Simple Fix Prevents Catastrophic F-35 Accident
By David Byrd | Dec. 19, 2023
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.
Celebrating 45 Years of the Navy’s First Multirole Aircraft
By Kaitlin Wicker | Dec. 19, 2023
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.”
Self-Proclaimed ‘Biggest Fan’ of E-2 Aircraft Visits NAS Patuxent River for Tour
By Victoria Falcón | Dec. 19, 2023
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.
Training Air Wing 2 Tests Out IFLOLS at JRB Fort Worth
By Sandy Owens | Dec. 19, 2023
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).
F-35 Test Team, HMS Prince of Wales Ship’s Company Working Closely to Achieve DT-3 Goals
By Michael Land | Dec. 19, 2023
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.
Sharing the Skies: Naval Aviation Training Mitigates Risk of Bird Strikes
By Anne Owens | Dec. 19, 2023
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.
Ergonomics Enables Longer Sorties, Improves Aircraft Habitability
By Jacquelyn Tolbert-Millham | Dec. 19, 2023
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.
Celebrating 50 Years of Women in Naval Aviation
By David Byrd | Sept. 7, 2023
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.
NAS Pax River Air Traffic Control Makes History with All-Women Air Traffic Control Crew
By Chief Petty Officer Patrick Gordon | Sept. 7, 2023
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.
USS Harry S. Truman Reaches 50 Percent Completion of PIA
By Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Suarez | Sept. 7, 2023
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.
The Global Reach of “The Lone Star Express”
By Sandy Owens | Sept. 7, 2023
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.
A-TIC Lab Presents Ship-Based Experience in Training Environment
By Adam Hochron | Sept. 7, 2023
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.
Celebrating 50 Years of Women Flying in the Navy
By Rob Perry | June 22, 2023
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.
The Navy’s New Hearing Protection: Made-to-Measure for Every Sailor
By Brittany Dickerson | June 22, 2023
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.
By Gene Hughes | June 22, 2023
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.
Lakehurst Lab Brings Environmental Challenges Inside for Equipment Testing
By Adam Hochron | June 22, 2023
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.
SkyFall Soars: New Parachute Descent Training Offers More Realism, Durability
By Jamie Anfenson-Comeau and Angie Robertson | March 27, 2023
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.
Bringing the Virtual World into Reality
By Rob Perry | March 23, 2023
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.
Air Traffic Controllers: Helping Pilots Find the Needle in the Haystack
By Petty Officer 2nd Class Malcolm Kelley | March 23, 2023
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.
Reducing Mishaps by Understanding Human Factors Engineering
By Jennifer Cragg | March 23, 2023
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.
Navy Training Squadron Set to Fully Adopt Modernized Flight Program
By Ensign Winslow Blow | March 23, 2023
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.”
Bi-Annual Exercise Resolute Hunter Provides Real-World Partner-Nation and U.S. Joint Force Interoperability
By Jennifer Cragg | March 23, 2023
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.
Ford Executes First Deployment
By Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet | Dec. 21, 2022
The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), flagship of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG), returned Nov. 26 to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, after successfully completing its inaugural deployment throughout the Atlantic while conducting exercises and port visits with Allies and partners.
Essential Repairs Needed: Getting A Bird to Fly
By USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs | Dec. 21, 2022
The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) aviation structural mechanics work with Sailors from various Fleet Readiness Centers (FRC), who are temporarily assigned to Ford’s aircraft intermediate maintenance department (AIMD), to support the readiness of the various squadrons aboard.
Behind the Scenes: Tire Shop
By Chief Petty Officer Gary Prill, USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs | Dec. 21, 2022
Pilots cannot taxi, take off or land an aircraft without tires. But whose job is it to service the tires?
50 Years Since First Flight, E-2C Legacy Continues
By Carolyn Bauer and Rob Perry | Dec. 21, 2022
The E-2C Hawkeye has been a linchpin in the Navy’s command and control capabilities for more than 50 years. The all-weather, carrier-based tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of flight. Although the E-2C is scheduled for sundown in 2026, the aircraft’s impressive legacy of capability and sustainability will live on.
Team Investment Saves CH-53K Program Schedule, Strengthens Small Business
By Victoria Falcón | Dec. 21, 2022
Ingenuity, oversight and a capital investment by the production department for Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopter Program Office helped transform a struggling U.S. manufacturer into a modern, dependable production source for aircraft fuel cells and avoided the potential failure of a critical Department of Defense (DOD) supplier.
The Phoenix Rises: Resurrection of Aircraft 166879
By Lt. Cmdr. Mark J. Van Orden Jr. | Dec. 21, 2022
In the waning sunlight of April 2, Victory 205 took off on a Functional Check Flight (FCF) Profile A—the last step in the arduous maintenance journey before being deemed airworthy. The growl of the afterburners and retraction of the landing gear was met with cheers, high-fives and jubilation from the 15 dedicated maintainers on the flight line. To many, this may have seemed like a normal F/A-18 takeoff from Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana; however, this was the first flight of aircraft 166879 (Side 205) since May 4, 2012.
50th CH-53E Super Stallion Completes RESET
By Victoria Falcón | Dec. 21, 2022
The 50th CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft recently completed an extensive maintenance process, known as RESET. The program achieved its “golden” milestone in September with the completion and delivery of the aircraft back to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 466, at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
The TOPGUN Legacy: Making Mavericks
By Lt. Bryce Baswell, U.S. Navy | Nov. 21, 2022
The sun rises over Nevada. A rumble rolls across the desert, but it’s not the sound of a rare rainstorm. It’s two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets engaged in a close-range combat training exercise. One is the haze-grey color of fleet squadrons. The other sports desert camo with a red star on its tail, one of the paint schemes used by the Navy Reserve’s adversary aircraft squadrons to mimic those used by America’s adversaries.
Collaboration Enhances Successful CH-53K Flight Control System
By Victoria Falcón | Oct. 4, 2022
A full authority digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) is one of many impressive capabilities setting the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter apart from any other heavy lift aircraft. “Full authority” means the FCS provides all of the aircraft motion—not just supplementing the pilot for stability.
Making History on USS Gerald R. Ford as Deployment Nears
By Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander Timewell | Oct. 4, 2022
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the first-in-class of the Navy’s newest generation of Ford-class aircraft carriers. It’s been nearly 40 years since the Navy has commissioned a new generation of aircraft carriers. With change comes history that has to be made. Ford has done just that.
FRCSW Goes to the Movies Supporting ‘TOP GUN: Maverick’
By Fleet Readiness Center Southwest | Oct. 4, 2022
It takes a lot to make a movie. In the case of Tom Cruise’s latest film, “TOP GUN: Maverick,” it took the artisans, engineers and staff of Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) to not only provide an authentic presentation of the aircraft used in the film, but also support for the filming itself.
Marines Complete First H-1 Mixed Fleet Link 16 Flight
By Joy Shrum | May 19, 2022
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 successfully demonstrated the first two-way connection between an AH-1Z Viper, a UH-1Y Venom and a portable ground station using the new Link 16 software at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, in November 2021.
Navy’s V-22 Achieves Initial Operational Capability Designation
By V-22 Joint Program Office Public Affairs | May 8, 2022
The Navy announced Feb. 18 initial operational capability (IOC) for the CMV-22B Osprey, confirming the platform’s operational readiness following the successful completion of its maiden deployment.
A ‘Day in the Life’ of Marine Corps Heavy Lift Maintainers
By Victoria Falcón | May 8, 2022
Personnel with the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters Program Office recently visited Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 464 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, to gain “day in the life” perspective of the squadron’s aircraft workload and facilitate communications between Marine personnel and the program office.
3rd MAW Demonstrates Lightning Carrier Concept
By Maj. Mason Englehart, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing | May 5, 2022
The Navy and Marine Corps demonstrated a key capability when they operated 20 F-35B Lightning II jets from America-class amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7) March 30 through April 8, fully exercising the Marine Corps’ “lightning carrier” concept for the first time in naval history on an amphibious assault ship.
All-Women Crew Retire C-2A Greyhound in Celebration of Women’s History Month
By By Petty Officer 2nd Class Olympia McCoy, Commander, Naval Air Forces | May 4, 2022
In celebration of Women’s History Month, an all-women crew of pilots and support personnel assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 flew a C-2A Greyhound from Naval Air Station North Island, California, to Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, for the aircraft’s retirement, March 23.