SAN DIEGO – A Kingman, Arizona native is serving on one of the world’s largest warships, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Cierra Kargenian is a culinary specialist aboard the San Diego-based ship and is responsible for operating and managing Navy messes and living quarters established to subsist and accommodate Naval personnel.
“The best part of being a culinary specialist is the relationships I build with people here,” said Kargenian. “Working in the galley, I get to meet everyone.”
Named in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, the carrier is longer than 3 football fields, at nearly 1,100 feet long. The ship is 252 feet wide and weighs more than 100,000 tons. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at more than 35 mph.
“One of my favorite things about being stationed on this ship is being here in San Diego,” said Kargenian.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Kargenian and other Roosevelt sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“I was in Lead Cadets and it influenced me to join,” said Kargenian. “It was a great experience and ever since then I wanted to join.”
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard Roosevelt. Approximately 3,200 men and women make up the ship’s company, which keeps all parts of the aircraft carrier running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors. Another 2,500 or so form the air wing, the people who actually fly and maintain the aircraft.
Roosevelt, like each of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, is designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.
Powerful catapults slingshot the aircraft off the bow of the ship. The planes land aboard the carrier by snagging a steel cable with an arresting hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft. All of this makes the Roosevelt a self-contained mobile airport and strike platform, and often the first response to a global crisis because of a carrier’s ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.