Coronavirus-hit US aircraft carrier returns to sea

Coronavirus-hit US aircraft carrier returns to sea

May 22, 2020

Washington DC (USA), May 22: The US Navy says its coronavirus-hit aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt, has returned to sea for training after being moored in Guam for nearly two months.
The Navy said in a statement that the carrier left Naval Base Guam and entered the Philippine Sea on Thursday. It said the ship will conduct maritime training necessary for aircraft pilots.
Rear Admiral Stuart Baker, who commands the carrier strike group, said getting the vessel one step closer to returning to its mission in the Indo-Pacific is a "great achievement for the crew."
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said at a news conference on Thursday that the carrier will finish the training in about 10 to 14 days, before returning to Guam. He added the carrier will pick up sailors who have recovered from COVID-19 and return to duty in the Pacific Ocean.
A coronavirus outbreak occurred onboard the carrier in March while the ship was operating in the Pacific. The vessel docked at Guam to isolate crewmembers and undergo disinfection. More than 1,100 of the crew tested positive for the virus.
Other US carriers in Asia-Pacific, including the USS Ronald Reagan based at Japan's Yokosuka port, were under maintenance or in training while the Theodore Roosevelt was moored in Guam.
That meant the Navy temporarily had no carrier that could be deployed immediately in the region. Concern grew in the United States that China might take advantage of the situation to increase its activities.
In response, the Navy dispatched non-carrier ships to the region to reorganize its structure.
Source: NHK World