NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- With the announcement "we have now commenced fast cruise," Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) began simulating an at sea environment Aug. 19 in preparation for their first underway in four years.
A fast cruise is a multi-day simulated underway period consisting of drills and training evolutions to ensure the carrier is in good working condition and personnel are trained to safely operate the ship at sea.
Fast cruise is the ship's final training event prior to getting underway for Sea Trials.
"It's been about four years and literally millions of man-hours of work that have gone into Theodore Roosevelt to get her where she is today, but we are now there," Capt. Daniel Grieco, TR's commanding officer, announced to the crew over the 1MC. "Thank you to everyone who worked extremely hard, especially over the weekend, to get us here."
In addition to training evolutions, the crew will also put finishing touches on the ship to get her ready for sea and to return to Naval Station Norfolk.
"Everybody is motivated to secure for sea and happy for the fast cruise," said Logistics Specialist (AW) 1st Class Akwasi Gymah. "Everybody is happy to be here."
Not only does fast cruise train and test the proficiency of the crew, it also gets them back into an operational mindset. This is critical since Theodore Roosevelt is completing a nearly four year Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding (NII-NNS). During RCOH, the ship's infrastructure and systems are upgraded to ensure the carrier lasts another 25 years.
"The distance we've come in the last five months is truly impressive," said Grieco in an announcement to the crew. "I appreciate each and every one of your efforts to get us to where we are today to make sure that this ship is ready for fast cruise, ready for sea trials, and ready to join the fleet."
Fast cruise runs about four days, with a pause in the middle to repair any discrepancies found during testing and training.
Join the conversation with TR online at www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRoosevelt and www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71.
For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.