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USS Theodore Roosevelt Prepares to Leave Dry Dock

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110325-17

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tyrell K. Morris

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is scheduled to leave dry dock in April after spending nearly two years at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard conducting a Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

TR is the fourth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to participate in the RCOH at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. During the three-year maintenance period of RCOH, TR will refuel the nuclear reactors, upgrade and modernize combat and communication systems, and overhaul the ship's hull, mechanical and electrical systems.

There are a lot of areas on the ship that need to be checked and proven safe before the dry dock is flooded and the ship is floating.

"The engineering department had more than 1,900 tasks and tests to complete to prepare for the flooding process," said Cmdr. Gunter I. Braun, USS Theodore Roosevelt chief engineer. "The ship's vital systems have been disengaged while in the shipyard so we have to ensure the ship's internal system is working properly before we move to pier 3."

This extensive process will be the first step in bringing the ship back to life. During this evolution, there will be several rounds of inspections and testing. All of the ship's communication systems must be in working order as well. The primary concern is accounting for and testing all sound-powered telephones.

"Sound-powered phones are going to be needed in every space with a watchstander so in the event it does start flooding, they can immediately get on the sound powered phone and let Damage Control Central know," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW/SS) Matthew R. Lynch, CS9 division assistant leading petty officer.

There will be representatives throughout the ship to act as liaisons between the civilian contractors and TR Sailors directly involved in the flooding process.

"Once the water is flooded to a preset level on the hull of the ship, we will have watches in spaces to keep a constant check on the water level, pipes, and valves," said Master Chief Electronics Technician (SW) James L. Gilbert, USS Theodore Roosevelt Reactor Department leading chief petty officer.

"The shipyard is overall in charge of the flood dry dock process and transiting the ship to pier 3, so our main objective in this evolution is to assist Northrop Grumman and the contractors in any capacity that they need," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Cary Carrigan, USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt is currently undergoing its scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. 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 prepare for another 25 years or more of service.

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

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