‘T.R.’ Counting Days Before Sea Trials


In August 2009, the USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived at Newport News Shipbuilding for its mid-life overhaul and nuclear refueling.

This was hardly a tune-up. The shipyard refueled the aircraft carrier’s twin nuclear reactors and completely restored the ship, including new propellers and a reconfigured island. It worked on more than 2,300 compartments, 600 tanks and hundreds of systems. The Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) happens halfway through the 50-year life of a nuclear flattop.

Now the crew is counting the days before getting under way again.

Earlier this week, the Navy announced that the T.R. has begun “fast cruise,” an exercise that simulates operations at sea while the ship remains pier side. It gets the crew back into a sea-ready mindset while different drills and exercises ensure the carrier is in good working condition.

It will be the ship’s final training event before 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,” said Capt. Daniel Grieco, the ship’s commanding officer.

The T.R’s pending departure will make things a little less crowded at the shipyard. Workers are decommissioning the Enterprise, preparing for the christening of the Gerald R. Ford and have begun the RCOH for the USS Abraham Lincoln.

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