Happy 30th birthday, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)!

On Oct. 25, 1986, the ship was commissioned at Newport News, Virginia.

Today, CVN-71’s commanding officer Capt. Craig Clapperton shares how the toughness of the ship’s namesake reflects the ship’s crew and its strengthening of naval power at and from the sea.

Here are 10 things that you should know about USS Theodore Roosevelt:

1. The ship is known by its crewmembers as the “Big Stick,” acknowledging the quote by her namesake, President Theodore Roosevelt – “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans aboard USS Mayflower with President and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt and Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt during fleet maneuvers, circa 1906. The officer talking to Mrs. Roosevelt is Captain William Emory. (U.S. Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command)
Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans aboard USS Mayflower with President and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt and Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt during fleet maneuvers, circa 1906. The officer talking to Mrs. Roosevelt is Captain William Emory. (U.S. Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command)

2. USS Theodore Roosevelt was the first aircraft carrier to be assembled using modular construction meaning large modules and components are constructed independently prior to being hoisted into place and welded together. This process cut approximately 16 months of the ship’s construction time.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 22, 2015) Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 1 fly in formation over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during an airpower demonstration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Brown/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 22, 2015) Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 1 fly in formation over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during an airpower demonstration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Brown/Released)

3. USS Theodore Roosevelt’s first deployment was a six month patrol of the Mediterranean Sea during between December 1988 and June 1989. 

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) at sea circa the 1980s or 1990s. (U.S. Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command)
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) at sea circa the 1980s or 1990s. (U.S. Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command)

4. During Operation Desert Storm, the carrier flew more combat sorties than any other carrier delivering millions of pounds of ordnance to enemy targets.

AT SEA (Nov. 20, 2001) An aviation ordnanceman assigned to the weapons department, maintains a safety and security watch for weapons staged on USS Theodore Roosevelt’s flight deck prior to loading on aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Dela Torres/Released)
AT SEA (Nov. 20, 2001) An aviation ordnanceman assigned to the weapons department, maintains a safety and security watch for weapons staged on USS Theodore Roosevelt’s flight deck prior to loading on aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Dela Torres/Released)

5. After the September 11 attacks, USS Theodore Roosevelt launched the initial strikes of Operation Enduring Freedom against Al-Qaida in Afghanistan from the North Arabian Sea.

ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (Sept. 30, 2001) Captain Stephen Voestch, commander of Carrier Air Wing One (CVW 1); Rear Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, commander of Carrier Group Eight (CCG 8); Captain Richard J. O'Hanlon, commanding Officer of USS Theodore Roosvelt (CVN 71); are assisted by damage controlmen as they fold the first American flag to be raised above "Ground Zero" at the site of the attack on New York's World Trade Center. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (Sept. 30, 2001) Captain Stephen Voestch, commander of Carrier Air Wing One (CVW 1); Rear Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, commander of Carrier Group Eight (CCG 8); Captain Richard J. O’Hanlon, commanding Officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71); are assisted by damage controlmen as they fold the first American flag to be raised above “Ground Zero” at the site of the attack on New York’s World Trade Center. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

6. The carrier was actively involved in flight testing for the X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle.

7. In 2015, USS Theodore Roosevelt departed Naval Station Norfolk for an around-the-world tour deploying to U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th fleets areas of responsibility.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 11, 2015) Sailors and Marines man the rails aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the ship departs its homeport in Norfolk for an around-the-world deployment to their new homport in San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor L. Jackson/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 11, 2015) Sailors and Marines man the rails aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the ship departs its homeport in Norfolk for an around-the-world deployment to their new homport in San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor L. Jackson/Released)

8. In 2015, the ship was part of the unprecedented Three Carrier Hull Swap, shifting homeports from Norfolk, Virginia, to San Diego, California. This allowed USS Ronald Reagan to shift to Yokosuka, Japan, and USS George Washington to shift to Norfolk. This was conducted in preparation for USS George Washington’s refueling phase and prevented thousands of Sailors from having to move their families across the country or overseas.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2015) An infographic showing a development timeline for a 3 carrier crew swap between the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS George Washington (CVN 73), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephanie Smith/Released)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2015) An infographic showing a development timeline for a 3 carrier crew swap between the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS George Washington (CVN 73), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephanie Smith/Released)

9. USS Theodore Roosevelt’s flight deck is more 1000 ft. long and more than 250 ft. wide, supporting four catapults and four arresting gear cables.

ARABIAN GULF (June 28, 2015) Sailors spell out #USA with the American flag on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in honor of the Independence Day weekend.
ARABIAN GULF (June 28, 2015) Sailors spell out #USA with the American flag on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in honor of the Independence Day weekend.

10. The ship is currently pier side in a Planned Incremental Availability phase preparing for work-ups and its next deployment.

SAN DIEGO (Oct. 6, 2016) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is moored pier side at Naval Station North Island. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jimmi Lee Bruner/Released)
SAN DIEGO (Oct. 6, 2016) – The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is moored pier side at Naval Station North Island. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jimmi Lee Bruner/Released)

 

Congratulate CVN-71 and its past and present Sailors for reaching this milestone by leaving a comment below.