NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A former secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) visited USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) for a tour during the ship's refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News, Va., June 21.
John F. Lehman was appointed secretary of the Navy by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and served until 1987. During the visit he was accompanied by his wife and TR's commissioning sponsor, Barbara Lehman, who christened the ship in 1985.
"It's great to be back on the TR," said Lehman. "TR was the first ship I named when I was secretary of the Navy and the first contract I negotiated with Newport News."
In addition to serving as secretary of the Navy, Lehman, a 25-year Reservist, was assigned to Light Attack Squadron 36, a squadron that was part of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. Their son was also a naval aviator assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 141, and spent three years deploying with TR.
"This ship has always been a part of my family's lives, and I look forward to coming back on board when the ship is underway again," said Lehman.
While aboard, the Lehman's toured the ship and took note of the ship's progress during its RCOH. They met and conversed with the ship's crew before having lunch with the commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief.
"When you're in the yard you have the least glamorous part of ship life, but it is the most necessary part," said Lehman.
"The Honorable John Lehman and Mrs. Barbara Lehman's visit, as the original ship's sponsor, will help us re-focus the crew on the standard that Theodore Roosevelt had and will reclaim operationally," said Capt. Billy Hart, USS Theodore Roosevelt commanding officer. "Secretary and Barbara Lehman look forward to re-establishing a bond with TR and her crew as we complete refueling and complex overhaul."
For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.