The President of the Republic of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, visited USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in Norfolk, Sept. 26.
The visit underscored the strong bilateral relationship Poland has with the U.S.
President Komorowski landed aboard the ship in a SH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter from Helicopter Combat Squadron (HSC) 26. The visit was President Komorowski’s second time aboard Theodore Roosevelt. He first visited the ship 22 years ago.
“President Komorowski relayed to me that he remembers, during that visit, the impression it made on him and his hopes to see the U.S. and Poland become friends and allies someday,” said Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of Theodore Roosevelt. “He was honored to be back aboard this same ship and able to see both his hopes come true.”
President Komorowski, along with other delegates from the Republic of Poland, toured the ship and ate lunch in the ship’s wardroom.
“I’m sure, after this visit, I will only keep fond memories of Theodore Roosevelt,” said Komorowski.
Sailors aboard Theodore Roosevelt were excited for the presidential visit and for the chance to present their ship.
“I was honored to be given the privilege to be the landing signalman enlisted (LSE) for the president of Poland,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Alexis Tiefert, who assisted in landing the helicopter. “I looked forward to it, and I was glad to help out any way I could.”
Following lunch, Grieco presented Komorowski with a plaque and a Theodore Roosevelt ballcap in remembrance of the visit.
“We are honored to have the president of the Republic of Poland visit Theodore Roosevelt. This occasion is a great opportunity for us to show the president the ship’s capabilities and further our growing relationship and alliance with Poland,” said Grieco.
Later, Grieco addressed the crew and lauded the hard work that went into preparing for the president’s visit.
“I can tell you that the Polish president was absolutely astounded with how fantastic the ship is and how motivated the Sailors are,” said Grieco. “Each of you did a superb job presenting the ship. Well done and my thanks to all of you for your hard work.”
Komorowski’s visit marked the first time a foreign head of state visited Theodore Roosevelt since its redelivery to the active fleet in August.
Press Release, October 04, 2013; Image: US Navy