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Summer Pulse underway.

From June through August, seven aircraft carrier strike groups conducted deployments in Summer Pulse 2004, the first exercise of the Navy's Fleet Response Plan (FRP). The near-simultaneous deployments exercised the FRP concept and tested the logistics and shore infrastructure necessary to execute a large-scale surge operation. The FRP is designed to provide six carrier strike groups in less than 30 days to support contingency operations around the globe, and two more strike groups within three months to reinforce or rotate with other forces. During Summer Pulse, Enterprise (CVN 65), George Washington (CVN 73), Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), John C. Stennis (CVN 74), John F. Kennedy (CV 67), Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) operated in five theaters with other U.S., allied and coalition military forces. Their operations included scheduled deployments, surge operations, joint and international exercises, other advanced training, and port visits.

H-1 Exhaust Tests

In June at Bell Helicopter facilities in Texas, the H-1 upgrade program completed the first flights of the turned exhaust system on an AH-1Z Super Cobra, above. Directing exhaust away from the tail boom decreases the helicopter's infrared signature, reduces engine compartment temperatures and decreases heat stress on the tail boom. Designed for the AH-1Z Super Cobra and UH-1Y "Huey" upgrades currently in developmental testing, the turned exhaust will also begin testing for the fleet AH-1W Super Cobra in October.

Osprey Completes Fifth At-Sea Period

On 29 June the V-22 Integrated Test Team completed the Osprey's fifth at-sea testing period. Eight days of testing aboard Iwo Jima (LHD 7) examined the characteristics of an Osprey sitting on the flight deck behind a hovering V-22, pictured below. The fifth at-sea period also resulted in expanded operational wind envelopes and cleared the use of more restricted shipboard spots than those previously tested.

For the Record

The AIM-9X Sidewinder was approved for full-rate production.

Northrop Grumman Newport News was awarded a $1.4 billion construction preparation contract for CVN 21, the next-generation aircraft carrier.

The McDonnell Douglas Corp. received a $3.9 million contract to develop the Multimission Maritime Aircraft.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract for the manufacture, assembly and testing of three P-3C Orion Update II.5 antisurface warfare improvement program kits. The company also received a contract modification for the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the MH-60R helicopter.

Mishaps

On 30 March two Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775 AH-1W Super Cobras collided while taxiing to a forward arming and refueling point. There were no fatalities, but the aircraft were destroyed.

A Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 F/A-18A Hornet and its pilot were lost while operating in southern California on 21 April.

On 26 April a Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 CH-46E Sea Knight was destroyed by a hard landing during a brownout in Afghanistan. There were no fatalities.

A Strike Fighter Squadron 82 F/A-18C Hornet sustained Class A damage when the forward-looking infrared pod separated from the aircraft during flight over the Atlantic Ocean on 28 May.

On 1 June a C-130T Hercules of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 62 and a C-130T of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 suffered Class A damage from severe winds at NAS JRB Fort Worth, Texas.

An F/A-18A Hornet of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 and its pilot were lost at sea during night operations in the Atlantic Ocean on 27 June.

On 28 June a Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 pilot was killed when his F/A-18C Hornet departed the runway upon landing at MCAS Beaufort, S.C., and overturned.

EDITED BY WENDY LELAND
COPYRIGHT 2004 Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center
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Title Annotation:Navy's Fleet Response Plan
Author:Leland, Wendy
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Words:596
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