Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt is unlikely to go on combat duty in the near future. Coronavirus destroys the naval power of the United States.
Theodore Roosevelt counts 4,000 crewmen. Approximately 230 tests of them were tested positive for SARS CoV-19.
In January 2020, the aircraft carrier departed from San Diego and went on a mission in the western part of the Pacific Ocean.
Problems on board began two weeks after the ship entered the Vietnamese port of Danang. On March 24, Fox News reported that at least three members of the crew of the aircraft carrier were infected with the novel virus.
Captain Brett E. Crozier made it clear that he needed help, because it was impossible to isolate everyone on board. However, Thomas B. Modly, who then served as the Acting Secretary of the Navy, fired Crozier, while Pentagon chief Mark Esper said in an interview with CBS that there would be no evacuation and medical assistance would be provided on board the aircraft-carrier.
Thomas Modly made an unhinged speech to the crew members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, in which he lashed out at former Capt. Brett E. Crozier and told sailors to stop complaining. Modly fired Crozier shortly before the San Francisco Chronicle published a leaked copy of a memo written by Crozier, in which he warned his superiors that sailors aboard the aircraft carrier would die of the novel coronavirus.
Modly had to apologize and then to step down, because the general public did not understand why US navy men had to sacrifice themselves.
Obviously, the story caused even more damage to the image of the US Navy and exposed its naked vulnerability.
The US Navy has seen a string of problems lately. USS Gerald Ford, the new-generation nuclear carrier, completed the trials of its vital combat systems in April 2020 - two years later than was originally planned. Nevertheless, the main problem remains unresolved: two of seven munition elevators (they are rope-free automatically-controlled electromagnetic devices) lack certification.
As the Kommersant reported in November, due to delays in repairs of aircraft carriers, seven out of eleven ships of this class proved to be unprepared for combat missions. Moreover, it was revealed that no aircraft-carrier was prepared for combat missions on the East Coast of the country.
In September 2019, a carrier strike groups had to go into combat service without its aircraft carrier. The term of the combat duty of the carrier strike group led by USS Abraham Lincoln had to be extended indefinitely because Lincoln's replacement ,USS Harry Truman, failed go to sea for a number of technical problems.
Two of US aircraft carriers are currently on service in the Persian Gulf - Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. The Iranians see them as an easy target, they believe that this is a way of demonstrating power for big money.
The infection of the crew of two US aircraft carriers deployed in the Persian Gulf is only a question of time. According to US media, Covid-19 was confirmed among US navy men serving on aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in Yokosuka off the coast of Japan and on USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington.
Aircraft carriers are ideal for COVID-19 to spread, because its limited space and constant activities of the crew make isolation and even social distancing almost impossible.
According to Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of National Defense journal, cases of coronavirus infection on board one of the most powerful combat units of the US Navy proves that those ships are not prepared for action in case of biological hazard.
"We can see that biological protection standards were either implemented poorly or were not implemented at all. USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier proved to be useless - the ship failed to serve its purpose. All this shows that the US Army, the US Navy and, apparently, the US Department of Defense was not ready to respond promptly to such challenges and threats," Igor Kortotchenko told Pravda.Ru.