The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
returned to its homeport of Norfolk, Va., April 18 after a
successful seven-month deployment supporting Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF) and maritime security and coalition operations in the
U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR). TR and embarked
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 flew 3,105 sorties in support of OEF, with
more than 61,000 pounds of ordnance dropped on target in support of
"The dedication of the ship's crew and naval aviators enabled TR
to successfully complete its mission supporting Sailors, soldiers,
airmen and Marines on the ground in Afghanistan," said TR's
Commanding Officer Capt. Ladd Wheeler. "Sailors aboard TR set a
high standard for themselves and the ship with their missionfocused
mentality. TR has completed a deployment to be proud of."
Along with five months of combat operations, TR played host to a
variety of distinguished visitors. President Hamid Karzai, of the
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, made his first visit to a U.S.
aircraft carrier aboard TR in December. Army Gen. David H.
Petraeus, Commander, U.S. Central Command, made a special
Thanksgiving visit to TR to thank the crew for their service. Adm.
Jonathan Greenert, - Forces Command also embarked the ship along
with dignitaries and military officials from South Africa, Dakar,
Jordan, Egypt and England. More than 300 distinguished visitors
from nine different countries visited TR during this
During the course of the deployment, TR made port visits to such
diverse localities as Portsmouth, England, and Cape Town, South
Africa. The Cape Town visit marked the first time in more than 40
years that a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier visited South Africa, and
the first time a nuclear-powered vessel was permitted to visit the
area. TR Sailors gave back to the international community by
participating in seven community relations projects with 324
volunteers, contributing 88 hours to various communities the ship's
crew visited. TR Sailors also raised more than $186,155 for the
Combined Federal Campaign.
The deployment also saw the crew "staying Navy", with 427
Sailors reenlisting and earning more than $11 million in selective
reenlistment bonuses. Other achievements included 980 Sailors
completing 63 college classes, and congratulating more than 140 new
dads. Mail, both electronic and the traditional kind, were in high
demand, with more than 8.7 million e-mails processed, and 635,001
pounds of U.S. mail sent out, and 87,986 pounds delivered to the
The total distance steamed during deployment was 67,000 miles,
or nearly three times around the circumference of the globe.
Electrical power generated during deployment totaled more than
63,500 megawatts of power, enough to power more than 2.8 billion
60-watt light bulbs 24 hours-a-day. Fresh water produced totaled
more than 45 million gallons, which would be equal to a water bill
of more than $139,000. Wheeler said the returning Sailors have
earned some well-deserved time off from the 222 days deployed.
"Homecoming is an incredible experience that the crew will
remember for a long time to come. The atmosphere is a culmination
of emotions for the hard working Sailors and the families who have
provided so much support," he said. "Having thousands of friends
and family members awaiting them on the pier is a moment they will
never forget." [ANN salutes Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class
Bonnie Williams, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs]