Pandemic and National Security

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael D. Cole
Public Domain,

One of three deployed US aircraft carriers has been sidelined by corona virus infections on board. This pandemic has, at least temporarily, taken this warship out of the fight. I would be surprised if it’s the only one, but even if it is we’re looking at a serious erosion of American war fighting capability.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz class nuclear aircraft carrier, has a crew of about 3200, not including its associated Air Wing. More than four thousand Naval personnel were on the Theodore Roosevelt when the vessel docked in Guam with more than 100 crew members testing positive for the virus, according to the linked article.

I have no doubt in my military mind that the Navy will take any action necessary to protect these sailors and continue operations – and this is, at its core, a continuity of operations question. Every service needs to make sure they are prepared for the rapid spread of infectious disease on vessels, barracks, and forward operating bases, and I know commanders across the globe are adjusting operations and training while planning to conduct after action reviews to identify operational changes designed to make sure this does not happen again.

When this is over we’ll get the full story of how this happened and whether the Trump Administration’s scoffing about the nature of this pandemic and its potential effect on national security contributed to this disaster. Yet another example of what happens when voters who want to destroy the system because they think all politicians are the same get what they ask for: incompetence and corruption at the highest level of government.

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