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USS Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Group Arrives in Cape Town, South Africa
Story Number: NNS081004-18
Release Date: 10/4/2008 8:51:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW/SW) Monique K. Hilley

USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS) -- Ships from the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TR CSG), assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, have arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of an on-going effort to reinforce relationships, increase interoperability and address maritime issues.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) anchored off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, Oct. 4. The cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) is pier side in Cape Town after arriving Oct. 3.

The TR CSG ships are scheduled to host formal visits, regional security cooperative activities, military-to-military exchanges, and participate in a variety of community relations activities. Senior officers from the ships will also conduct office calls with South African government and military leaders to discuss maritime safety and security.

"The South African government has invited us to visit Cape Town, and we are grateful for the opportunity," said Rear Adm. Frank Pandolfe, commander of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. "We look forward to strengthening the relationship with the South African Navy."

During the port visit, crewmembers will have the chance to enjoy the culture and beauty of Cape Town, participate in a wide variety of community relations projects and tour some of the surrounding areas. In total, more than 4,600 Sailors will visit Cape Town.

"We appreciate the opportunity to be here in Cape Town as representatives of the American people," said Capt. Ladd Wheeler, commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt. "Getting the chance to learn about and interact with different militaries and cultures is an invaluable experience for our Sailors."

The TR visit to Cape Town marks the first time a carrier has visited South Africa in more than 40 years. The last carrier to visit South Africa was USS Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1967.

Sailors aboard TR are looking forward to the new experiences they will get to enjoy during visit to Cape Town.

"I'm really excited to be able to get off the boat and see things I haven't seen before and eat something exotic," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Airman Cherry Ravnell, a member of the V-2 division of TR's air department.

Other Sailors are highly anticipating the opportunities they will have to interact with a different culture and increase their knowledge about another part of the world.

"I'm very fortunate for the opportunity to see different cultures, including the way they live and their customs and traditions. This is my third cruise, but this is definitely something new. It adds another piece to my puzzle of the world, and I'm glad that I've been blessed with the chance to experience it," said Culinary Specialist Second Class John Davis, one of the many chefs that make up S-2 division of TR's supply department.

The Sailors of Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group who are currently visiting Cape Town are grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime experience they are getting during this historic port visit in Cape Town, South Africa.

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