NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) completed a major milestone May 21, by leaving dry dock and transiting down the James River to a pierside location at Newport News Shipbuilding where it will complete the second half of its refueling complex overhaul (RCOH).
TR has been in dry dock since August 2009. Since then, the ship's shafts, propellers, rudders, anchors, and catapult and arresting gear machinery, have been replaced or refurbished.
In order for TR's first underway in nearly two years to be successful, the Sailors, shipyard and the Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP) relied on both experience and teamwork to accomplish the mission.
"Everything went according to plan, and I couldn't have asked for better performance," said Capt. Billy Hart, USS Theodore Roosevelt commanding officer. "This is day one of us taking the ship back. We are no longer in the dry dock, so this is Theodore Roosevelt Sailors' ship. It's now up to every TR Sailor to prove the success of this ship."
For many Sailors, TR's short underway is validation for all the hard work and preparation that was put into getting the ship ready for this milestone.
"Without teamwork there is no way this evolution could have been completed successfully," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jesus Lopez, Deck Department's 2nd division assistant leading petty officer. "This is my second time taking a ship out of dry dock, and I know first hand what it takes. It takes every Sailor on board TR working together and having each other's back, and completing their jobs together."
According to the ship's navigator, another reason for the success of the ship's movement was the thousands of man hours of preparation.
"Anytime you move a 90,000 ton vessel even a short distance, it takes a huge amount of preparation," said Cmdr. Roger Curry, USS Theodore Roosevelt navigation officer. "There were no surprises. The shipyard, ship's force and SUPSHIP were able to communicate very well. All the inter-personal relationships and integral communication allowed for one big team effort and the result is that TR is safely pier side after a smooth evolution."
Quartermaster 2nd Class (SW/AW) Candice Stone, TR's navigation detail plotter, was responsible for plotting and tracking the ship's movement during the brief underway. Stone and her team had been training for this day since March.
"I'm very proud of the way TR handled is first underway in such a long time," said Stone. "We worked hard for this moment, not just my team but everyone on TR involved in this move. Everyone was in place when they needed to be and completed their jobs with excellent communication and expertise. I'm proud to have been a part of this underway."
Theodore Roosevelt is currently undergoing its scheduled mid-life RCOH at Newport News shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. During the 39-month maintenance period, TR's fuel will be replenished and significant upgrades will be made to the ship's combat and communication systems to extend the ship's service life for 25 or more years. All Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through RCOH near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
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