USS ROOSEVELT, At Sea (NNS) -- The Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) departed its homeport of Mayport, Fla., to participate in the George H.W. Bush Group Sail (GHWB GRUSL), July 29.
During the approximately monthlong at-sea period, Roosevelt will be part of the Group Sail in order to improve interoperability with the other ships in the strike group.
"This is the first time we will be operating with the George H.W. Bush Strike Group for the upcoming deployment," said Commanding Officer Cmdr. Frankie J. Clark. "We have completed our unit level training, which is specific for our platform, but now we are joining the other ships in the strike group to complete group-training exercises as well as prepare for deployment."
Lt. LeAndra Kissinger, the ship's operations officer, said this at-sea period is the first opportunity for the ships in the strike group to work on becoming a functional unit.
"It is an extremely important training phase that will ensure that during the actual assessment phase, Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), all the ships in the Strike Group can get certified for deployment," said Kissinger.
The five ships participating in the GHWB GRUSL are the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), the Arleigh-Burke class destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Roosevelt, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
"It is our first event working together as a Strike Group so we have a lot of events scheduled for the at-sea period," said Clark. "We will mainly be testing all the system operability between the different ships working together as one battle group. It is important that we learn how to work well with each other now so during COMPTUEX we can focus on getting the certification."
For the past 90 days, Roosevelt has been in port and the crew looks toward this underway as a time to continue to maintain the proficiency of the crew and equipment.
"During this at-sea period, we need to make sure that we, as a ship, are operating at the level necessary to work together as a team with the Strike Group," said Kissinger. "We will be deploying as a team and it is imperative that we are prepared in case something happens when we deploy. We train for every possibility in order for it to become a matter of muscle memory in case of an emergency."
Clark said this group sail will be the first impression Roosevelt will make on the strike group and he believes the ship and crew will do extremely well.
"I am very excited because Roosevelt has always been a ship with a crew that gets things done and this is our first opportunity to show the battle group that we are ready to meet all assigned tasking," said Clark.
For more information about USS Roosevelt visit www.ddg-roosevelt.navy.mil.