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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Navy augments medical team on USS Theodore Roosevelt

A U.S. Sailor with 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, tests a USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Sailor for symptoms of COVID-19, on Naval Base Guam, Guam, April 8, 2020. Theodore Roosevelt is currently docked at Naval Base Guam where sailors from the ship are practicing social distancing and following other guidelines from the CDC, U.S. Navy and the Governor of Guam as part of Covid-19 mitigation effort during a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan E. Gilbert

Approximately 230 sailors and marines arrived in Guam throughout the first weeks of April to augment the medical logistics on board USS Theodore Roosevelt, where the number of Covid-19 positive cases has climbed to 550.

According to the Navy's most recent update, 92 percent of the ship's 5,000 crewmembers have been tested with 3,673 getting negative results. A total of 3,696 sailors have moved ashore. The number of sailors who are currently in quarantine at Tumon hotels is not available.

The Navy earlier reported that 97 percent of the crew had done the Covid-19 tests.

"Statistics on USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmembers have changed to reflect diagnostic Covid-19 testing results and the percentage of crewmembers tested has been updated to accurately reflect the number of individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 with diagnostic testing" the Navy said. "Previous data included surveillance testing results in addition to diagnostic testing results. Additionally, some sailors were tested more than once during the testing period."

Roosevelt is currently on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific and pulled in to Guam on March 27.

A team of medical professionals assigned to 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force deployed to Guam in order to augment the Covid-19 response efforts on the aircraft carrier

“As a Maritime Force, we need to work together as a Navy and Marine Corps team to stop the spread of Covid-19 in order to remain a ready force in the region,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Keith D. Reventlow, 3rd Marine Logistics Group commanding general. “Soon after receiving the request for support, we rapidly deployed a team of highly skilled medical professionals to augment Theodore Roosevelt’s existing capabilities with manpower and resources to effectively assist with COVID-19 cases. Our combined efforts to combat the virus and protect the health of our force will allow us to continue our mission in Indo-Pacific theater.” The team adds to the professional medical care already available aboard Theodore Roosevelt, including more than 70 embarked officers and corpsmen and a team from the Biological Defense Research Directorate, Fort Detrick, Maryland, which has been on board Theodore Roosevelt conducting early-warning surveillance testing for Sailors who present with influenza-like symptoms. The 3rd Medical Battalion, based in Okinawa, Japan, maintains a deployable force ready to intervene to support natural disasters, humanitarian assistance and various other missions. After receiving official notice of the mission to support Theodore Roosevelt, the joint Navy and Marine Corps team was ready to deploy within 48 hours. “The rapid response by the 3rd MLG was incredible,” said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. “Their footprint ashore will ensure our Sailors off ship are well cared for.”

Although Theodore Roosevelt recently conducted joint exercises with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, this deployment marks the first time the ship and the 3rd Marine Logistics Group have worked together in recent years. The medical team, which is based at Naval Base Guam, will comply with all quarantine requirements set forth by Governor Leon Guerrero and will only be travelling to conduct critical official business on military installations.

Vice Adm. L. M. McCollum, chief of Navy Reserve, said the pandemic is expected to peak in certain areas over the next month.

"Our Reserve Force Leadership responded by executing the first distributed mobilization process and successfully delivered sailors into the fight within 48 hours.," McColumn said. "Our aviation force has been pivotal in the prioritization of short-notice missions. With only a few hours' notice, Reserve Aviation delivered COVID-19 test kits and medical personnel to USS Theodore Roosevelt, began flying around the clock support flights with test samples in EUCOM AOR and supporting flights to other key fleet concentration areas."

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