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Theodore Roosevelt Highlights Mast-landing as Special RCOH Milestone

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110225-09

By Ensign Michael Larson, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A major milestone was completed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) when the 34-ton upper main mast was installed during the ship's ongoing refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., Feb. 24.

The installation was accomplished using Northrop Grumman's massive 310-ton crane at dry dock 11. The assembly of the ship's mast represents the final major construction milestone for all necessary top-side work before the ship undocks and moves to pier 3 later this year.

"Reinstalling the mast represents a tangible and highly visible achievement for USS Theodore Roosevelt and Northrop Grumman," said Theodore Roosevelt Executive Officer Capt. Douglas Verissimo. "The final shape of the ship is taking form during this very complex overhaul in getting this ship back in the water again where she belongs."

Theodore Roosevelt will pay special honor to the mast milestone during a mast-stepping ceremony scheduled for Feb. 28.

"Stepping the mast" is a traditional Navy ceremony conducted at some point in the ship construction process where a coin is placed under the ship's mast as a way of passing on good luck to the ship. TR will place a ship's coin and a Northrop Grumman coin behind a plaque that will be welded to the inside of the mast.

Tweed Roosevelt, the great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, will be the guest of honor for the ceremony and will present the plaque to Capt. William J. Hart, USS Theodore Roosevelt commanding officer; and Jim Hughes, Northrop Grumman vice president of carrier overhauls. Retired Rear Adm. P.W. Parcells, TR's first commanding officer, will also be on hand.

The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle. During RCOH Theodore Roosevelt's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepared for another 25 years or more of service.

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit

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