Northwest Navigator: News and Information from Navy Region Northwest in Washington State's Puget Sound, including Bremerton, Kitsap County, Oak Harbor, and Everett

Naval Air Station Whidbey

Lancers reunite with families following deployment

The Lancers of VAQ-131 arrived home last week after a successful deployment aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) supporting Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and New Dawn (OND). The Lincoln left NAS North Island, Calif., back Sept. 11, 2010 for a scheduled six-month combat deployment. “It’s a great feeling to be done with deployment and be back home with family and friends,” said Aviation Electrician’s Mate Airman Matthew Thackery. VAQ-131 and Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) prepared for deployment with a compressed five-month work up cycle consisting of Deck Certification, Electronic Advanced Warfare Readiness Program, Tailored Ship’s Training Assessment, Air Wing Fallon and Composite Training Unit Exercise 10-3.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Leadership for Wing 10 changes

Capt. Peter A. Garvin assumed command of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 from Capt. Garner D. Morgan in a ceremony held March 25 in Hangar 6 at NAS Whidbey Island. Vice Adm. Allen Myers, commander, Naval Air Forces, presided as the guest speaker for the ceremony. During his leadership, Morgan detached 78 combat and reconnaissance aircrews to numerous forward-deployed locations worldwide, safely executing more than 4,000 combat sorties. He also deployed support to ground and combatant commanders for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. “I am most proud of the accomplishments of the men and women of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 who are out there, deployed and getting the mission done each and every day,” said Morgan during his remarks to the packed crowd in the hangar. Morgan heads to Millington, Tenn., for his next assignment as Head Placement Officer (PERS-44) with the Navy Bureau of Personnel.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Shay assumes command of Electronic Attack Wing

Capt. Christopher L. Shay will relieve Capt. Thomas A. Slais, Jr., as Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet in a change of command ceremony March 24 with Vice Adm. Allen G. Myers, Commander, Naval Air Forces, as ceremony official and guest speaker. Slais expertly led the VAQ community’s continued transition from EA-6B Prowler to EA-18G Growler, ensuring on-time transition and Safe for Flight designation of the first three Growler squadrons. He directed the execution of $240 million for aircrew and maintenance training, flight and maintenance simulators and military construction renovation projects. Slais’ next job is Director, Navy Inspector General Office in Washington D.C. Shay, a native of New England, graduated from the University of Vermont in 1985 and earned his commission through the Aviation Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Fla. He was designated a naval flight officer and reported to Attack Squadron (VA) 42 for training as a bombardier/navigator.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Deputy assistant SECDEF visits FRCNW

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance Policy and Programs, John Johns, visited Fleet Readiness Center Northwest on March 8. Johns, who oversees the DoD’s annual $90 billion maintenance program budget, began the visit by addressing FRCNW’s Sailors, Marines, and civilians. His message to the technicians and artisans was clear: the work being done at FRCNW has a direct, positive impact on the front lines of the global war effort. At the Avionics/Armament Division, the discussion focused on the work being done on the Tactical Jamming System (TJS) and its implementation on the EA-18G Growler. The TJS is critical in countering IEDs and neutralizing other electronic weapons on the battlefield. Johns visited the Instrument Repair Shop which has benefitted tremendously from the incorporation of depot-level civilian artisans.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Ten-year anniversary for Hainan Island incident

On April 1, 2001, a mid-air collision between a United States Navy EP-3E Aries II surveillance aircraft and a People’s Liberation Army Navy J-8II Finback occurred off the coast of Hainan Island, China. The crew of PR-32, assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One (VQ-1) based out of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan was forced to make an emergency landing at the Chinese-controlled Lingshui airfield. After the collision and subsequent emergency landing, the American crew was detained for eleven days while United States and Chinese diplomats disagreed over the cause of the incident. The Chinese government was persuaded to release the crew only after Washington, D.C., issued the “Letter of Two Sorries” on April 11. This official statement expressed sorrow and regret for the death of the J-8 pilot, Wang Wei, and for the landing at Lingshui airfield without proper clearance. The Chinese returned the EP-3 aircraft to the United States government after a thorough examination and a partial disassembly. On July 3, the disassembled aircraft was flown back to the United States on a Russian An-124-100 Antonov.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Sun shines for Saint Patrick’s parade

Despite previous days of wind and rain, Mother Nature was kind to 200 revelers who came out last Wednesday to celebrate the Irish Wildlife Society’s 38th anniversary of Saint Patrick’s Day. Children and parents, some dressed in Irish green, lined Bayshore Drive to look at the decorated cars, floats and people marching past in the parade. Many cars lofted candy out to the kids, who happily responded. The parade was led by the Marine Aviation Training Support Group 53’s Color Guard, followed by Oak Harbor High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and All Island Community Band, Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Association Cascade Chapter 5 and council members. “As we pause and reflect on St. Patrick’s Day; for the full blessings of life, despite one-way strife, we are fortunate to give thanks, okay?” said Lt. Cmdr. Philip King, Chaplain for Patrol & Reconnaissance Wing 10, his limerick prayer reflecting on the road construction on Pioneer Way.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Aircraft 502 ends service with VAQ-130

VAQ-130 flew one of their final EA-6Bs to the Naval Air Depot (NADEP) in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 22, marking the end of an era for the Zappers who had been flying the Prowler airframe since 1975. Zapper 502 was piloted by Lt. Dustin Schraud, along with electronic countermeasures officers Lts. Ernesto Arboleda, Matthew Dowdy and Christian Long. Aircraft 502 was the Zappers’ oldest aircraft, coming off the production line in 1975, logging 10,165.8 hours and 1,833 catapult shots and carrier-arrested landings. In its final deployment, aircraft 502 was part of a stable of jets that completed 100 percent of all assigned combat mission tasking totaling 1,276 mishap-free flight hours into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as well as Operation New Dawn in the skies above Iraq. Its performance on deployment was a testament to the maintenance efforts put forth by Zapper maintainers. Before departing, several Zappers took a few minutes to sign the cheek panel to farewell 502 on its final flights. “It was great to be part of this historic event for VAQ-130,” said Arboleda.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Hentz makes Whidbey history in 1945

In recognition of Women’s History Month in March, NAS Public Affairs recognizes Lt.j.g. Kathleen L. Hentz, USNR, as the first WAVES officer to report for permanent duty at the air station as publicized in the Aug. 18, 1945 “Prop Wash” newspaper . WAVES were Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. She came from the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air), Navy Department, Washington, D.C., following a yearlong tour of duty there. Hentz was assigned to the Air Navigation Training Unit at Ault Field, NAS Whidbey Island.
March 24, 2011
Read the full story…

Wizards return to carrier at last

The men and women of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 recently returned to carrier-based aviation after 19 years service with a detachment on board USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74). The last time VAQ-133 deployed as part of an embarked carrier air wing was in 1991 on board USS Forrestal (CV-59). The Wizards are now attached with Carrier Air Wing Nine and recently completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) in February. The squadron found the work an outstanding learning experience and is looking to trade in desert sand for a WestPac deployment with exciting port calls. Adding to the unique nature of the squadron’s history, VAQ-133 had been designated since 1996 as an expeditionary squadron with a land-based commitment. Along with this commitment came the inclusion of Air Force personnel in their ranks.
March 17, 2011
Read the full story…

Patriots welcome first USAF aircrew

The VAQ-140 Patriots, an EA-6B Prowler squadron that traditionally deploys to an aircraft carrier, welcomes Capt. Alain Martinez, the first U.S. Air Force aircrew member to the squadron. Martinez will be the first Weapons System Officer (WSO) to become an Electronic Counter Measures Officer (ECMO) flying with the Navy Electronic Attack (EA) squadron. Although numerous Air Force WSOs have been assigned duty at NAS Whidbey Island to become ECMOs in the Prowler, it is almost unheard of that they join carrier-based Prowler squadrons. Traditionally, Air Force crewmembers are assigned to “expeditionary” or land-based squadrons. With the face of Electronic Attack now transitioning to the EA-18G Growler, expeditionary Prowler units are shifting to carriers as “gap fillers” for squadrons currently transitioning to the Growler. To support the transition, Prowler Air Force ECMOs now report to a fleet squadron that deploys on a carriers, after completing the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) curriculum. The FRS has started training Air Force aircrews in the Growler pipeline, but for the time being, all USAF students coming out of the EA training command will be destined for carrier-base squadrons.
March 17, 2011
Read the full story…

Page 1 of 174 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »