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Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Leaves San Diego On Deployment

Brenda Padilla carries signs to support her daughter, Mia Guzman, who is a sa...

Photo by Priya Sridhar

Above: Brenda Padilla carries signs to support her daughter, Mia Guzman, who is a sailor onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt which left San Diego on deployment on January 17, 2020.

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group left San Diego on deployment on Friday. The USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier has about 3,000 sailors assigned to the ship and about 2,000 are part of the carrier air wing.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is one of 12 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy. It's over 1,000 feet long, weighs 100,000 tons and can launch and recover 100 combat flights every day.

Listen to this story by Priya Sridhar.

"The strength is not the ship behind me there you guys know this, the strength is the 5,000 sailors who are on board the Roosevelt," said Captain Brett Crozier, Commanding Officer of the USS Roosevelt. "They’re all volunteers. They come from every state in the country, some come from out of country, but they volunteer to serve, they volunteer to leave home and they volunteer to fight if required and that is our true strength."

In addition to the aircraft carrier, the group includes guided-missile destroyers, a cruiser and a carrier air wing. It last deployed for seven months in 2017.

Reported by Priya Sridhar , Video by Roland Lizarondo

Photo by Priya Sridhar

A sailor saying goodbye to his baby before being deployed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group on Jan. 17, 2020.

It was an emotional day for the sailors as they said goodbye to their families.

"It's emotional. I’m excited to go, but I don’t want to leave my child," said Petty Officer Jessica Rodriguez, who was going on her first deployment of her Navy career. She will miss her son's second birthday but is thankful that her mother will be staying in San Diego to help take care of him while she's gone.

Capt. Crozier says that support from Navy families and the community is critical so sailors can focus on the mission while they're on deployment.

"It takes everybody. It takes all the family support to go through all the training we’ve done over the last year and be ready to go," he said. "It takes continued support as we head out on deployment today and it takes your support as a community of San Diego to do what we do."

Brenda Padilla's daughter, Petty Officer Mia Guzman, will also be deploying for the first time.

"I'm excited. I'm nervous. Emotions are all over, but this is what she wanted," Padilla said. "We better stand behind her. We're a proud military family," she said.

You can follow updates from the USS Theodore Roosevelt here.

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Photo of Priya Sridhar

Priya Sridhar
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I enjoy investigating consumer stories that can help San Diegans navigate their daily lives.

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