US Aircraft Carrier has COVID-19 Outbreak

| April 1, 2020


“The Big Stick” USS Theodore Roosevelt

The Big Stick is in big trouble, as more than 100 sailors tested positive for the coronavirus, the head of the service said Tuesday. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly responded to a letter written Sunday by Capt. Brett Crozier, the carrier’s commanding officer, asking senior commanders for help as the ship goes through the painstaking process of testing all 5,000 crew members while it is sidelined in Guam.

The close living and working conditions aboard make keeping a safe distance between Sailors impossible, and the CO is asking for berthing ashore for the crew.

Poetrooper sends.

Captain of Navy warship battling coronavirus outbreak pleads for help

Spread of COVID-19 aboard warship is ‘ongoing and accelerating’

By Claudia Assis

The captain of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, where multiple sailors have fallen ill with COVID-19, has pleaded with U.S. Navy officials for on-shore quarantines for the entire crew.

In the carrier’s close quarters, it is impossible to comply with isolation guidelines and “the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating,” Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in a letter reportedly obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The newspaper said the authenticity of the letter had been confirmed by a senior officer aboard the warship. The Navy did not immediately return a request for comment.

COVID-19 cases aboard the nuclear-powered warship surfaced last week. The ship has instituted “limited measures” to contain the illness, but that will only slow down the spread, Crozier wrote.

Maintaining social-distancing guidelines is virtually impossible as “the environment most conducive to spread of the disease is the environment the crew of the [Theodore Roosevelt] is in right now, both aboard ship and ashore,” the captain wrote, going on to describe how large amounts of sailors are in confined spaces; share berthing, restrooms, work spaces and mess halls; and where mandatory watch and operational tasks demand “consistent close contact.”

“Decisive action is required,” Crozier wrote. About 10% of the crew would have to stay aboard for upkeep and response to emergencies, he said.

Not good news- hope Big Navy makes the right decision here. For a change.
Read the rest here: Market Watch

Thanks, Poe.

Category: COVID-19, Guest Link, Navy

Comments (67)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    Morose humor warning!!!

    So I guess the entire crew can be deemed “carriers”.

  2. Gary 'Boomer' says:

    I had plan to go down to Big Navy to see the carrier. I believe I would be wise to stay home up here in the north of Guam…far and away from the ‘scene’ down there.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    So if it happened on a Sub would that make the Vessel an infected pipe?

    • Mason says:

      What’s long, hard and full of coronavirus?

    • NHSparky says:

      When the entire Engineering watch section is doing a reactor plant startup with buckets between their knees or within arms reach, call me.

      BTDT, BTTS.

  4. Comm Center Rat says:

    If Captain Crozier leaked his own letter to the SF Chronicle then the CNO should use his “Big Stick” to remove Crozier from command.

    • Mick says:

      Sounds like one of his senior staff officers may have been the source of the leaked letter.

      From the linked Market Watch article above:

      ‘The newspaper said the authenticity of the letter had been confirmed by a senior officer aboard the warship.’

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    Another piece of evidence that this entire Communist Chinese Originated Virus Infectious Disease of 2019 (COVID 19) is a deliberate attack on the people and Military assets of the USA. Anybody connect the dots yet? An entire Carrier Battle Group taken out of action and not a shot fired. One of the most powerful weapon systems in the world is also one of the best germ spreaders. No big secret where the port of call would be either. Hmmmmm

    And yes, Larsi Boi, the Government of China is a Communistic form of Government.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Given the incredible mis-handling of the outbreak, which started in Wuhan, this is far more likely the usual Communist ClusterFrak than a deliberate stratagem. Sure, they will try to exploit it for all they can, but there is plenty of evidence it is simply the usual screwup of centralized healthcare and authoritarian/Communist mis-rule.

      A deliberate bio-attack would have started very, very differently. Multiple centers of outbreak, well distributed on travel hubs, all at once. Then it hits too fast to put countermeasures in place before the medical resources ate totally swamped.

      Then the nukes fly. So probably no one is that insanely stupid to actually do that.

      • Fyrfighter says:

        Maybe, maybe not 11-B.. in my non-expert opinion, either could be true. You’re definitely correct s far as conventional thinking on a bio attack goes, and for that matter the route to take for maximum impact from it. You’re also spot on about the response.
        The thing is, what if you wanted to avoid your country becoming a night-lite? Seems the best way would be to make sure that your attack LOOKED like an accident, and that you could be sure everyone believed that. When you’ve got the WHO, the american left / media (lower case intentionally, America is NOT better off because of the left) all in your pocket, or at the least, so consumed with hatred for President Trump that they’ll overlook actions by anyone else, if they can blame it on him, and you then claim that America is actually the one who was using bio-warfare (why would they even think that, unless that’s exactly what they were doing?). Add to that the fact that the Chinese have always played the “long game”, so why should this be any different? They don’t have to wipe us out, just weaken us enough for what’s next.. Or this is a trial run, to determine responses, infection and spread vectors, and overall reactions of people and governments, for either a later, or even a soon to follow attack… for those claiming “better safe than sorry” with stay at home orders and the like, it seems that would be good advice in looking into the actual source of this, and consider all options, from the perspective of communists and Asians, not from our Western Democracy perspective.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          Incompetent Communists, screwing up yet again.

          Versus

          No, really. We bio-weaponed ourselves! Because we figured it would hurt everyone else worse.

          I doubt they are -that- stupid. My money would be on yet another mega-whoops.

          • Fyrfighter says:

            Human wave attacks… they’re more than happy to sacrifice a few million peasants to accomplish their goals..

          • 5th/77th FA says:

            Good points fellas, all around and I appreciate the feedback. Y’all done figured out by now that I lubs me a good conspiracy theory and absolutely despise and distrust the Communist Chinese Government. IMHO there is absolutely NOTHING that they would not do in their quest for world domination. Yes, they need us as a major trading partner, but do you not think they would prefer to have our natural resources and fertile land for themselves instead? The short sighted domestic enemies of our Republic have been gradually selling us out for decades. We come off to them as the upstart youngster vis-a-vis them being around for thousands of years. Plus, we need to consider how the Communist Government of China feels about how we made nice with the Japanese after WWII.

            All of that being said, again, let’s connect the dots. FIRST, we know that Wuhan is an epicenter of the Communist Chinese Government’s bio warfare labs. That is where this virus FIRST reared it’s ugly head. We have had reports of professors from the Wuhan, and their Communist Chinese Army handler, getting busted by the FBI making payola monies to the Boston perfesser that was in charge of that school’s bio lab. Out breaks all over the world right after the Chinese New Year Celebrations and them traveling hither and yon. We have had documented reports of defective test kits and Chinese built thermometers shipped all over the world. One of our posters (HMCS FMF?) attached a link from the the twitter account of the manufacturer of these devices giving evidence of that. We tie all of this into our very own domestic enemies that have major interest in various Communist Chinese businesses, so much in fact, to make the Ukraine thing a piggy bank affair.

            I would like to be proven wrong, but I don’t think I will be. We may never know the truth in our life time.

            • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

              During my college days I had two Chinese roommates. One was from Taiwan, was immigrating to the USA and COULD NOT WAIT to graduate, bust his as and make his first million dollars, the other was from commie China and literally refused to believe anything that wasn’t given to him in his Chicom propaganda books much like Commissar doesn’t think outside of what his UC Berzerkely perfessers indoctrinate him with!

  6. Roh-Dog says:

    Yet Ike and Truman are holding down the Middle East. I’m sure if the Navy needed one to cover down…
    Interesting about the Ike; trials, to combined exercise, to deployment. Almost like they were in a rush to get’er out there.

  7. Mick says:

    ‘Not good news- hope Big Navy makes the right decision here. For a change.’

    Yup. What could possibly go wrong in the aftermath of going ahead with Big Navy’s previous idiotic decision to bring an aircraft carrier and a cruiser into Da Nang Vietnam for a port visit during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    ‘Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group Completes Port Visit to Da Nang to Commemorate 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations’

    https://vn.usembassy.gov/theodore-roosevelt-strike-group-completes-port-visit-to-da-nang-to-commemorate-25-years-of-diplomatic-relations/

    ‘DA NANG, Vietnam, March 11, 2020 – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) successfully completed a scheduled five-day port visit to Da Nang, Vietnam on March 9. The visit, which commemorated 25 years of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations, followed the historic 2018 visit of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), demonstrated the strong U.S. commitment to its comprehensive partnership with Vietnam and to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

    Mr. Hồ Kỳ Minh, Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee hosted the ceremony to welcome the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group, which included representatives of Navy Zone 3, Military Region 5, Da Nang Border Guard, Department of Foreign Relations/Ministry of National Defense, Department of Military Medicine and General Department of Logistics, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Da Nang People’s Committee, and other Vietnamese government agencies. The United States delegation was led by Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink, Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Marie Damour, and other officials from CSG 9 and the U.S. Mission in Vietnam.

    […]

    A professional exchange taking place during the visit focused on cooperating on infectious disease prevention.

    […].’

    ‘Even Coronavirus Couldn’t Stop the 2nd US Carrier Visit to Vietnam’

    https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/even-coronavirus-couldnt-stop-the-2nd-us-carrier-visit-to-vietnam/

    ‘[…]

    The port call of the Theodore Roosevelt has already helped to deepen bilateral trust. Six thousand sailors visiting a nation adjacent to the epicenter of the ongoing coronavirus health crisis certainly stimulated a debate in both Hanoi and Washington about proceeding with the visit. Both countries have legitimate health concerns. For its part, the United States Pacific Fleet has directed its ships to remain at sea for 14 days following a foreign port call in Asia to identify any spread of the contagion. The easiest and safest choice would be to for one side or the other to have postponed this significant event. Mutual willingness to proceed with the visit, however, indicates that the trust between Washington and Hanoi has reached a new level.

    On the U.S. side, the visit demonstrated the Navy follows through with its commitments and that the American leadership trusted the Vietnamese authorities to take appropriate measures to protect sailors from the spread of the virus. For Vietnam, it built trust with the senior-most leadership of the country. The approval for an aircraft carrier visit requires a unanimous consensus among Vietnam’s 19-member Politburo. Some Politburo members favor closer relations with the United States, while others fear potential pressure from China. The decision to proceed with the port call empowers the Politburo members who advocated in favor both of this visit and of closer U.S. ties. And it will make similar high-profile events more palatable for the entire Politburo in the future.

    […].’

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      Oh. My. LORD!!!

      Who was the Rocket Scientist who made that decision!?

      If there is anyone with a functioning brain on that ship, it’s Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin time bozos.

      Those were what was used in the French study.

  8. JBUSMC says:

    Shouldn’t something like this be Top Secret? Not a good idea to let the world know an aircraft carrier is out of commission or at the very least staffed by sick sailors.

  9. Mason says:

    Is there no emergency provision for setting up quarters on the flight deck and in the hangars? After the fall of Saigon they had to find space for hundreds of refugees. I’m sure we’ve forgotten any lessons learned there, but those ships have a good amount of real estate to use for some shelter in place. Though as I’m typing this, chow would be the biggest issue. I doubt the carrier’s mess is set up to be field deployable.

    • AW1Ed says:

      In a word, no. The idea is to get safe separation for the Sailors- all 5,000 of them. Not going to happen on the weather decks, and you have to see a carrier’s hangars to appreciate how jammed full o aircraft it is.
      GW-1 we had lots of Army racking out in our P-3 hangar bays at NAS Sigonella. Those were generally used for aircraft maintenance, and the birds were parked outside. Big difference.

    • ChiefGunner says:

      I was on Proteus (AS-19) during Operation New Life in ’75. We put 110,000 viet refugees into a tent city built on the old Orote Point airstrip next to NavSta in just a week. Surely that can be done of 5000.

  10. Mick says:

    While the Captain is waiting for Big Navy to break out its 10,000 mile-long screwdriver and tell him what to do, it might be a good idea for him to turn into the wind, launch the Carrier Air Wing, and put those aircraft ashore at NAS Agana and/or Andersen AFB while his aircrew, squadron personnel, and ship’s company are still well enough to do so.

    That way those aircraft will be available for other squadrons to fall in on and employ if the worst case scenario develops and The Big Stick is out of the fight for a significant period of time.

    • Fjardeson says:

      Mick, that’s a great idea… as long as NAS Agana/Andersen have enough isolation housing!

      • Mick says:

        Agree about the isolation housing; finding appropriate berthing ashore for all of those Sailors is a monstrous problem. They’re going to have to put them wherever they can find suitable quarters for them, and it’s questionable if that’s even going to be possible.

        However, I was just talking about getting the aircraft ashore so that they’re available for further tasking if the carrier can’t get underway. Can’t launch fixed wing aircraft from a carrier that’s tied up pierside.

      • Poetrooper says:

        There is no NAS Agana–it’s been closed more than twenty years.

        • Mick says:

          OK Poe; thanks. Never been to Guam, and it looks like my knowledge is somewhat dated.

          Back in the day, some of my Navy Flight School classmates received follow-on orders to NAS Agana after they received their wings. Didn’t know that it had been closed.

  11. The Other Whitey says:

    Having a captain named Crozier just seems like bad luck…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Crozier

  12. H1 says:

    Carriers are petri dishes during the best of times.
    Even evacing everyone and attempting to decon, there a lot of spaces on that ship.
    And the air recirc systems…………

    • Fyrfighter says:

      Luckily, the virus dies on surfaces in no more than 5 days, significantly less on cardboard, but not more on any surface. Leave it alone for that long, and the virus will die. Decon is only problematic if you need to do it fast.

  13. Comm Center Rat says:

    All this COVID-19 coverage has me wishing for a Fake SEAL or Green Beret POSer or SV Thief posting to grace the pages of TAH soon. Somehow the imposters always seem to make me feel better about myself and my circumstances.

    • Sparks says:

      Okay then, I was a SEAL Beret after Ranger school. I didn’t mind all the medals except replacing them is a shit load of money.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      Haven’t had a bling festooned biker in a while.
      Always a good chew.
      That Alan Merklen? guy years ago was fun.
      I think he had a sock puppet.

  14. rgr769 says:

    I am wondering why the Navy can’t take all those sailors who are sick and/or have tested positive for the virus off the ship and quarantine them, clean their areas and then leave the rest of the crew that tests negative on the ship.

    • AW1Ed says:

      COVID-19 Risk Assessment states, “Did the person have any OUTCONUS or high risk CONUS travel?
      If Yes (they are all yes)- High Risk

      Actions for people without symptoms consistent with COVID-19: Remain under quarantine authority; no public activities, daily active monitoring; controlled travel.

      Actions for people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19: Immediate isolation; medical evaluation guided by Person/Patient Under Investigation (PUI) definition; pre-notify healthcare services; controlled travel.

    • timactual says:

      ” clean their areas and then leave the rest of the crew that tests negative on the ship.”

      Not practical. Berthing areas are so crowded that there is no way to maintain a six foot distance. Not to mention head and dining facilities.

  15. Mick says:

    — UPDATE —

    ‘Nearly 3,000 sailors to leave carrier amid virus outbreak’

    https://local12.com/news/coronavirus/nearly-3000-sailors-to-leave-carrier-amid-virus-outbreak

    ‘WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 3,000 sailors aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier where the coronavirus has spread will be taken off the ship by Friday, Navy officials said Wednesday as they struggle to quarantine crew members in the face of an outbreak.

    […]

    Modly and Adm. Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations, declined to say how long the ship will be sidelined. But if crew members are required to be quarantined for 14 days, on a rotational basis, the Roosevelt could be out of duty for weeks.

    […].’

    Yep; better put that Carrier Air Wing ashore on Guam.

  16. MustangCryppie says:

    Another reason to spend the entire deployment haze gray and underway or jet black fast attack.

  17. marinedad61 says:

    UPDATE
    This is unexpected.

    The United States Navy is expected to relieve the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/navy-expected-relieve-captain-who-raised-alarm-about-covid-19-n1175351