Saturday, February 20, 2016

Still Chillin'

In the skies over Afghanistan (March 19, 2002) -- A U.S. Navy F/A-18 “Hornet” assigned to the "Knighthawks" of Strike Fighter Squadron One Three Six (VFA-136) conducts a patrol mission over Afghanistan. Kennedy and her embarked Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) are conducting combat missions over Afghanistan is support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Lieutenant Commander Christopher W. Chope. (Source)
I'm still goofing off.

Sleeping way too much after staying up far too late.

It's good to have The Nuke home, even if it is for just a couple of days.

That opening photo? Son-in-law Big Time has "been there, done that" a few years after that photo was taken. Same squadron, different air wing, different boat. Same kind of Americans. Out there, doing the job we pay them for, putting it on the line for freedom.

He did two combat cruises on the Big E, USS Enterprise, CVN-65. The Missus Herself, The WSO, Big Time (who had flown off the day before with the air wing), Little Bit, and Your Humble Scribe met Enterprise at the pier at the end of her penultimate cruise. Big Time's Dad and kid brother were still aboard for the Tiger Cruise.

USS Enterprise returns home from deployment for the last time, US Navy Photo

I've seen pictures of the Big E at Newport News where she's being de-fueled. I won't share those here. Too sad to contemplate, she was a fine ship, she deserves a better end.

Sigh...

The Nuke spent six weeks onboard Enterprise in the Med as a midshipman. So this ship is family, after a fashion.

Ah well...

All things must pass.






20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hahaha! Sometimes the only way you could get through the rough spots of a long deployment was to refer to he ship as a boat in the hearing range of a Surface Warrior. I actually learned a lot from those reflexive lectures, and both sides generally got a lift out of the exchange. Other lecture eliciting terms were rope, ceiling, hallway, stairway, bathroom, chow hall, etc.

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    2. When we put a floating bridge across the Rhine River twice a year we would always get a lot of spectators on Sunday. We made a point of never using any nautical terms when Navy types were in our power boats. Much fun.

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    3. Cap'n - My oldest daughter twitches every time I use the term "boat" in reference to the carriers. She was ship's company on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Of course, coming from an aviation background myself, I tend to emulate the Air Wing folks. Apologies...

      Sort of.

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    4. I see that Shaun knows what I'm talking about. :)

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    5. WSF - you Army types never miss an opportunity to tweak the Navy types do you?

      (Of course, neither do I.)

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  2. You know, when I think about it, using carrier aviation in Afghanistan AFTER 14 YEARS OF WARRING THERE, is quite probably one of the stupidest things the Navy does, outside of building unarmed, unsensored littoral combat ships.

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    1. Concur Cap'n. Nothing we've done lately seems to have any rhyme or reason.

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  3. Such a sad, bitersweet thing. I'd have had no idea had I never served aboard mighty warships. To paraphrase Roy Batty, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Turkeys in full burner launching off the bow. I watched Mediterranean Dolphins shimmering in the sunlight near the Gate of Gibraltar. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears, in the rain."

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    1. Great paraphrase. Although I never saw the dolphins near the rock, I did see one bow surfing the liberty boat.

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  4. The first of the three ships I served aboard is almost a complete scrap heap in Brownsville, Texas. The Good Ship Ranger, on which I made two cruises in VA-145 in the period of 1979 to 1982 was towed from Bremerton WA to Brownsville. The Good Ship Independence which was my first duty station, 74-77 for two cruises is due to be towed from Bremerton to the breaker's yard as well. The Good Ship Kitty Hawk is technically "in reserve" at Bremerton waiting for Gerald R. Ford to enter the Fleet.............145 has been gone 20 plus years now. VA-147 transitioned to F/A-18s in 1989 and then to F/A-18Es around 2002-2004. VAQ-140 is now equipped with the E/A-18G Growler................Nothing but memories now...............................

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    1. I know what you mean Glenn. Time passes, the old memories die hard.

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    2. First chance I got after arriving at the Presidio of Monterey for language school in 1973 was drive up to Alameda, where I found my way to where three great carriers were moored. There I beheld RANGER, ORISKANY, and ENTERPRISE. I had never seen a carrier before, had never even been on a Navy base before (I'm an old AF guy like Sarge), and all I could do was just stare at the those awesome ships and try to absorb what they represented. I honor all those who served on them.

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    3. First carriers I ever saw were Forrestal and Saratoga, back when they were tied up at Newport.

      Right next to USS Iowa.

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  5. There were no ships involved in my military career (No boats either) . . . but there were several posts and sites where I served that are now either just memories or abandoned, crumbling ruins. Makes one wonder, at times, if it was all worth it.
    For example: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154856026443521&set=pb.542333520.-2207520000.1455993591.&type=3&theater
    (Just gettin' old, being maudlin.)

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    1. I get that, I've seen bases that are but shadows of their former selves.

      I tell myself it was all worth it...

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  6. I have said before. If you are or were crew on it, it can be a boat. If you are not, then it is a ship.
    As in, "we gotta get back to the boat" and "what ship are you on?"

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)