For Immediate Release
Dec. 12, 2008
President of Afghanistan Visits USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bonnie Williams
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, At Sea –Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan flew aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Dec. 11 for his first-ever visit to a U.S. aircraft carrier.
Karzai visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier at sea to gain a better understanding of how the U.S. Navy conducts operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
“Our forces are ready across the full spectrum of naval operations and are committed to continuing operations that help ensure security and stability in the region,” said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. “President Karzai was able to see first hand the professionalism demonstrated by our personnel and gain a better understanding of how we do operations.”
Escorted by Gortney, President Karzai toured the flight deck and observed flight operations, as well as visited the ship’s bridge, an aircraft squadron’s ready room and the ship’s Combat Direction Center.
“President Karzai was very interested in learning more about the capabilities and support that Theodore Roosevelt and Carrier Air Wing-8 bring to OEF,” said Rear Adm. Frank Pandolfe, Commander, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. “We employ these capabilities every day to help the government of Afghanistan build a more peaceful and prosperous nation.”
The Navy is a crucial partner in supporting Coalition forces that operate on the ground, which help the government of Afghanistan establish a secure democracy for the people of Afghanistan.
“We were honored to host President Karzai today,” said Capt. Ladd Wheeler, Theodore Roosevelt’s Commanding Officer. “He was impressed with the Sailors he met as well as the dedication shown by them in the amazing work they do.”
Theodore Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 are currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, and are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States’ commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.