Aircraft Launch and Recovery Systems in Sync

Aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), it takes an entire suite of systems to enable safe and effective operations on the flight deck. This infographic shows the aircraft launch and recovery equipment (ALRE) aboard the ship, which returned from Independent Steaming Exercise Two (ISE-2) the second week of October. Duirng ISE-2, Ford Sailors conducted 83 launches and traps, which included nighttime flight operations.

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75 years later, Eagles still soar in the Pacific

The Eagles of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 celebrated their 75th anniversary Oct. 10 aboard the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) with a formation flight. VFA-115 is one of the oldest active aviation squadrons in the Navy, a legacy going back to the beginning years of World War II. “It’s always special to be a part of any squadron that has a lot of history,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dave Tickle, a pilot assigned to VFA-115. “The people that came before us paved the way for us…

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U.S. Navy orders additional APKWS rocket guidance kits

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $59.5 million contract for additional APKWSTM guidance kits to transform unguided 2.75-inch (70-millimeter) rockets into laser-guided precision munitions. The new contract will enable BAE Systems to continue to meet the growing demand for cost-effective guided munitions for U.S. armed forces and allied international customers. The new award, which follows a recent contract for $180.5 million, is part of a 2016 indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract for more than $600 million. With the new award, BAE Systems has further reduced the per-unit…

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Navy identifies pilots killed in Tennessee mishap

The Navy has released the identity of the pilots killed when their T-45C aircraft crashed in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, Oct. 1.  Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, Louisiana, and Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Mississippi, died when their aircraft went down in the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee. Both pilots were assigned to the “Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 7 based at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.  Ruth had been in the Navy for nine years and was a member of VT-7 since 2015….

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Training Air Wing ONE Confirms T-45 Mishap in Tennessee

At approximately 9:40 a.m. Oct. 2, Training Air Wing ONE, based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss., confirmed the T-45 belonging to Training Squadron SEVEN (VT-7) that went missing yesterday afternoon has crashed in East Tennessee. Two pilots were aboard the aircraft, an instructor and a student. The pilots did not survive the incident. Names of the pilots are being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin notification. An investigation will commence to determine the cause of the mishap. Training Air Wing ONE is one of five training…

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Two VP-4 P-8A Poseidons Arrive in Hawaii for Rotational Deployment

Two P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft assigned to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 will deploy to Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in support of maritime security initiatives starting this week. This is a part of a rotational deployment of forces, and the first time a P-8 detachment will be deployed to Oahu. Previously, these maritime security missions were flown by P-3C Orion aircraft. This is VP-4’s first deployment flying the P-8A Poseidon. The P-8A, a militarized version of the Boeing 737, is the…

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Nimitz Completes Historic 100,000th Catapult Shot

You can feel the excitement on the flight deck. As the jet engines roar an F/A-18E Super Hornet, from the “Blue Diamonds” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146, goes soaring into the air. This launch was a bit more special than the other approximately 30 launches performed daily on USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during its 2017 deployment. It was historic. The ship successfully completed its 100,000th aircraft launch from Catapult Two Sept. 25, marking the second time, since the ship’s commissioning in 1975, that that milestone has been achieved. Catapult…

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Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Iwakuni brings first aircraft into new hangar

Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Iwakuni inducted its first aircraft for maintenance in its new hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Sept. 22, 2017. The center’s new hangar increases MCAS Iwakuni’s readiness capabilities by mitigating the need for aircraft to travel to a different location to perform depot-level maintenance. “The impact to the air station is that we provide readiness,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Matthew Edwards, commanding officer of FRCWP. “We are here any time an aircraft is damaged and requires repair beyond the capability at the…

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VFA-115 closes out 31 years of operations at NAF Atsugi

The Eagles of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 departed Naval Air Facility Atsugi for the final time, Sept. 10. The squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornets launched from Atsugi to begin a regularly scheduled patrol aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. At the conclusion of the patrol, the Eagles will disembark Reagan for their new home of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. The squadron initially arrived at Atsugi in 1973 when Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 and the USS Midway (CV…

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T-45 Pilots Train Aboard Truman

Instructors from Training Air Wing (TRAWING) 1 and TRAWING 2 concluded Carrier Qualifications flying Boeing T-45C Goshawks aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Sept. 16-17. This evolution allowed Truman Sailors to practice launching and recovering aircraft while preparing instructors, and instructors under training, to teach the Navy’s newest pilots. “This is the instructors’ initial carrier qualification in the T-45 as an instructor,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ronnie Dale Stahl Jr. Lt. Cmdr. Stahl is a landing signal officer in charge of the overall safety aspect of the initial carrier qualification…

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EA-6B Prowler aircraft dedicated as permanent display at Crane

On September 14th, a Navy EA-6B Prowler aircraft was formally dedicated to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) employees, who have provided 50 years of unwavering support, in a ceremony held at Naval Support Activity Crane. The plane is now a permanent memorial display and symbolizes Crane’s Electronic Warfare (EW) roots dating back to 1971. “The EA-6B Prowler had a distinguished history in the Navy and Marine Corps as the premier EW platform,” said NSWC Crane’s Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Oesterreich. “This aircraft has seen action in almost…

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Naval Aviation Readiness Needle Trending Upward

Naval Aviation has a ways to go in terms of readiness, but the needle is moving in the right direction, according to leadership. During the final panel discussion at the 61st Annual Tailhook Convention on Sept. 9, the Air Boss, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Naval Air Forces, and Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), addressed an audience of Navy stakeholders and provided a candid assessment of the Naval Aviation Enterprise, acknowledging the enterprise-wide challenges of today and the ongoing efforts to address them. “Readiness is…

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Point Mugu Sea Range fields new capability

This summer, the Point Mugu Sea Range adopted a new directed energy test atmospherics-based system that might be a game-changer in their ability to measure and predict weather conditions on the range, a critical factor in supporting the test and development of weapons systems. The Integrated Atmospheric Characterization System is a land-based survey tool that measures complex weather features and conditions that might affect laser propagation, such as optical turbulence, transmissivity, and water vapor levels. “IACS give us the ability to characterize the atmosphere at sea level to a much…

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BAE Systems to Support Design and Deployment of U.S. Navy Communications and Electronics

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a 22-month, $76 million contract to help develop vital communications and electronics. The company will support the rapid design, development, fabrication, customization, and life-cycle maintenance of new and existing communication and electronic platforms for the Naval Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD). BAE Systems will also support the testing, evaluation, installation, integration, and certification of mission equipment and systems for NAWCAD’s Special Communications Mission Solutions Division. This cutting-edge equipment is designed and developed by NAWCAD and allows customers to communicate securely. It is widely…

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NARVAIR Awards Contract to Lockheed Martin to Begin CH-53K Helicopter Production

Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, has awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 1 contract to build two production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters. This contract follows the April 4, 2017, Milestone C decision by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) approving LRIP production. “Gaining the U.S. Marine Corps approval to enter into production and the award of the first contract are milestones made possible by the tremendous achievements of the joint Sikorsky, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and U.S. Marine Corps team,” said Dr….

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