. Our guys are there to run the equipment and process it,” said Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class John Detamore. “It’s not [our people’s] job to sort the trash. That’s why we put it out to everyone to sort their trash.”


TR’s waste management team is composed of nine machinist’s mates who are a part of Engineering department’s A-Division. The team has several temporary assigned duty personnel who help aid the process of getting trash off the ship.

     “There’s a lot that goes into the procedures of how we handle trash, like when we can light off the incinerator and when we can’t,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Julia Gardner. “We have to be a certain distance from land to dump certain types of waste.”

     The ship needs to be at least three nautical miles to discharge food waste from the pulpers and at least 25 miles to discharge metal through the trash shoots and into the ocean, said Gardner.


  “If you don’t sort it properly, and it doesn’t get caught, not only will it ruin our equipment, but it also can compromise what the [Environmental Protection Agency] EPA has set in place for us,” Gardner added.

     Sorting trash not only eases the workload for the waste management team, but is critical for the environment in addition to maintaining the equipment.

     “If we have a bag of metal and there was plastic in it and that plastic somehow gets out, [marine life] could swallow it,” said Detamore. “Not only is it bad for the environment, but our ship could face a huge fine.”

     The plastic is melted down and processed into oversized plastic “pucks”. Of all the refuse that is taken to the waste rooms, plastic is the only thing that is not allowed to be dumped overboard.

     “Plastic pucks get offloaded during our underway replenishments,” said Detamore. “We are offloading anywhere between 15 to 30 tri-walls full of pucks. They get taken over to the other ship during the UNREP [underway replenishment], and they take it back to shore and can process and take it to a recycling plant.”

     “We don’t ask for much,” said Gardner. “We really need people to sort their trash thoroughly and make sure they separate everything. We can, and we do, turn people away. Making sure the trash is sorted is so much more important than some people realize.”

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Family and Friends Join TR for a Day at Sea


     As dawn broke over the horizon, Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) welcomed guests to the ship for a Family and Friends Day cruise, Aug. 27.

     TR Sailors invited more than 2,000 of their family and friends for a day at sea to give them a taste of life aboard the mighty warship.

   140827-N-KA273-157.jpg  “While there are many high definition TV shows depicting carrier life, until you’re actually hearing and seeing it first [hand] there is no way to really understand what it’s like. I guarantee it will be a memory of a lifetime,” said Capt. Daniel Grieco, TR’s commanding officer. “Enjoy and have fun. Take time to say hi to the Sailors. Many of them will be humble, but the reality is that it takes everyone on the ship to run her efficiently each day.”

     The day was a unique chance for Sailors to bring their loved ones aboard and show their family and friends where they work and how they live.

     “We are very proud of what he’s doing. He’s doing his job and serving his country,” said Ms. Tanya Demby, mother of Damage Controlman Fireman Jonathan Korver. “It’s amazing.”

     “It was fun to have them aboard. It’s an experience I’m glad I had,” said Korver. “I’m definitely proud they came aboard.

     As TR gracefully cut her way through the sea, guests and Sailors took part in myriad events. In the ship’s hangar bay, the hub of activity, guests played bean-bag toss, hopped in the bounce house and listened to live music. Guests also followed self-guided tour routes designed to provide a glimpse of the ship’s inner workings.

     “A lot of planning went into this day. We tried to provide as many different activities as we could,” said Megan Villapudua, TR’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation representative and afloat recreational specialist.

     The hangar bay also doubled as a mess deck for more than 5,000 people. TR’s food service specialists put on an all-day feast that included a light breakfast, lunch and an ice cream social.

     “There was a lot of advance planning and a lot of coordination between many different parties to make this all run smoothly,” said Chief Warrant Officer Benny Brockington, TR’s food service officer. “We fed about 3,000 more people than we usually do. Everyone knew their role, and everyone understood that we wanted to make the ship look good. All of this was due to the team we have.”

   140827-N-IE511-061  Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 treated guests to an air power demonstration that dazzled guests watching from the flight deck. The demonstration featured air-refueling, precision formation flying and a supersonic flyby.

     “The energy was very infectious. Everyone was on pins and needles waiting to see the demonstration. It made me proud,” said Ellen Hilkowski, wife of Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anthony Hilkowski.

     TR and her crew performed one final demonstration of seamanship and professionalism by mooring the hulking ship to the pier they departed from. Then with the brows attached family and friends departed and the festive day drew to a close.

“The reason we have days like today is because, I’m exceptionally proud of each and every one of our Sailor’s,” said Command Master Chief Bill Smalts, TR’s command master chief. “And if their family members and friends could come out and see what they do every day and understand what it is they do and what they sacrifice, they would be proud to. It is their sacrifice that enables us to so what we do. It’s the ones that are out there getting dirty, not the captain not the executive officer, it’s them and that’s why we do this.”

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sandra A. Pimentel, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

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Hose Team, Move In

NORFOLK (July 28, 2014) – “General quarters, general quarters! All hands man your battle stations.”

     The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) has ten repair lockers spread throughout the ship, each responsible for damage control efforts in specific zones of the ship. The core of each locker consists of two hose teams comprised of an on-scene leader, two team leaders, a nozzleman, plugman and hosemen.

     “From the time the alarm sounds, the hose team gets to the repair locker as fast as possible to get in the firefighting ensemble (FFE). Once we are all suited up, as the team lead I will make sure everybody is in line, manned and ready,” said Yeomen 2nd Class Ronnie Jones, repair locker one bravo hose team leader.

     All Sailors must be ready to provide immediate response to a fire, but they don’t have the same level of protection or resources a hose team.    

     “Sailors can only do so much in just flash gear. It won’t be safe for them to be there during a fire, but we have the full suit on and we will be able to take the measures that are needed to not only fight a fire but to win over a fire,” said Jones.

     Fires can spread quickly and do severe damage to a ship if not dealt with in a timely manner.

     “A fire is the worst type of casualty you can have because a fire spreads quicker than flooding or toxic gas,” said Damage Controlman 1st Class Daniel Hernandez, repair locker one bravo deck leader. “It is very important that the hose team goes out and actually combats that casualty, because if not you will have a small fire that will completely 180 and before you know it there will be a fire from the 8th deck to the 03 level.”

     Prior to being assigned to a hose team Sailors must attend a basic shipboard firefighting course. The course teaches Sailors how to dress out in FFE, combat class alpha, bravo and charlie fires and how to send messages throughout the ship during a casualty.

     TR can never know exactly what casualty it may have to fight, but I have faith in my shipmates to work together as a team and combat a casualty successfully, said Hernandez.

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alex Millar, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

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