Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Deploys Amid V-22 Grounding

January 12, 2024 4:17 PM
Line handling crew assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) prepares to come alongside USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) for a replenishment at sea on Nov. 28, 2023. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) deployed this week from San Diego, Calif., with a detachment of C-2A Greyhounds from the East Coast filling in for the grounded CV-22B Ospreys, USNI News has learned.

The carrier, which completed its graduation exercise last month, left its berth at Naval Air Station North Island and steamed out of the bay on Thursday afternoon local time, according to ship spotters. The Navy did not announce the start of the deployment ahead of the carrier’s departure. A defense official confirmed the deployment to USNI News on Friday.

Over the next few days the carrier will take on aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 11, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., USNI News understands.

The deployment of Theodore Roosevelt comes as the Navy’s fleet of CMV-22B carrier logistics aircraft have been grounded since Dec. 6, following a crash of an Air Force CV-22B off the coast of Japan. With the exception of USS Nimitz (CVN-68), West Coast carriers use Ospreys as the carrier onboard delivery vehicle. Following the grounding, older C-2A Greyhounds based at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., will support TR for now.

“Two C-2A Greyhounds from the ‘Rawhides’ of Fleet Logistics Squadron (VRC) 40 will get underway with Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group to provide crucial carrier onboard delivery (COD) services. U.S. Navy carrier air wings are uniquely flexible to interchange platforms within the air wing, and C-2A Greyhounds are a proven platform capable of carrying out logistical support and personnel transport to aircraft carriers,” reads a statement from Naval Air Forces in response to a query from USNI News.

C-2s from Japan are filling in the same role for West Coast carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) while its on patrol in the Western Pacific.

TR is assigned to Carrier Strike Group 9 and is embarked with guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70).

The carrier operated with guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain (DDG-56), USS Halsey (DDG-97) and USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) during its work ups, but the current make-up of the carrier’s escorts is unclear.

TR and its escorts will follow the Vinson Carrier Strike Group, which deployed to the Western Pacific in October. As of Thursday, Vinson was in the Philippine Sea.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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