SHIPS-IN-CLASS (10): USS Nimitz (CVN-68); USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69); USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70); USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71); USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72); USS George Washington (CVN-73); USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74); USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75); USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76); USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is a Nimitz class carrier and was the 4th ship of 10 built. As a class they currently are the largest nuclear powered capital ships in service not only in the USN but in the world. The aircraft carrier group allows the United States to project its superpower status any ware on the glob to protect her interests and those of her allies.
"TR" or "The Big Stick", as she is referred to by her crew has an official call sign, "Rough Rider" named after President Roosevelt's cavalry unit in the Spanish-American War. President Roosevelt believed in using the fleet to project power by showing the flag, sending the Atlantic squadron to Morocco and later the Great White Fleet to circle navigate the globe. This display of naval might continues today embodied in the Nimitz class and her air squadrons, support ships and submarines.
On 31 October 1981 construction began, when Secretary of Defense Weinberger initiated the first keel weld of Theodore Roosevelt. On 25 October 1986, Theodore Roosevelt was placed in active service at a cost of $4.5 billion (in 2007 USD).
Nimitz being the first ship in the class would be shock tested prior to deployment. This was not done until Theodore Roosevelt was built. Explosive charges were set at various depths and distances then detonated beneath her hull. This simulated mines and torpedo explosions. The required shock testing in addition to the standard tests that all newly commissioned ships endure such as high speed runs and turns are referred to as "the shake down cruse".
Because of extensive changes and upgrades between the first three ships of the class Nimitz, Eisenhower and Vinson, "T.R." and the six subsequent ships are unofficially called the "Theodore Roosevelt class" aircraft carriers in some Naval quarters.
The Air Group is the largest department onboard TR charged with the launching and recovering of high performance tactical aircraft on the 4.5 acre flight deck. To safely accomplish this enormous task 17 Officers and 584 Enlisted men and women operating the Air Group are needed around the clock. The flight deck is the most dangerous area in the navy except for an actual combat zone. This is due to aircraft being launched and recovered by more than 200 crew members assigned on flight deck duty per shift.
During the course of deployment, the crew will launch and recover nearly 10,000 sorties, often operating around the clock. More that 40,000 aircraft moves will be performed on the Flight and Hangar Decks. Fueling the embarked aircraft and ships in the TR Battle Group will require the pumping of more than 20 million gallons of jet fuel. Currently T.R. has 90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.
The Theodore Roosevelt left her homeport at the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia on her tenth deployment on 9/08/08 for a six month cruse to the Middle East. Aboard is Carrier Air Wing 8 with strike fighter squadrons VFA-15, VFA-31, VFA-87, and VFA-213, tactical electronics warfare squadron VAU-141, airborne early warning system VAW-124, and helicopter submarine squadron HS-3.