US sailors joining East Sea exercise asked to wear face masks
The Navy’s response to the pandemic comes after one of its Pacific-based carriers, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was crippled for weeks earlier this year by an outbreak that infected hundreds of its crew.
The Navy has also spaced out mealtimes, instituted social distancing and brought aboard specialists, including microbiologists and extra health personnel, said Wikoff and Adm. James Kirk, commander of Carrier Strike Group 11, led by the USS Nimitz.
More than 12,000 sailors and aviators are taking part in a dual-carrier deployment to the East Sea (known internationally as South China Sea), the first time two of the US Navy’s massive warships have exercised in the region in six years.
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