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People planes places.

Awards

On 16 September 2008 VFA-86 received the CNO Aviation Safety Award for CY07, right, and the Grampaw Pettibone Award for 2007. In August the VFA-86 maintenance department received the Golden Wrench in recognition as the 2008 CSFWL F/A-18A-D Maintenance Department of the Year. Also, Lt. S. R. Foley IV of VFA-86 received the George Herbert Walker Bush Award. The award recognizes a first tour carrier-based pilot who exemplifies skill, commitment, loyalty, and courage as a Naval Aviator.

On 19 September 2008 Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) earned the Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award in recognition of the ship's energy management.

In October 2008 PCU George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) and Wasp (LHD 1) received the 2008 Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Community Service Award.

On 15 October 2008 Carl Vinson (CVN 70) received the Pacific Fleet's annual Ship's Store Retail and Service Excellence Award for exceptional performance during FY08.

On 31 October 2008 Carl Vinson (CVN 70) CO Capt. Ted Carter earned the John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership. The award honors the senior naval officer who makes outstanding contributions to advancing the logistics, readiness, and competence of the Navy and the sea services.

Milestones

On 11 September 2008 VFA-22 CO Cdr. Christopher Chope performed his 1,000th arrested landing while piloting an F/A-18F Super Hornet aboard Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

Scan Patten

On 29 August 2008 Tarawa (LHA 1) completed its last operational exercises and returned to its homeport of San Diego, Calif., where it will decommission on 31 March.

On 1 October 2008 the Naval Air Pacific Repair Activity in Atsugi, Japan, was renamed Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific.

On the Move

On 11 September 2008 Bataan (LHD 5) returned to NS Norfolk, Va., after completing HURREX 08-02 and conducting landing qualifications for VMA-542 and VMM-263

On 1 October 2008 George Washington (CVN 73) departed Yokosuka, Japan, for its first underway period as the Navy's only forward-deployed carrier.

On 12 October 2008 Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) returned to Everett, Wash., after a seven-month deployment in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

On 27 October 2008 Essex (LHD 2) visited Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, after Amphibious Landing Exercises (PHIBLEX) and Talon Vision (TV).

On 3 and 4 November 2008 the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group--Peleliu (LHA 5) with embarked 15th MEU, Cape St. George (CG 71), Benfold (DDG 65), and Halsey (DDG 97)--returned to NS San Diego, Calif., after a six-month deployment. Peleliu returned to San Diego on 4 November 2008 and the rest of the group returned the previous day.

Outreach

On 16 September 2008 sailors from Wasp (LHD 1) performed maintenance and fed and walked dogs at the Humane Society in Portsmouth, Va., during a community relations project.

On 17 September 2008 sailors from DESRON-40, Kauffman (FFG 59), and HSL-42 Det 7 painted the exterior of El Instituto Nacional Nuevo Amenecer school in El Bluff, Nicaragua, during a community relations project.

On 13 October 2008 sailors from Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) prepared and served meals during a community relations project at the San Francisco Ronald McDonald House during San Francisco Fleet Week 2008.

CHANGE OF COMMAND

HS-5: Cdr. Wade McConvey relieved Cdr. Roy Undersander, 19 Sep 08.

HS-11: Cdr. Malachy Sandie relieved Cdr. Mike Michel, 12 Sep 08.

HSCWINGLANT: Capt. Steve R. Schreiber relieved Capt. Paul A. Lluy, 22 Sep 08.

PATRECONWING-5: Capt. James B. Hoke relieved Capt. Tyrone Payton, 1 Aug 08.

VAW-115: Cdr. Donald G. May relieved Cdr. William D. Hopper, 26 Sep 08.

VFA-192: Cdr. John Enfield relieved Cdr. Greg McWherter, 22 Jul 08.

VR-56: Cdr. Romeo A. Rosario relieved Cdr. Charles B. Miller, 27 Sep 08.

Edited by MC1 Johnie Hickrnon and MC3 Julia A.Casper

RELATED ARTICLE: Scorpions Celebrate Prowler, Prep Growler

By MC2 Tucker M. Yates

Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132 held a final flight ceremony for the EA-6B Prowler at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., on 7 November 2008, giving the aircraft a respectful farewell and beginning the squadron's transition the EA-18G Growler.

Members of the VAQ community gathered in Hangar 8 to say goodbye to the venerable aircraft, which has fulfilled the electronic attack capability of VAQ-132 for almost 38 years.

"It's huge chapter. It's kind of sad to see the Prowler go after the length of service it's been around for, 37 years, with this squadron and the history it has with the enlisted and officers, but I know they're very excited about the new platform," Capt. Norb Szarleta, CVW-17 commander, said.

With the expected receipt date of their first Growler being August 2009, the Scorpions are in the process of getting their maintenance personnel qualified and their publications updated to ensure a smooth transition to their new responsibilities. This includes training with VAQ-129--the fleet replacement squadron for the Growler.

"We are preparing by sending everybody to the schools required, we've got all of our tools and support equipment for Prowlers turned in and are ready to receive all the new tools and equipment," said AZCM (AW/SW) James Campell, VAQ-132 Maintenance Master Chief. "There really aren't too many obstacles; it's a maintenance-friendly aircraft. Our systems will remain the same in function, but the configuration will be different."

"I think this will be one of the more successful transitions for squadrons going to an absolutely different platform. Everyone has come together on this and made it work, it's been very smooth so far," added Campbell.

Growler aircrews will also face new challenges with the aircraft's increased capability.

"We're going to be flying more in the air-to-air arena than we have for the past 35 years. We're going to see the Growler integrated into strike packages much more effectively," said Capt. Brad Russell, commodore of Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "It's a real situational awareness machine; the cockpit has a lot more information for the strikers. So, you're going to be able to provide your battle and strike groups with a lot more timely information as far as what's going on with the threat."

After VAQ-132, the VAQ-141 Shadow Hawks will be the next squadron in line for the transition, starting in April 2009.

RELATED ARTICLE: New Huey Takes Flight with Boxer

By MC3 Daniel Barker

Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Rein) embarked aboard Boxer (LHD 4) with the new UH-1Y for the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group's integration exercise 7-16 October 2008. The squadron trained with the new version of the Huey in preparation for the ESG's deployment in January. The "Yankee" is the latest version of one of the Marine Corps' most durable and versatile helicopters, with many improvements on the previous UH-1N.

"This Yankee version of the classic UH-1 November is making the Huey applicable to today's war," said Capt. Tara Russell, an HMM-163 pilot. "Everything has been improved, from the lift capability and flying time to situational awareness systems like a glass cockpit with a moving map display."

Boxer is the first ship to have the new helicopter aboard as part of its rotary wing aircraft augmentation for deployment. With a new composite four-bladed rotor system, two powerful T700-GE 401C engines, and decreased maintenance requirements, it provides the Boxer ESG a more advanced ability to provide humanitarian aid or to take the fight to the enemy wherever needed.

"With the resources to carry both personnel and a full arsenal of weapons we have an expanded capability to support groups on the ground and participate in a greater range of missions," pilot Capt. Brian Hensarling said.

Upgraded features also include increased survivability from enemy attack with a laser warning receiver, radar warning receiver, "smart" countermeasures dispenser, and a missile warning device. Improved safety systems include energy-absorbing landing gear, self-sealing fuel systems, and a fuel vapor inerting system.

"The upgrades that are among the most beneficial for the crew and passengers are the energy attenuating seats that reduce the effects of G-forces in the event of a crash," said Russell. "Before this, the passengers just had to sit on the deck."

The new Huey also features greater operational flexibility due to 50 percent increased range, faster maximum speed, a stronger airframe design, advanced electronic warfare self-protection, and 125 percent greater pay load than the previous UH-1N.

The Boxer ESG includes Boxer with embarked 13th MEU, New Orleans (LPD 18), Comstock (LSD 45), Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USCGC Boutwell (WHEC 719), Milius (DDG 69), and Lake Champlain (CG 57).
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Title Annotation:Aviation Safety Award
Author:Hickmon, Johnie; Casper, Julia A.
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Article Type:Awards list
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Words:1398
Previous Article:Professional reading.
Next Article:Grampaw Pettibone.
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