2 Theodore Roosevelt aviators ejected from jet; Navy announces home port change for ship

Tribune Content Agency

SAN DIEGO — Two naval aviators on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt were ejected from their F/A-18 Super Hornet jet Thursday near the Philippines during routine flight operations.

They were quickly recovered from the sea by helicopter, the Navy announced, and both are in good condition.

The aircraft is part of Carrier Air Wing 11, which is deployed on the Roosevelt. While the Roosevelt is based in San Diego, its Super Hornet squadrons hail from Lemoore, Calif., and Oceana, Va.

The Roosevelt deployed to the western Pacific from San Diego in January. In late March, the ship docked in Guam as the coronavirus spread among its crew — more than 1,200 of the roughly 5,000 sailors on board tested positive over the two months the ship was sidelined on the island.

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Charles Thacker, 41, died from the virus in April.

The ship resumed normal operations early in June. It is expected back in San Diego later this summer.

In 2021, the ship will shift its home port from San Diego to Bremerton, Wash., for scheduled maintenance, the Navy said. The city is home to the only Navy dry dock large enough for a Nimitz class carrier on the West Coast.

A Navy spokesman declined to comment Friday on whether the Roosevelt will rotate back to San Diego in 2022, when it leaves dry dock. The Carl Vinson — which left San Diego in 2019 for maintenance in Bremerton — is slated to return to San Diego this summer.

The Roosevelt made headlines around the world earlier this year when its former leader, Capt. Brett Crozier, was removed after a letter he sent to Navy leadership about the COVID-19 outbreak was leaked to the press.

Then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly visited the carrier in Guam and said over the ship’s loudspeaker that Crozier was “too naive or too stupid” for command if he believed his letter wouldn’t be leaked. Modly’s speech also was leaked, and he resigned on April 7.


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