An F/A-18F Super Hornet operating off USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) crashed in the Philippine Sea on Thursday. The incident occurred as the F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing 11 was conducting routine pilot proficiency training. The incident is currently under investigation. Both aviators were assessed by the medical team on board Theodore Roosevelt and are in good condition. Two aviators safely ejected and were quickly recovered by a MH-60S helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) while conducting routine flight operations in the Philippine Sea.
The squadron to which the fighter was assigned was not confirmed by the Navy at the time of this posting. The only squadron on the carrier that flies the two-seat F variant is the the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. Theodore Roosevelt returned to sea on June 4 after spending more than two months in Guam battling a COVID-19 outbreak that infected more than 1,200 crew members and resulted in one death. Carrier Air Wing 11 was re-certified to operate from Theodore Roosevelt before the deployment resumed.The ship is back underway currently operating in the Philippine Sea. The following is the complete June 18, 2020 statement from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is the fourth Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the United States Navy. She is named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States and a proponent of naval power. She is the fourth ship named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, three bearing his full name and a fourth with just his last name. Another three U.S. Navy ships have “Roosevelt” in their names in honor of members of the Roosevelt family. This carrier’s radio call sign is “Rough Rider”, the nickname of President Roosevelt’s volunteer cavalry unit during the Spanish–American War. She was launched in 1984, and saw her first action during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
Strike Fighter Squadron 154 (VFA-154), also known as the “Black Knights”, is a United States Navy strike fighter squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore. The Black Knights are an operational fleet squadron flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet. They are currently attached to Carrier Air Wing Eleven and deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Their tailcode is NH and their callsign is “Knight”. VFB-718 was established on 1 July 1946 as a Naval Reserve squadron at NAS New York in New York flying the F6F Hellcat. Soon they transitioned to the F4U Corsair. The unit went through several designation changes, becoming VF-68A then VF-837.