Dec. 19, 2023

Simple Fix Prevents Catastrophic F-35 Accident

A simple, “washer-like” design helped avoid a serious F-35 Lightning II accident in mid-October and enabled an uneventful landing at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Dec. 19, 2023

The F/A-18: A New Generation of Air Dominance

Born out of necessity and innovation, the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet introduced a level of aircraft superiority that had not been seen before and set the standard for future development of next-gen fighters. Now, celebrating the 45th anniversary of its first flight Nov. 18, the original strike fighter aircraft is affectionately referred to as the “Legacy.”

Dec. 19, 2023

Self-Proclaimed ‘Biggest Fan’ of E-2 Aircraft Visits NAS Patuxent River for Tour

John Engelbrecht has a favorite hat and shirt—both have embroidered images of the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft on them. Engelbrecht, who turned 90 in March, loves to watch E-2 videos on the military channel, and there is no topic of conversation he likes more than the E-2C and the 25 years he spent as an engineer providing technical support for the system.

Dec. 19, 2023

Airborne Strategic Command, Control and Communications Program Slashes E-6B Mod Times

The Navy this summer accepted the first Block II E-6B Mercury upgraded entirely by Northrop Grumman Corp., an initiative that is slashing modification times thanks to practices implemented by the Airborne Strategic Command, Control and Communications Program Office.

Dec. 19, 2023

Training Air Wing 2 Tests Out IFLOLS at JRB Fort Worth

In an effort to avoid the seasonal bird migrations at its home station in Kingsville, Texas, Training Air Wing 2 (TW-2) established a detachment training site at Naval Air Station (NAS) Joint Reserve Base (JRB) Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 5-21. Fort Worth also offered the opportunity for the wing to use the base’s newly acquired Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System (IFLOLS).

Dec. 19, 2023

F-35 Test Team, HMS Prince of Wales Ship’s Company Working Closely to Achieve DT-3 Goals

The autumn mix of red, brown, yellow and green reflective and life preserver vests are muted under still dim hangar lights as two separate teams unstrap and unchain the Wildcat HMA Mk2 maritime attack helicopter, with its next-generation versatility, and the F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft, with its fifth generation capabilities, before moving the aircraft to the aft lift.

Dec. 19, 2023

NPS Team Makes Key Breakthrough on Path to Electric Aircraft Propulsion

As an institution renowned for innovation efforts grounded in education and research, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) has often been called upon to tackle some of the most difficult technological challenges facing the Navy and the nation. Such a challenge emerged in 2020, when NASA charged NPS and two other research teams with solving a critical barrier facing the development of electric aircraft propulsion (EAP): the creation of a circuit breaker that could support large electric platforms running on direct current (DC) electricity. Thanks to the efforts of a diverse team of faculty and students, as well as several Navy and academic research partners, NPS delivered an innovative working prototype.

Dec. 19, 2023

Successful First Test a Big Step for Wing Walker Team

A system designed to reduce the number of collisions on aircraft carriers took a significant step forward in the development process when the Wing Walker team from Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst, New Jersey, held its first system test this past summer.

Dec. 19, 2023

Teamwork Delivers New Capabilities in Support of E-6B Mercury’s Nuclear–Deterrence Missions

Extensive teamwork and coordination recently delivered new communications equipment for aviators conducting missions in support of our nation’s nuclear command, control and communications. The equipment will allow the E-6B Mercury to conduct troubleshooting, maintenance, security requirements and upgrades from the ground, saving flight hours, fuel and money. The result is a greater number of mission-capable aircraft, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

Dec. 19, 2023

Twisting Mettle: Joint Simulation Environment Gives F-35 Pilots A Threat They Can Learn From

A new training simulator exclusive to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) is stressing out F-35 Lightning II pilots in a good way.

Dec. 19, 2023

Safety Pilot Program Tackles Launching and Arresting Aircraft

Commander Naval Air Forces and Headquarters Marine Corps have brought a heightened awareness to Naval Aviation safety to prevent mishaps. In response, the Naval Aviation Enterprise has been improving safety management processes, tools and methods to be more data driven. Several pilot programs are underway to test and mature these new approaches. One of the four pilots is spearheaded by the Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) Program Office, which executes the timely development, acquisition and sustainment of ALRE systems onboard all ships operating aircraft from their flight decks. The program office is responsible for all systems and equipment used to launch and recover fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. For their pilot, the program office has decided to focus on catapults and arresting gear that support Ford- and Nimitz-class carriers. These systems were selected due to their consequence of failure.

Dec. 19, 2023

Marine Corps XQ-58A Valkyrie Completes First Flight

The Marine Corps XQ-58A Valkyrie, a highly autonomous, low-cost tactical unmanned air vehicle successfully completed its first test flight Oct. 3, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Marine Corps partnered with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) to facilitate the ongoing research, development, test and evaluation of the Marine Corps XQ-58A Valkyrie.

Dec. 19, 2023

VP-45 Conducts First All-Female Flight with Support from an All-Female Ground Maintenance Crew

Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 conducted its first all-female flight Sept. 21 aboard a P-8A Poseidon aircraft out of Jacksonville, Florida. A total of 12 aircrew consisting of eight officers and four enlisted Sailors participated in a training flight above the skies of Jacksonville to train the future of Naval Aviation. In addition to the aircrew, an additional five female ground crew served various maintenance roles to ensure the aircraft met all requirements and was safe for flight.

Dec. 19, 2023

SECNAV Del Toro Presents Posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross to WWII Hero

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro honored a World War II hero Aug. 16, presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal awards posthumously to Peter L. Smith.

Dec. 19, 2023

Sharing the Skies: Naval Aviation Training Mitigates Risk of Bird Strikes

Naval Aviation is built on a physically and mentally rigorous syllabus that requires students and instructors to overcome many challenges. Student Naval Aviators (SNAs) are sometimes required to make split-second decisions, respond to simulated emergencies and occasionally respond to actual inflight emergencies. Some naval air stations that support SNA training are located in major migratory corridors where hundreds of migrating bird species create an additional challenge to safe flight. To address this challenge, in June 2010, Commander, Naval Installations Command, established the Bird/Animal Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program.

Dec. 19, 2023

First Round of Attack Helicopters Arrive in Czech Republic

Two AH-1Z Vipers arrived in the Czech Republic in August, marking the first in-country delivery as part of a partnership with the Marine Corps H-1 Light/Attack Helicopter Program Office and industry partner, Bell.

Dec. 19, 2023

Harrowing Harriers

A section of AV-8B Harriers was scheduled to fly a day training sortie and hot pit, and then perform night carrier qualification to regain currency. Shortly after takeoff, the mishap pilot reported to his lead that he had a fuel flow proportioner, or PROP, caution. He secured the PROP system and balanced the fuel manually in accordance with NATOPS procedures.

Dec. 19, 2023

Ergonomics Enables Longer Sorties, Improves Aircraft Habitability

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye pilot, copilot, and three naval flight officers (NFO) may soon be able to endure longer flights, across greater distances and in greater comfort due, in part, to a recently developed ergonomically-designed seating system initially funded by the Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.

Dec. 19, 2023

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Inducts First F135 Power Module, Begins Artisan Training

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) inducted its first F135 Power Module (PM) Aug. 24, one of the five major modules that make up the propulsion system on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Dec. 19, 2023

“A Pitiful, Unholy Mess:” The History of Wheeler, Bellows, and Haleiwia Fields, and the Japanese Attacks of 7 December 1941

After a lengthy essay on the exploration and settlement of this portion of Oahu in late 1922, the authors begin this fascinating history of the establishment of the U.S. Army air base in Hawaii. Initially, its strategic importance seems to have been overshadowed by its almost paradise-like atmosphere with idyllic settings, beaches and exotic distance from the U.S. mainland. Photos of buildings, airfields and especially the Army aircraft of the period, taken from little-known collections, augment the interest of this fourth book in the exhaustive “Pearl Harbor Tactical Studies Series” of the Japanese attack that thrust America into World War II.

Dec. 19, 2023

The Road to Pearl Harbor: Great Power War in Asia and the Pacific

This new book on the Japanese attack is more of a scholastic treatise, published as it was without a single photograph, except for the one on the front cover, which I find highly unusual in today’s publishing market. Photos are always required, if only to relieve very dry presentations and perhaps make the reader’s job easier, as this book’s struggles to keep one’s attention. For some reason, the first chapter is incredibly verbose and complicated on how the attack on Pearl Harbor might be planned and accomplished.

Dec. 19, 2023

100 Greatest Battles

A very unusual concept, this book offers descriptions of what the author considers to be history’s 100 greatest battles from Marathon 490 B.C. to Desert Storm, 1991.Each two-page entry contains a full-page illustration of a battle scene (no photos), while the second page contains a concise description of the battle. Obviously, it is a unique use of existing “artworks” from Osprey’s many other volumes from existing series. The $20 price is very attractive.

Dec. 19, 2023

Introduction to Fall Professional Reading

A quick look at the reviews in the Fall column will show a focus on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, certainly one of this country’s history’s seminal events that thrust us into what had been a major war.

Dec. 19, 2023

FRCSW/FRCSE Complete Final F/A-18 Hornet Center Barrel Replacement

Whether due to its all-weather versatility and reliability, or its run with the renowned flight demonstration team, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the F/A-18 Hornet has been a combat-proven platform for the Navy and Marine Corps for many years. It is a historic aircraft with an extensive past—one that would certainly not be as long or successful without a service life extension process called Center Barrel Replacement (CBR)—a complex and lengthy repair developed in 1991 by Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) and conducted exclusively by artisans at FRCSW and Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE). In fact, FRCSE and FRCSW both recently completed their last legacy F/A-18 CBR.

Dec. 19, 2023

First Full Paint Scheme Performed on Unmanned Helicopter at FRCSW

This year, Fleet Readiness Center South West (FRCSW) became the first depot to complete a full paint scheme for an MQ-8C Fire Scout. FRCSW artisans meticulously stripped and painted the aircraft, a task crucial for its longevity and operational readiness.

Dec. 19, 2023

Tricking the Brain to Provide Naval Pilots with High-Tech Spatial Disorientation Training

The human body is incredibly complex and amazing. For instance, consider the small, semi-circular canals just behind and below the ears that make up the vestibular system (VS). Those canals, and the fluid in them, keep humans upright and balanced when walking, running, driving and flying.

Sept. 7, 2023

A Takeoff After Burn

A low-time Hornet pilot was on a cross-country flight returning to the squadron. When starting the engines, the pilot noted the left engine’s oil pressure was lower than the right’s, but still within limits. After selecting maximum power for takeoff, the pilot again noted the left engine oil pressure was within limits, but 25 psi lower than the pressure on the right. During the takeoff roll, at approximately 80 knots, the pilot heard and felt a loud bang followed almost immediately by an “Engine Right” aural warning and an “R ENG STALL” caution on the digital display indicator. The pilot immediately aborted the takeoff and shut down the left engine. It was not determined if the left engine was shut down by mistake or intentionally based on the previously noted oil pressure differences.

Sept. 7, 2023

Keeping the Peace, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 During the Cold War 1946-1991

Most single-book histories of specific Marine aircraft squadrons have been published by the Marine Corps History Division at Quantico, Virginia. However, this account of the “Thunderbolts” comes from a commercial publisher in Great Britain and the U.S. Its author is a former enlisted member of the “elect shop” (sic). While certainly a welcome addition to literature of specific Marine Corps squadrons, the book is not without errors in both writing and terminology, mostly in need of a knowledgeable editor, which is a problem these days encountered when reading about military aviation.

Sept. 7, 2023

Essex-Class Aircraft Carriers 1945-91

No. 310 in Osprey’s New Vanguard Series, this short but interesting volume focuses on an important class of American aircraft carriers, many of which saw constant action during the Vietnam War, although most of these ships were begun or completed during World War II, and saw action at the end of the war as well as during the Korean War. The author is a retired U.S. Navy commander with a career in naval intelligence.

Sept. 7, 2023

H6K “Mavis”/H8K “Emily” vs PB4Y-1/2 Liberator/Privateer, Pacific Theater 1943-45

No.126 in Osprey’s popular Duel series, this author’s new book puts two highly-successful types of aircraft against each other. Little known in most accounts of the Pacific War, the two flying boats of the Imperial Navy (IJN) roamed the Pacific from the beginning of the war. They were virtually unchallenged until America’s entry following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Emily actually having made a few occasional long-distance reconnaissance missions toward Pearl Harbor and Midway before detection and the subsequent attack and the four-day battle in June 1942, respectively, that resulted in the loss of four major Japanese aircraft carriers and many of their aircraft and combat-experienced crews.

Sept. 7, 2023

FRCE Engine Inspection Training Key to Aircraft Safety

Training developed and conducted at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) has made a real-world impact on flight line readiness. The training provides the Marine Corps with the capabilities to bolster the number of mission-capable AV-8B Harriers while ensuring aircraft safety, and is now being applied to next-generation aircraft including the F-35 Lightning II.

Sept. 7, 2023

FRCE Engine Inspection Training Key to Aircraft Safety

Training developed and conducted at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) has made a real-world impact on flight line readiness. The training provides the Marine Corps with the capabilities to bolster the number of mission-capable AV-8B Harriers while ensuring aircraft safety, and is now being applied to next-generation aircraft including the F-35 Lightning II.

Sept. 7, 2023

FRCE Ground Support Shop Equips Aircraft Lines for Success

A small team of mechanics at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) keeps the production lines rolling at the aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. FRCE’s Ground Support Branch repairs and maintains the vital ground support equipment used to move aircraft, transport parts, test systems and perform other critical functions that support aircraft production efforts at the depot.

Sept. 7, 2023

FRCE Marks First with Adoption of Battery-Powered Ground Power Units

Fleet Readiness Center East’s (FRCE) UH-1N Huey production line is swapping out diesel-powered ground power units (GPU) for a sustainable alternative with the recent purchase of battery-powered GPUs, becoming the first adapter of this technology within the Naval Aviation community.

Sept. 7, 2023

FRCE Delivers Final Harrier Trainer to Marine Squadron

Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) has reached another milestone toward the drawing down of its AV-8B Harrier program, with the completion of its last TAV-8B trainer aircraft. The two-seater trainer was delivered May 11 to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223, located at Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Sept. 7, 2023

FRCSE Pitches in to Complete a Speedy In-Service Repair to P-8 Poseidon

The Navy P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission, militarized Boeing 737 behemoth. It conducts maritime patrol and reconnaissance, long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and intelligence missions.

Sept. 7, 2023

FRCSW Receives Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award

Since the 1950s, the Naval Aviation Safety Program has been enhancing the safety of aviation officers through risk assessment, investigation and reporting of hazardous events. The Aviation Safety Program at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) takes these safety tenants to heart. The command knows just how important each employee is at every level of the operation and makes every effort to ensure their ongoing safety.

Sept. 7, 2023

Unique NC-20G Delivered, Will Serve Unique Mission

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 30, the “Bloodhounds” based at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, California, took possession May 31 of a distinct airframe, the Navy’s one-of-a-kind NC-20G. On the surface, the twin engine jet looks similar to other Gulfstream IVs, designed for airlift and logistics support of personnel, senior leadership and dignitaries; but the Bloodhound’s new bird, BH 500, has undergone substantial modifications to complete their Cast Glance (CG) mission.

Sept. 7, 2023

Tactical Airlift Program Delivers C-40A to Marine Corps

On May 19 the Tactical Airlift Program Office delivered the first of two C-40A aircraft to Marine Transport Squadron (VMR) 1, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 41, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sept. 7, 2023

Marines Receive First MQ-9 Reaper Under Latest Procurement Contract

The Marine Corps recently received the first of eight MQ-9 Reapers, which was delivered under a joint contract with the Air Force.

Sept. 7, 2023

Celebrating 50 Years of Women in Naval Aviation

Long before the Wright brothers powered their way into the skies of North Carolina in 1903, or Eugene Ely showed seven years later that an airplane could indeed take off from a ship, Navy women served in the nation’s wars. During the Revolutionary War, women sailed on ships of the Pennsylvania Navy, and Maryland’s warship Defence included Mary Pricely as a nurse. Mary Allen and Mary Marshall filled a similar role aboard the USS United States during the War of 1812. Women aided naval operations during the Civil War as lighthouse operators. The Navy established its Hospital Corps—first proposed 85 years before—during the Spanish-American War of 1898, using mostly male nurses, although four female students from Johns Hopkins University, and six more from the Daughters of the American Revolution nurses’ register volunteered and served. Compelled by legislation, the Navy created a female nurses’ corps in 1908; at the eve of U.S. entrance into World War I, their high performance led to their stationing at naval hospitals inside the country as well as overseas.

Sept. 7, 2023

Navy Accepts Upgraded E-6B Mercury, Delivering Enhanced Capabilities to the Fleet

The U.S. Navy in June accepted the first E-6B Mercury upgraded by Northrop Grumman Corp. in Lake Charles, Louisiana, delivering enhanced airborne strategic communication capabilities to the warfighter.

Sept. 7, 2023

Electronic Attack Systems Program Using Digital Twins to Impact Naval Aviation 

Naval Air Systems Command’s Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office is turning to digital technology to improve readiness, explore new capabilities and expedite training.

Sept. 7, 2023

Navy Fields New LVC Training System Enhancing Readiness, Affordability

The Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges and the F/A-18 and EA-18G program offices are fielding a sophisticated Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) training system that has the potential to revolutionize the way the Navy trains, leading to greater readiness and significant cost savings. 

Sept. 7, 2023

Navy to Field New Hearing Protection Helmet to Improve Safety, Readiness

The Naval Aircrew Systems Program Office is using data collected during recent fleet assessments to refine the HGU-99/P Hearing Protection Helmet (HPH) which is intended for flight deck crew exposed to extreme noise environments.

Sept. 7, 2023

Navy Awards Launch and Recovery System Contract for Fourth Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier

The U.S. Navy awarded General Atomics a $1.204-billion contract modification June 7 to build the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) for the future USS Doris Miller (CVN 81).

Sept. 7, 2023

U.S., Australian Navy Partnership Proves Maintenance, Readiness; Wins Awards

For the first time, the U.S. and Royal Australian navies have successfully demonstrated a periodic maintenance interval (PMI) on a U.S. Navy MH-60R Seahawk in Australia. The milestone demonstrates both countries’ commitment to advancing military readiness in the Indo-Pacific region.

Sept. 7, 2023

USS George Washington Flight Deck Certified

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 returned to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, June 30, after completing flight deck certification (FDC).

Sept. 7, 2023

CVW-17, Four Squadrons Return Home After Seven-Month Deployment

Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, announced the return of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 22, VFA-94, VFA-137 and VFA-146 in June after a nearly seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific with USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group (CSG-11).

Sept. 7, 2023

In a Navy First, E-2D Flown Without Rotodome

A pilot from Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) recently performed a first in Navy history when he flew an E-2D Hawkeye without the rotodome attached June 20.

Sept. 7, 2023

CAMRE Helps Marines Take 3D Printing to New Heights

The Consortium for Additive Manufacturing Research and Education (CAMRE) at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, achieved the first successful demonstration of in-flight 3D printing aboard a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft on June 21 in Southern California.

Sept. 7, 2023

NAS Pax River Air Traffic Control Makes History with All-Women Air Traffic Control Crew

On May 30, for the first time in Naval Air Station Patuxent River’s 80-year history, its Air Traffic Control Facility (ATCF) was completely staffed by women. The Air Traffic Controllers (ACs) served in nine watch stations between the NAS Pax River Air Traffic Control Tower, Radar Operations and Flight Planning.

Sept. 7, 2023

Wreck Site Identified As WWII Carrier USS Ommaney Bay

Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) confirmed July 10 the identity of a wreck site as USS Ommaney Bay (CVE 79), a World War II-era aircraft carrier that was sunk in the Sulu Sea after being hit and mortally wounded by a twin-engine Japanese suicide plane on Jan. 4, 1945.

Sept. 7, 2023

Team Provides Aviation-Focused, Maritime-Facing Support to NAVSUP WSS Enterprise

The Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support’s (NAVSUP WSS) Aviation Support Equipment (SE) Integrated Weapon Support Team (IWST) is what the Navy refers to as a “super-IWST” when it comes to logistical support. Uniquely positioned, the Support Equipment IWST provides support across the maritime, aviation and expeditionary domains, leveraging a comprehensive global organic and commercial industrial base to “keep ‘em flying.”

Sept. 7, 2023

USS Harry S. Truman Reaches 50 Percent Completion of PIA

The Navy announced the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) reached 50 percent completion June 15 of its Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), Virginia. A significant milestone during the maintenance period, Truman and NNSY crews continue working together tirelessly to complete ship-wide upgrades, modernization and major maintenance projects to return the ship to sea.

Sept. 7, 2023

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) University Refreshes, Refines Skills for Safer Flight Deck

The flight deck of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is a fast-paced and complex place, especially when operating at sea. It takes only seconds for a multi-million dollar aircraft to “crunch” into another one and render both unable to fly. This miscalculation of movement and spilt-second mistake made by personnel working on the flight deck create huge complications for operational units that provide forward presence around the globe.

Sept. 7, 2023

The Global Reach of “The Lone Star Express”

Dotted along the flight line at Naval Air Station (NAS) Joint Reserve Base (JRB) Fort Worth, Texas, are three C-40A Clippers, specialized Boeing 737-700s with cargo doors. These aircraft belong to a mainstay on the flight line known as Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 59, or “The Lone Star Express.” Housed under Commander, Fleet Logistics Support Wing, VR-59 is one of 11 logistics squadrons across the United States. These reserve units are comprised of both full-time Training and Administration of the Reserve (TAR) and part-time Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors.

Sept. 7, 2023

A-TIC Lab Presents Ship-Based Experience in Training Environment

During flight operations on an aircraft carrier, everything from the lighting to the readability of the monitors to the size of the work center matters, with no room for error. The Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) Technology Integration Center (A-TIC) at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the only lab with ALRE shipboard representative equipment, including replica workspaces and shipboard Delta power. 

June 22, 2023

Navy Launches Historic Aircrew Study to Update Size Requirements for a Diverse Fleet

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) is leading the Navy’s first comprehensive study since 1964 to update aviator size requirements, improve aircrew gear and equipment, and expand access for prospective future aviators. This is the Navy’s first aircrew study to include women and minorities.

June 22, 2023

Navy Fields New Protective headgear for Marine Corps Aviation Maintainers

The Naval Aircrew Systems Program Office is fielding new headgear, the Head Gear Unit Number 98/Personal Use (HGU-98P), that improves both head and hearing protection for fleet Marine Corps aviation maintainers.

June 22, 2023

Celebrating 50 Years of Women Flying in the Navy

In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola, and one year later six of those eight women, titled “The First Six,” earned their Wings of Gold. In the 50 years since, Naval Aviation has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally. Today, women aviators project power from the sea and in every type, model and series aircraft. They fly and fight in all strike missions, hunt submarines, protect the integrity of the nuclear triad, supply essential cargo and personnel to every corner of the globe and rescue those in distress at sea and ashore. They command aircraft carriers, carrier air wings, squadrons and missions to space. In 2023, we reflect on our Naval Aviation history and pay tribute to all of our women Naval Aviators: “The First Six,” and all those who have come after them.

June 22, 2023

FRCE Selected as Depot Source of Repair for New Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter

The Air Force recently selected Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) as the stateside depot source of repair (DSOR) for the HH-60W Jolly Green II, the air service’s new combat rescue platform. FRCE will conduct all helicopter airframe programmed depot maintenance for Jolly Green II aircraft located within the continental United States, which represents about 70 percent of the platform’s total expected workload.

June 22, 2023

FRCSW Ally Support Strengthens Royal Australian Air Force

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) successfully completed a first-of-its-kind reconfiguration of a U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

June 22, 2023

FRCE Secures Future Components Workload for Air Force MH-139A Grey Wolf

Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) recently secured designation as the Depot Source of Repair (DSOR) for 81 major structural and dynamic components of the Air Force MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter, the planned replacement for the UH-1N Huey. FRCE performs maintenance, repair and overhaul of the legacy UH-1N platform at its North Carolina Global TransPark detachment in Kinston. Current projections place the start date for the new work in fiscal year 2028.

June 22, 2023

FRCE Secures Future C-130 Workload, Plans for 200-Plus New Jobs

Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) will expand its support of military aviators when the depot takes on maintenance, repair and overhaul duties for Navy and Marine Corps C/KC-130J Super Hercules and C/KC-130T Hercules aircraft. Navy officials announced March 17 that FRCE will serve as the designated repair point for the platform. The depot could begin the new workload as soon as the end of fiscal year 2026.

June 22, 2023

FRC Southeast Innovates to Support Fleet Need for Air Combat Training Aircraft

Since Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) inducted its first F-5N Tiger II, the depot has forged forward despite the challenges associated with standing up a new product line. 

June 22, 2023

From Demo to Depot: New Application of Cold Spray Technology Arrives at FRCE

Following years of rigorous testing and evaluation, a cold spray metallization technology that was initially demonstrated at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) is now being fielded on the H-1 line at the depot’s detachment on board Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

June 22, 2023

FRCE Marks 100th F-35 Parachute Milestone

Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) marked a milestone in its support of the F-35 Lightning II program when the depot recently completed its 100th F-35 parachute repack.

June 22, 2023

FRCE Transportation Branch Keeps Production Moving with New Trailer

A new asset in the Transportation Branch at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) is helping reduce turnaround times by simplifying aircraft movement between depot sites.

June 22, 2023

The Navy’s New Hearing Protection: Made-to-Measure for Every Sailor

The roar of fighter jets taking off from an aircraft carrier is one of the most iconic sounds of the United States Navy. But for the brave men and women who work in these high-decibel environments day in and day out, the noise can take a devastating toll on their hearing.

June 22, 2023

Bad Air Day

Following a combat mission, a Hornet pilot set up for a night Case III recovery. After commencing the approach, the pilot began to feel as if he were not keeping up with the aircraft and the approach. As he closed on the ship, he began to realize that he was feeling classic symptoms of hypoxia. Flow to his mask was normal and he did not get any cautions associated with his On Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS). The conditions worsened as he commenced his final approach, and eventually became so incapacitating that he initiated an “own waveoff in the groove.”

June 22, 2023

Daddy’s Home

Before shipping out aboard USS Hornet (CV 12) in the summer of 1944, Frederick Schrader purchased teddy bears for daughters Judy and Barbara, knowing his deployment would prevent him from spending Christmas with his family. The Navy Commander, Naval Academy graduate and aviator, husband and father of two would not return—until nearly 80 years later.

June 22, 2023

Lakehurst Lab Brings Environmental Challenges Inside for Equipment Testing

Even before encountering an adversary, the warfighter’s equipment is exposed to the impacts of the environment, ranging from the extremes of the desert heat to extreme cold of the frozen arctic tundra to the sunny, salty waters in the middle of the ocean. However, thanks to the Environmental Test Lab (ETL) at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst, New Jersey (NAWCAD LKE), these situations can be simulated to ensure mission readiness and address potential issues.

June 22, 2023

From the Prairie to the Pacific: A Blue Angel’s Journey

Most books written as autobiographies or memoirs by those who have served in the U.S. military are often touted as putting the reader in the cockpit in the midst of the action described, or presenting themselves or the individual whose deeds and careers described as giving the reader the chance to experience what they have in the decades that include that story. Some succeed, many do not. Capt. Rud has definitely achieved that goal. Indeed, any of us who have gone through Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS), flown many different types of aircraft in or out of combat, known so many other people of the same frame of mind and intent, will find themselves nodding or shaking their heads, smiling as they recall their own time in these arenas that could try our single and collective spirits and dedication to ourselves as well to others.

June 22, 2023

F4U Corsair vs A6M Zero-sen, Rabaul and the Solomons 1943-44

During World War II, certain pairings developed—the Battle of Britain, Spitfire vs. the Bf-109, 1944-45, the Mustang vs. the Me-262 jet, and in the Pacific, on the Solomon Island Chains, 1943-44, the F4U Corsair and the Zero. The big-crank-winged Corsair, the new aircraft in the American approach to the naval fighter, quickly established itself against the veteran Mitsubishi Zero that had opposed Allied carrier fighters from the beginning starting with Pearl Harbor.

June 22, 2023

Blue Angels Decades 1946-1955

There have been many books and articles about the Blue Angels in both commercial and Navy publications. We would think that everything has been shown and related about this group of naval aviators, and the people who support them on the ground so they can give the people who watch their outstanding flight demonstrations at air shows around the country the best impression of just how colorful and exciting flying for the Navy and the Marine Corps is. This new book shows how much remains to be told.

June 21, 2023

Navy Receives Final JPALS Unit Delivery

The Navy accepted delivery of the final Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems (JPALS) unit March 16, marking another on-time or ahead of schedule delivery for increased capability at sea.

June 21, 2023

NAVSUP FLCPS ‘Team Whidbey’ Performs First P-8 Hot Refuel

Sailors from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Puget Sound (FLCPS) performed the first-ever “hot” refueling of a P-8 Poseidon Aircraft Jan. 30 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI).

June 21, 2023

USS Nimitz Records 350,000th Arrested Landing

USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the oldest-serving U.S commissioned aircraft carrier in the world, successfully completed its 350,000th arrested aircraft landing recently while sailing in the South China Sea, a milestone nearly 48 years in the making.

June 21, 2023

USS Carl Vinson Completes Tailored Ship’s Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP) while out to sea in the 3rd Fleet area of operations, April 4.

June 21, 2023

Navy Delivers First Pilot Trainer to Deployed Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

The Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges Program Office recently delivered the first Aircrew Procedures Trainer (APT) device to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan.

June 21, 2023

New H-1 Mission Rehearsal Trainer Improves Capability, Readiness

The successful delivery of the new prototype H-1 Mission Rehearsal Trainer (MRT) in February to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, marks a significant milestone in Marine Light Helicopter Attack Squadron (HMLA) training.

June 21, 2023

HSC-22 Conducts Final Flight

The “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 conducted their final flight on Wednesday, Feb. 15, almost 16 years after their first flight in 2006.

June 21, 2023

CH-53K Completes Second Successful Sea Trial

The CH-53K King Stallion completed five full days and nights of envelope expansion testing at sea in the Atlantic in March. The aircraft continued testing in a modern naval environment following initial successful sea trials in June 2020.

June 21, 2023

MQ-4C Triton Concludes U.S. 7th Fleet Deployment, Looks to the Future

Operated by Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the MQ-4C is a high-altitude, long-endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (MISR&T) platform that complements the P-8A Poseidon’s capabilities.

June 21, 2023

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Enhancing U.S. Navy, NATO Capabilities

An MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated by the 89th Attack Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, conducted Operation Jackpot Hooligan III during Operation Neptune Strike 23.1, on Feb. 23. During the event, the UAV integrated with air and naval forces to execute a simulated long-range missile strike on a simulated adversarial ship.

June 21, 2023

George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Completes Historic Deployment

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG)—comprised of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and the Information Warfare Commander—returned April 23 to Norfolk, Virginia.

June 21, 2023

Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group Deploys

The capital ship of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG), the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, for a routine deployment, May 2.

June 21, 2023

Two Marine Corps Aviators Earn Second Set of Wings After Completing New Program

Two Marine Corps Weapon Systems Officers (WSOs), Lt. Col. James Corrington and Maj. Syed Rashid, both earned a second set of the coveted “Wings of Gold” March 23, after completing flight training with the “Rangers” of Training Squadron (VT) 28.

June 21, 2023

Marine Corps Activates Second F-35C Squadron

Third Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) reactivated Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 311, an F-35C Lightning II squadron, at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, April 14.

March 27, 2023

SkyFall Soars: New Parachute Descent Training Offers More Realism, Durability

A new parachute descent training system developed at the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) is on its way to better help ensure naval aviators are better prepared for every real-life situation that could happen in midair.

March 23, 2023

Bringing the Virtual World into Reality

For decades, pilots have taken to flight simulators at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) Manned Flight Simulator (MFS) to train, test software and equipment, experiment, develop flight envelopes and even investigate aerial accidents in a safe and inexpensive manner. As newer aircraft and technology are created, these simulators need to be upgraded to reflect these developments becomes necessary, as was the case with one of the Navy’s newest aircraft, the unique CMV-22 Osprey.

March 23, 2023

Air Traffic Controllers: Helping Pilots Find the Needle in the Haystack

The skies are dark, the weather has taken a turn for the worse and the MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter is running low on fuel in the middle of the ocean. The pilots follow radar signals to amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli’s (LHA 7) coordinates, but it is nowhere in sight. They make another pass, but still no luck. Time is running out, but the crew is not as alone as they might seem.

March 23, 2023

SECNAV Awards Navy Cross to Retired Korean War Veteran

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro awarded the Navy Cross Jan. 20 to retired Navy Capt. Royce Williams for his exploits during the Korean War at a ceremony at the San Diego Air and Space Museum

March 23, 2023

New Training Aircraft to Equip Pilots for Tomorrow’s Battlespace

The U.S. Navy announced Jan. 25 that it awarded Textron Aviation a single, firm-fixed-price contract to develop the T-54A multi-engine training system (METS) aircraft. The T-54A will provide advanced instrument and asymmetric engine handling training to student naval aviators selected for multi-engine fleet communities.

March 23, 2023

Grampaw Pettibone

During rollout following an arrested landing, the pilot of an F-14B Tomcat experienced an uncommanded ejection through the canopy. The radar intercept officer’s (RIO) seat did not fire. The pilot was rescued from the water by a search and rescue helo. Both aviators sustained first aid injuries.

March 23, 2023

Reducing Mishaps by Understanding Human Factors Engineering

As new aircraft, equipment and technology are created, a need to understand the human engineering factors that contribute to their operational safety is paramount to mishap reduction. As Naval Aviation evolves, it requires an understanding of how science and engineering impact the operators who fly and manage these aircraft.

March 23, 2023

Navy Training Squadron Set to Fully Adopt Modernized Flight Program

Training Squadron (VT) 28 “Rangers” are projected to become the Navy’s first undergraduate primary training squadron to fully integrate the Project Avenger syllabus in April. Project Avenger is a part of Naval Aviation Training Next (NATN), an initiative to update the Navy’s approach to producing higher quality pilots. “We’re making better aviators,” said Capt. John Hammernik, Project Avenger instructor pilot. “Their flexible minds are able to adapt and handle changing scenarios. Implementing cross-training with instruments, formations, and normal contact landing pattern flying, they integrate those elements and seamlessly switch between different contexts of flying.”

March 23, 2023

Bi-Annual Exercise Resolute Hunter Provides Real-World Partner-Nation and U.S. Joint Force Interoperability

Exercise Resolute Hunter, a joint/combined exercise involving four participating nations and four joint services, concluded its execution phase on Nov. 17, 2022, aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, Nevada. Hosted by the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC), the three-week event is the DOD’s only dedicated Battle Management, Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (BMC2ISR) exercise.

March 23, 2023

NAWCAD Innovation Challenge Team Takes Closer Look at Icing on Aircraft

A five-person team from Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst, New Jersey, developed an innovative way to detect ice on an aircraft as part of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Innovation Challenge.