USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, At Sea (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter arrived aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Jan. 30 to meet and talk with Sailors during his first overseas trip since assuming office.
Winter began his visit by observing flight operations from the flag bridge. He commented on how amazed he was by the level of professionalism and teamwork the flight deck crew displayed.
"It's just incredible," said Winter. "You are watching planes being launched and planes being recovered and you get to just watch everybody doing their thing. It's like the greatest orchestrated dance going on, and it's just beautiful."
Following flight operations, Winter joined Theodore Roosevelt's Sailors of the Year in the "Big Stick's" award-winning enlisted dining facility for a steak lunch. This gave Sailors the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues and get direct feedback from the Navy's civilian leader.
"It was a real privilege and honor to spend time with someone of his stature," said Personnel Specialist Seaman (SW) Jacob Henderson, Theodore Roosevelt Blue Jacket of the Year, 2005. "He had a lot of good things to say about the military personnel serving out here. He said we are the best group of people America has."
Once lunch was over, the Secretary visited Sailors as they worked on aircraft in the hangar bay. He thanked them for their service, and talked with them about their jobs and the significance of their mission in the Persian Gulf.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to be here," said Winter. "We have Sailors over here that are doing really good things."
Winter said he is pleased with the hard work and dedication of all the Sailors who are in the region, and he is especially proud of all the support Theodore Roosevelt Sailors have provided since they arrived in theatre to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and maritime security operations (MSO).
MSO help set the conditions for stability and security throughout the region by denying terrorists the use of international waters to transport people, money and weapons to support their efforts.
Prior to visiting Theodore Roosevelt, Winter made a trip to Fallujah, Iraq, where he spoke with military personnel. He also paid a visit to Sailors conducting security operations on Iraqi oil platforms, as well as Sailors aboard USS Austin (LPD 4).
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