Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group began its scheduled deployment this week after completing a sustainment exercise, the Navy announced.
On Dec. 8, the Roosevelt left its home port in San Diego with little fanfare in order to conduct operations in West Coast waters.
At the time a spokesman for the strike group declined to comment on the ship's scheduled deployment, which began Wednesday.
"Our Sailors worked incredibly hard to make sure we set sail with a healthy, capable and ready crew," Capt. Eric Anduze, Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer, said in a Navy press release.
According to the Navy, the sustainment exercise was an "integrated and comprehensive exercise designed to test the strike group's ability to compete and win in a high-end fight."
"The entire strike group team came together during a challenging time to train and ultimately prove that it is ready to answer any call," said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, Commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine, said.
The TRCSG includes the Carrier Strike Group 9, USS Theodore Roosevelt, Carrier Air Wing 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, Destroyer Squadron 23 and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Russell and USS John Finn.
Before leaving their respective homeports, the strike group's sailors -- more than 5,500 of them -- completed what the Navy describes as a "pre-deployment sequester" to reduce the risk of COVID infection and establish "a COVID-free strike group bubble."
In July, the Roosevelt returned to San Diego after a deployment in the Pacific that increased in length due to a COVID-19 outbreak on board that sickened about one-fifth of its crew of 4,800 sailors, and killed one.
That outbreak was ultimately attributed to aircraft carrier activity on the vessel.