USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) has not yet left Norfolk, Va., for its deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet and 6th Fleet areas of operation due to a clogged seawater intake valve. The ship should be able to depart this evening, U.S. Fleet Forces Command told USNI News.
“USS Theodore Roosevelt is temporarily delayed in getting underway due to unexpected fouling of seawater piping due to marine growth. It is not uncommon for fouling this time of year in the James River,” spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Reann Mommsen wrote in an email.
“Due to the tides, next opportunity for us to get underway would be tonight
around 8 p.m. However, we need to make sure all the marine growth is cleaned
out prior to us getting underway,” she added.
The rest of the ships in the carrier strike group departed on time – the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) at 10 a.m., the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) at 11 a.m. and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) at noon from Norfolk. USS Farragut (DDG-99) departed from Mayport, Fla.
This will be Theodore Roosevelt’s last time departing Norfolk. After its deployment, the carrier will return to a new homeport in San Diego. USS George Washington (CVN-73) will leave Japan for a refueling and complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) will leave its San Diego homeport for Japan to be the new forward-deployed carrier in the U.S. 7th Fleet.
In addition to being the last deployment from Virginia, the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group’s deployment is the first deployment with the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air – or NIFC-CA (pronounced: nif-kah) – capability.