The USS Theodore Roosevelt is nicknamed "the Big Stick" after its namesake's most famous quote, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." But "big" doesn't begin to describe this island of military might stationed in the Persian Gulf. More than 1,000 feet long, the carrier is home to 70 aircrafts and 5,000 U.S. Navy pilots and sailors whose mission is to target the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Between airstrikes and drills, the men and women living here attempt to carve some normalcy out of isolation with exercise, conversation, and the occasional karaoke night. Follow Associated Press photographer Mark Drobnjakovic on his tour of "the Big Stick."

Sailors wear full dress white uniforms before a 9/11 remembrance ceremony. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Sailors meet in one of the carrier's mess halls. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

A tractor driver pauses on the deck before flight operations start. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Rear Admiral Roy Kelley stands inside the Flag Bridge. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Air wing plane captains carry chains on the flight deck. Plane captains are identified by wearing brown shirts and are responsible for preparing the aircraft for flight. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

American flags decorate a door frame. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

A sailor works out in the carrier's makeshift gym. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

A crash and salvage team stands ready as members observe flight operations on the deck. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

A pilot reads a specialized weapons magazine. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

A sailor plays the part of an amputee while attending a mass casualty drill inside the ship's hanger. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

A sailor belts out a tune during a karaoke night in one of the ship's mess halls. | (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)