Three way ship swap to make military life easier - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Three way ship swap to make military life easier

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Big changes are in store for crews aboard three aircraft carriers, and the move is set to save the Navy millions of dollars.

Typically, one carrier swaps out with another, but now, for maintenance reasons, there was a need to swap three at the same time.

It's the first time, its never happened in history.

A San Diego crew of about 1,400 sailors, now dubbed, "The Three President's Crew" will serve aboard three carriers in a very short period of time.

The Ronald Reagan, the George Washington and the Theodore Roosevelt will be making a historic move, and all three will be changing home ports at the same time, but families and the sailors will not have to relocate.

Currently, the George Washington is based in Japan. The Ronald Reagan is based here in San Diego, and the Theodore Roosevelt is based in Virginia. The Theodore Roosevelt is currently in the Persian Gulf.

The George Washington will end up in Virginia, the Ronald Reagan will end up in Japan, and the Roosevelt will end up in San Diego.

Some of the sailors will end up spending time on all three ships during the next six month period, particularly the sailors based in San Diego who are already on the Ronald Reagan.

Some of the crew on the Ronald Reagan, will sail the George Washington to Virginia, and then, their new carrier will be the Theodore Roosevelt.

Jeannie Groeneveld, a public affairs officer for the Naval Air Forces said it took two years to plan the switch.

Because the Navy will not have to spend money moving about 9,000 sailors and their families to new home ports, they will save roughly $41 million.

"I think some of the families are appreciative they don't have to move, and have some of that stability," said Groeneveld.

She also said there has never been a need to swap three ships at once.

The swap is already underway as the George Washington makes it's way to San Diego from Japan. It's expected to arrive in San Diego Monday. 

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