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On the Move

Aircraft assigned to CVW-2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed their final combat flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) on 9 July. The carrier returned to NS Norfolk on 7 August, concluding an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation (AOR).

The VAQ-132 Scorpions arrived at NAF Misawa, Japan, on 14 July, beginning a six-month deployment in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and its strike group arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR on 17 July.

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and CVW-11 left their home stations on 8 August for the 2012 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises. Nimitz returned to NS Everett on 20 August.

CVW-7 began flying its first combat sorties in support of OEF on 9 August from Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The VAW-77 Nightwolves returned from their final Central American deployment on 19 August. The squadron is scheduled for disestablishment in March 2013.

The VMFA-232 Red Devils returned to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, on 21 August after participating in Exercises Southern Frontier and Pitch Black.

USS Peleliu (LHA 5), along with USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS Rushmore (LSD 47), the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the HSC-23 Wildcards departed San Diego for the Western Pacific on 17 September.

CVW-17 changed permanent duty stations from NAS Oceana to NAS Lemoore on 1 October.

The VAQ-135 Black Ravens returned to NAS Whidbey Island on 11 October after completing a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

Milestones

The U.S. Navy's "Great Green Fleet" made its operational debut on 18 July. Nimitz took on more than 900,000 gallons of 50-50 biofuel in preparation for the Navy's Great Green Fleet demonstration.

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator completed its first flight from NAS Patuxent River on 29 July.

An F-35B dropped its first bomb, an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition, on 8 August over an Atlantic range.

An E/A-18G Growler from the VAQ-129 Vikings landed aboard Nimitz for the carrier's 300,000th trap on 15 August.

The HSL-49 Scorpions surpassed 25,000 mishap-free flight hours on 4 September.

Awards

The VAQ132 Scorpions were selected as the aviation winner of the 2012 Association of Old Crows Outstanding Navy Unit Award on 27 July. USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and Commander, Task Force 1030 (CTF 1030), were the surface/subsurface and shore winners.

The VP-62 Broadarrows received the Chief of Naval Operations Naval Aviation Safety Award on 13 August.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento received the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator Fixed-Wing Aviation Award on 20 August at McClellan Airfield, Calif, for superior performance in the interdiction of illicit drugs during 2011.

The HMM-774 Wild Goose were recognized on 20 September for reaching 85,000 mishap-free flight hours.

Change of Command

Cmdr. Robert Gentry relieved Cmdr. Rick Crecelius as commanding officer of the VFA-103 Jolly Rodgers on 25 May at NAS Oceana.

Cmdr. Scott A. Avery relieved Cmdr. Jim P. Gardner as commanding officer of the VAW-125 Tigertails on 10 July.

Capt. David A. Culler, Jr. relieved Capt. Mary M. Jackson as commanding officer of NS Norfolk on 2 August.

Cmdr. Lloyd B. Mack relieved Cmdr. Jonathan B. Laubach as commanding officer of Tactical Air Control Squadron 21 on 2 August at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story.

Capt. Robert D. Boyer relieved Capt. Jeffrey L. Trent as commanding officer of CVW-1 aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) on 15 August.

Capt. S. Robert Roth relieved Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne as commanding officer of Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on 16 August at NS Norfolk.

Cmdr. Timothy Tippett relieved Cmdr. Jon Taylor as commanding officer of the VFA-131 Wildcats on 16 August aboard Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Cmdr. Marcus Lopez relieved Cmdr. Daniel Sullivan as commanding officer of the VFA-11 Red Rippers in an aerial ceremony above USS Enterprise (CVN 65) on 16 August.

Cmdr. Michael P. Connor relieved Cmdr. John E. Perrone as commanding officer of the VFA-86 Sidewinders on 6 September at NAS Lemoore.

Cmdr. Raymond B. Marsh III relieved Cmdr. Andrew D. Danko as commanding officer of Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, on 7 September at NS Mayport.

Capt. John P. Springett II relieved Capt. Christopher L. Shay as Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet on 12 September at NAS Whidbey Island.

Vice Adm. David Dunaway relieved Vice Adm. David Architzel as commander of Naval Air Systems Command on 20 September at NAS Patuxent River.

Cmdr. Christopher Herr relieved C mdr. Amy Bauernschmidt as commanding officer of the HSM-70 Spartans at NAS Jacksonville on 20 September.

Capt. Karl 0. Thomas relieved Capt. John D. Alexander as commanding officer of Abraham Lincoln on 21 September at NS Norfolk.

Cmdr. Kate M. Standifer relieved Cmdr. Phillip L. Faucheux as commanding officer of the VR-54 Revelers at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on 22 September.

Cmdr. James E. Miller relieved Cmdr. Joseph R. O'Brien as commanding officer of the HSM-74 Swamp Foxes on 28 September at NAS Jacksonville.

Capt. David W. Bouve relieved Capt. Jeffrey W. Hughes as Commander, Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet on 28 September at NAS North Island.

Vice Adm. David H. Buss relieved Vice Adm. Allen G. Myers as Commander, Naval Air Forces, aboard Nimitz on 4 October.

Cmdr. Ruben Ramos relieved Cmdr. John Compton as commanding officer of the HSC-25 Island Knights at Andersen AFB, Guam, on 15 October.

Scan Pattern

The newest training facility for the Navy's Fire Scout unmanned helicopter operators opened on 10 July at NAS Jacksonville.

The VAQ-130 Zappers landed their first operational EA-18G Growler aboard Harry S. Truman on 18 July.

Twelve MV-22 Osprey aircraft were off-loaded from a civilian cargo ship at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, on 23 July, marking the first deployment of the MV-22 to Japan. The aircraft will be stationed aboard MCAS Futenma in Okinawa as part of the HMM-265 Dragons.

The P-8A Poseidon made its RIMPAC debut in late July while flown by two air crews from VX-1 at MCB Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay.

USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and HSL-42 Det. 8 rendered medical assistance to crewmembers on the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier M/V Belde on 20 August, about 110 miles north of Socotra Island, Yemen.

Sailors from the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group and the HSC-8 Eightballers rescued a Malaysian man on 6 October in the South China Sea while transiting the Singapore Strait.

The remains of seven servicemen, missing in action from World War II, were identified and buried with full military honors. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Laverne A. Lallathin, 2nd Lt. Dwight D. Ekstam, 2nd Lt. Walter B. Vincent Jr., Tech. Sgt. James A. Sisney, Cpl. Wayne R. Erickson, Cpl. John D. Yeager, and Pfc. John A. Donovan were buried as a group in a single casket representing the crew on 4 October at Arlington National Cemetery The crew perished when their PBJ (B-25) from Marine Bombing Squadron (VMB) 423 crashed during a training flight on the South Pacific Island of Espirutu Santo (now in Vanuatu) in April 1944.

Establishments/Disestablishments

The HS-10 Warhawks were deactivated at NAS North Island on 30 September. The HCS-3 Tridents assumed the squadron's remaining SH-60F and HH-60H training duties along with its MH-60S training.

The Unmanned Helicopter Reconnaissance Squadron (HUQ) 1 Hydras was established at NAS North Island on 1 October.

Mishaps

An MH-53E Sea Dragon with the HM-15 Blackhawks crashed 58 miles southwest of Muscat, Oman, on 19 July while conducting heavy-lift support operations. Two of the helicopter's five crew members died, the other was recovered safely.

An AV-8B Harrier carrying live ordnance crashed on 26 July near Imperial Valley, Calif. The pilot ejected safely.

A fatal April crash involving an MV-22 Osprey aircraft in Morocco was caused by pilot error, the Department of Defense announced on 15 August.

An MH-53E Sea Dragon with the HM-15 Blackhawks made a hard landing on 22 August at the Bahrain International Airport following an engine malffinction. No injuries were reported.

A Marine pilot from the VMFA-323 Death Rattlers safely ejected from an F/A-18C Hornet on 1 September before it crashed at NAS Fallon.

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RELATED ARTICLE: HELP MAKE HISTORY

There's no doubt about it: reading history is a lot easier than writing it. Learning about the past can be an enduring and enjoyable pastime; putting it all down on paper can be a laborious process that can take, historians years to complete. It is also true, however, that writing history is not something historians can do alone. Someone has to record all the facts, figures, and events for posterity that historians can analyze and interpret to write history.

Each year, your command is required to write a command operations report and submit it to the Aviation History section of the Archives Branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command by 1 March. The guidelines for preparing the report are contained in OPNAVINST 5750.12K, last updated in May 2012. This is the only report submitted by Naval Aviation commands that covers all of the operating activities of a command for the previous calendar year. But what purpose does this report really serve?

First of all, the reports help with the creation and dissemination of the story of Naval Aviation--a story you're already contributing to by serving in a Navy or Marine Corps squadron or other aviation command. Historians with the Aviation History section, as well as from outside the Navy, use the command operations reports to write articles, books, and other publications on topics ranging from squadron histories to the broader story of Naval Aviation and its contributions to the Navy, Marine Corps, and the nation.

Second, the Navy and Marine Corps use these reports to better understand the activities, accomplishments, and challenges of Naval Aviation commands. The reports also serve to retain the corporate memory of units that constantly undergo changes in personnel. Without these reports, much of that memory could be lost as experienced individuals leave to go onto other endeavors and new personnel must re-learn valuable lessons.

If your command has not submitted a command operations report for 2011, please provide one as soon as possible. If you have not made preparations for collecting data for the 2012 report, now is the time of year to do so. You can download the electronic form at www.history.navy.mil/command_operations_report.doc, and submit the completed report by email to aviationhistory@navy.mil. Commands may also call 288-9675 (DSN) or 202-433-9675 with questions.

Filing a command operations report will ensure that your accomplishments will be visible to future generations. Don't miss the chance to help your command take its rightful place in history.

Edited by Josh Phillips
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Author:Phillips, Josh
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 22, 2012
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