Newsletter
ASSOCIATION
Newsletter
Number Twenty Two
Spring-Summer 2004
ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY
BY Steve Heilman (‘70)
Introduction. Before he retired last year, Rear Admiral Steve
Heilman spoke to our newly-selected Major AIMD Officers about
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four issues: 1.) The dilemma AMDOs face with both a growing
demand for our services and an ever-increasing cost of those
services to the Navy; 2.) The need for AMDOs (and others!) to
understand that what they do is not a “business”, but rather a
military mission which needs to be accomplished in the most
“business-like” manner possible; 3.) The nature and critical
importance of Covenant Leadership, and; 4.) The way financial
resources, and the Navy’s resourcing process, drive everything we
do. The Admiral has agreed to transcribe his verbal words to the
written page. What follows are his talking points on issue number
four, expanded to convey the message he offered the PAIMDO
Class. His thoughts about the first three issues appeared in
previous Newsletters.
The typical AMDO spends the first half of his or her career
worrying about the flight schedule, and the second half worrying
about something else. That “something else” is often money.
While this black & white picture of reality is obviously overstated,
it is never-the-less true that senior military officers are frequently
expected to be able to engage, and win, the budget battles which
continuously pit program against program both inside the Beltway
and out in the field. The flight schedule is still important, of
course, in an abstract way (individual daily flight schedules tend to
get rolled up and normalized as “combat capability”), but for those
AMDO Commanders and Captains not on the pointy end of the
spear, the daily mission is often to ensure that assigned programs
get funded.
What, one might ask, is the big deal? If senior leadership has
decided they want something done, all they have to do is write a
check to pay for it. Conversely, if a proposed project or program
is deemed by leadership to be undesirable or, more likely,
desirable but not a high enough priority to merit financial support
in a fixed-budget environment, they don’t write a check, and the
requirement goes away.
(continued on page 2)
AMDO Scholarship?
Ray Bednarcik is heading an ad hoc committee to
investigate the feasibility of instituting a scholarship for the
children of AMDO Association members. There are many
issues to consider, but Ray is eager to tackle them. Please
give this some thought and contact him at (301) 863-2453
or via e-mail at [email protected] If you
have worked with another organization that sponsored
scholarships for its family members, your input will be
especially valuable.
http://www.amdo.org
Make it a matter of routine to check the AMDO Association
Web Site daily. We're always adding information and articles of
interest to the community. Here's what you'll find:
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Breaking news of interest to both active duty and retired
AMDOs including selection board results.
E-mail addresses for hundreds of AMDOs, plus our LDO
brethren (Check yours and make sure its up-to-date)
Link to the latest AMDO Directory, electronically
The latest AMDO TAR Directory
AMDO Photo Gallery for your entertainment
The Aviation Maintenance Encyclopedia
.…and much, much more
Check it daily!
Is It Membership Renewal Time??
Check the mailing label on your Newsletter. If
the membership expiration date above your name is June
2004 or prior, please renew now. Send your renewal check
($10 or $20) to the AMDO Association at the address on the
back cover OR you can renew with your plastic via PayPal
at www.amdo.org/members.html. While you’re at it, update
us on your phone numbers and e-mail addresses as well as
what you’ve been doing lately. Thanks!
We do send e-mails to remind you when renewal is
due, but keeping ahead of the game is truly appreciated.
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Its All About Money (con’t from page 1)
Were life this simple. For a number of reasons, some good, many not so good, the Navy (and each of the other Services, as
well) tends to start twice as many things as it can afford to properly complete. How this is allowed to happen is a
discussion that far exceeds the time and space available for this brief article, but happen it does. As a consequence, a
significant percentage of the Navy’s intellectual capital is dedicated to the battle of the budgets. These battles aren’t waged
because resources are merely important to a program’s success. They are waged because resources are a program’s
success! “Program” and “budget” are equivalent in the same way that “matter” and “energy” are equivalent -- they are
merely different forms of the same thing. Unless and until labor and material are offered to the Government free of charge,
every product and service that the Navy requires has an associated price. If the price isn’t paid, the product or service isn’t
delivered. If a Program isn’t funded, it isn’t.
Programs, or requirements in the case of recurring things like logistic support, get funded in one of two ways: formally
within the Navy’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting & Execution (PPBE) System and informally, outside of the System.
There is a love-hate relationship between the inside and the outside of the official funding System. Those on the inside
rightly claim there is not supposed to be an “outside”. “Inside” is legitimate, “outside” is illegitimate. Dollars authorized
and appropriated by the Congress are supposed to be spent only on legitimate requirements, as determined by those within
the PPBE System. Technically, requirements not funded in PPBE are meant to be left unsatisfied. However, it is common
knowledge among Navy leaders that those inside the System do not necessarily have the market cornered on knowledge,
wisdom and intelligence. It is, in fact, common for a valid unfunded requirement to be championed outside of the PPBE
System, either because it is an emergent requirement or a requirement whose priority has changed since it was originally
identified (or because the requirement is someone’s pet rock and there’s enough common support to keep it alive...).
Unless the Requirement Champion is directed to sit down and shut up, which almost never happens, he assumes he has
authority to try to rob the bank(s) of the fat-cat funded programs inside the System. If he’s smart, he’ll be able to identify
funded programs that are struggling. These are the banks to go after. (The bank guards, however, probably know they’re
vulnerable and will likely reinforce their defenses.)
While no funded Program likes the thought of its bank being robbed, most don’t mind at all if some other funded
Program’s bank is robbed. In fact, there is often tacit approval -- it’s viewed as sort of a check-and-balance on the System
that gives valid unfunded requirements a second chance in life. Like wolves attacking the herd, culling out the old and
sick, the result is considered good for the ecosystem overall (by those who are strong and healthy).
These raids on funded requirements’ resources by Champions of unfunded requirements are neither occasional nor shortterm. They are constant and relentless. Because the Navy starts twice as many things as it can afford to properly complete,
no budget is ever completely secure and no tactic is off the table. In some circles, funded requirements are openly
considered cash cows to be skimmed so that projects which did not survive the formal PPBE process can be undertaken or
continued. This anarchy would be mildly amusing if it weren’t so disruptive, divisive and demoralizing. Carefully laid
plans can be trashed in a heartbeat. Recovery can be impossible. Adequately resourced efforts are generally successful,
even absent brilliant leadership. Inadequately resourced efforts are generally unsuccessful, even with brilliant leadership.
AMDOs take it for granted that the Navy wants its expensive fleet of aircraft and aircraft support systems to be properly
maintained. Believing this, it follows that AMDOs have no doubt that the aircraft maintenance accounts should be fully
funded (how else are you going to properly maintain the expensive fleet?). Finally, since belief in the requirement
logically translates into belief in the priority, AMDOs are sure that the rest of the Navy likewise believes that the aircraft
maintenance accounts should be fully funded. You may be assured that the first two sentences are true, and the last one is
not.
What the rest of the Navy believes about aircraft maintenance is what it believes about every other requirement: 1.) that the
Champions of aircraft maintenance have an obligation to make their case for resources within the PPBE System, 2.) that, to
the extent their requirements are funded in PPBE, they must be prepared to defend those resources from bank robbers, and
3.) that, to the extent their requirements are not funded in PPBE, they may attempt to rob the banks of the funded
Programs, if they think they can get away with it.
These dog-eat-dog budget battles are not fun, but the surest way to lose is to quit. Winning can be subtle because “fully
funded” is subjective. But losing is obvious: “inadequately funded” has a face. In our business it means unacceptable
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levels of aircraft maintenance support to the warfighter. It’s not AMDOs who suffer if we lose our budget battles, it’s the
air crew who needs the products and services we deliver in order to accomplish assigned missions.
All senior AMDOs have resource sponsorship responsibilities, either as a primary duty or an important collateral duty.
Successful resource sponsorship means understanding and being able to defend the requirement, and being able to credibly
articulate the consequence of not funding the requirement. The merits of the requirement often have less to do with budget
success than the skill and tenacity of the resource sponsor. Budget battles are fought with words and data (good data
always trumps good words). To the degree that you can make your case, money will flow in your requirement’s direction;
to the degree that you can’t, it won’t!
RADM Heilman is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Logistics Management Institute.
FOUNDING FATHER’S CORNER
BY HOWARD GOBEN, AMDO #1
Fellow Greenshirts: Greetings!
Every time I think that the last newsletter was
my last one, Ole Martinet Marty calls on the land line
and says that the next newsletter is going to press PDQ
and I have eight and a half hours to get something to him
via E-mail. Anything to keep the AMDO Association
Founder and the Newsletter Editor happy! Have you
guys/gals occasionally thank him for all he has done over
the years in support of the AMDO community. To my
knowledge we are the only group in any of the services
that enjoys such a support program.
Getting back to the task at hand, I've just spent
the better part of a few hours trying to remember what
I've written in the Newsletters over the years. Have all
the Newsletters to date but decided to start writing
without worrying about repeating what I'd written
before.
Unfortunately when I got started I found it hard
to stop and ended up with an article that was way too
long. So I decided to put it aside, edit it later for future
newsletters and bring you up to date on what Gobe and
Ginny are up to these days. We're both doing fine, I still
have my rotten feet, (right one has been broken five
times over the years.), but can still get around with my
faithful cane. Also have my dizzies (vertigo). Been to
four neurologists re the problem, all four wanted to put
me on a drug that hasn't worked since the first one
prescribed it ten years ago. Have a dozen friends in the
area who have the same problem. Nothing seems to
help. If any of you either have the problem or know
someone who has and have found the solution, I'd like to
hear from you. Please!
We're in the process of selling our faithful
motor home, "Serendipity". Its sixteen years old,
122,000 miles on the odometer and in beautiful
condition. We've stored it in a local tobacco barn for the
winter months, keeps it out of the elements! We really
don’t want to give the way of life up, but there comes a
time when you realize that maybe you're at that age when
your physical/mental faculties are no longer what they
should be to operate that monster safely. I've reached
that point; I'll be eighty years old in late June. Other
than the feet and the vertigo, I'm in great condition blood pressure (no pills) runs 120/70 routinely. The old
brain forgets things a little more often than it used to but
my Doctor says that this is normal and expected.
Looking back over what I've written, not
satisfied with it but will have to do for this time. My
secretary (wife) of fifty-nine years is threatening to cut
me off if I don’t get this to her right now! So I'll close.
All you green shirts currently pounding the
flight decks and flight lines, enjoy it while you can - you
have the greatest job in our magnificent Navy! Be
Proud!
See you in the next Newsletter. Take care of
yourself and your greenshirts. I promise you they'll take
care of you. I did and they did - look where it got me.
Keep 'em flying.
Howard Goben
476 Strawberry Lane
Buffalo Junction, VA 24529
[email protected]
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Community News: Congrats to our Selectees
 Congratulations to our FY05 Active Duty Captain selectees:
Tim Holland
Tim Matthews
CJ Jaynes
Ken Campitelli
JC Harding
 Congratulations to our FY05 Active Duty Commander selectees:
Nora Burghardt
Bill Edge
Dan Granados
Mike Huff
John Kemna
Lance Massey
Scott Robillard
Brent Sebring
Larry Straub
Craig Washington
 Congratulations to our FY05 USNR AMDO Captain selectees:
FTS (TAR): James Colton
USNR:
Elizabeth Anne Colton
Maurice Montgomery
Joel Rothschild
Philip Wheeler
 Congratulations to the following AMDOs on their selection for Acquisition Professional Community command:
Terry Merritt, CO, NATTC
Rich Lorentzen, CO, NATEC
 Congratulations to the following AMDOs on their selection to the Acquisition Professional Community:
Bill Beacham, 1520
Russ Dickison, 1520
Wesley Joshway, 1520
Rick Taylor, 1520
Eric Washington, 1527
 Congratulations to the following officers who were selected for redesignation to 1520 off the November 2003
Transfer/Redesignation Selection Board:
Danilo S Evangelista 3105
Christopher J Haas 6330
Jacinto Toribio 6382
Ramiro E Flores 6330
Michael Marrero 1305
Grant “Flash” Gorton 6330
Erich A Stertmann 1315
 Congratulations to the following officers who have been selected for augmentation to 1520 off the November 2003 Augmentation
Selection Board:
Jesse Benton
Jon Hersey
Sylvester Lang
Steven Modregon
Jeff Pizanti
Timothy Snowden
Darren Wright
Bernard Calamug
Joseph Hidalgo
William Leuallen
Saturnin Mojica
Steven Puskar
Kentaro Tachikawa
Aaron Zielinskij
Kenneth Cameron
Rolando Ibanez
Scott Levkulich
Jeffrey Myers
Michelle Roseano
Darrell Wilson
James Cherry
Branton Joaquin
Joshua Macmurdo
Daniel Penrod
Kimberly Scott
Sean Wilson
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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Glenn Ajero (‘90) is enjoying being AIMDO aboard
Peleliu (LHA-5).
Jim Aldridge (’74) got a new 100th Anniversary Gold
Key Edition Ultra Classic Electra Glide Harley for his
60th birthday last year. He’s also spent tons of time
volunteering and serving as an officer in groups such as
the NWTF/NRA, RC&D and the VFW.
Stu Alexander (‘87) will be heading to AIMD Jax this
fall.
Welcome Aboard to Victor Allende (’99), the AMO in
VF-32.
Welcome Aboard to Ed Banek (’72) who is working for
Anteon Corporation in Pax River supporting the CVN21 Aviation Logistics Footprint Assessment project.
Mike Beaulieu (‘86) reports that AIMD Norfolk will be
moving into their new facility in January 2005.
Frank Bennett (’96) left Hawaii and is now IM-2
aboard Nimitz.
Mike Belcher (‘85) is now the CASS Officer in PMA260.
Bill Bergin (‘82) is TAD to CNAL where he’s filling the
Engine class desk job (N421G).
programs and coordinating the
transition of the workload into the depot once the PBL is
in place. Jerry and Viv are still enjoying life with his
two retired military golf tourneys per year and periodic
excursions to Europe. And the Blockers recently
returned from a '70s era VA-72 Bluehawk Reunion and
also celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary.
Erich Blunt (’80) is a Senior Naval Science Instructor
for the NJROTC program at South Lake High School,
Clermont, Fl (outside of Orlando on the west side).
Erich will be moving to Johnston, SC at the end of this
school year to assume the Senior Naval Science
Instructor position at Strom Thurman High School.
Instead of having a 350 mile commuting marriage, he
has reduced it to 120 miles. Erich’s spouse (Nancy,
CDR, NC) is still on active duty at Beaufort Naval
Hospital/Parris Island.
John Boyce (‘78) will be retiring this summer and hopes
to stay in the northern Virginia area.
Mike Brannon (’64) had a triple bypass last summer
and is now doing extremely well. He’s totally retired
except for tending the horses and howlin’ dogs at his
ranch in Twin Oaks, CA.
Keith Brattain (‘71) reports that things are going fine
and that he’s getting in a lot of golf.
Angel Bellido (’94) is the AMO with the HC-6
Chargers.
Joe Byers (‘96), VR52 MMCO, recently completed a
Master of Aeronautical Science with Embry Riddle. His
area of specialization was Aviation/Aerospace Safety
Systems.
Randy Berti (‘01) will transfer from VFA-34 in July to
AMO school to relieve Bobby Savanh (’97) who will be
transferring to VAQ-131.
Wayne Borchers (‘80) manages Maintenance Support
Concepts for Whitney, Bradley & Brown in Hampton,
VA.
Welcome Aboard to Sharon Bingman (’98), the AMO
in HC-85.
Guy Bralley (’74) says that things in New Mexico are
just fine and that the Bralleys had a nice visit with their
USAF son in Germany last winter.
Ed Blind (‘75) is the Navy/Marine Corps Contract Field
Teams Area Representative for L-3 Communications
Vertex Aerospace (formerly Vertex Aerospace and
Raytheon Aerospace) in Virginia Beach, VA.
Jerry Blocker (’71) says that he has almost, but not
quite, retired. Since last August he has been working
with the NAVAIRDEPOT Jax Industrial Business Office
assisting in bringing business into the depot. What
started out to be part-time rapidly evolved to 10+
hrs/day. Most of his effort is in assisting with the
initiation of Performance Based Logistics (PBL)
Welcome Aboard to Rick Braunbeck (’95), the Strike
Fighter Wing MO at El Centro.
Theresa Braymer (‘83) retired from NAVAIR PMA260
and moved to Colorado where she has an excellent job
with Jeppesen in their new Government and Military
Services unit as a Product Manager. She has a take-off
performance analysis tool and (pilot) training as her
products. Theresa says that her private pilot's license
along with her knowledge of the military and defense
acquisition made her a good fit for the position.
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Welcome Aboard to Jeff Brown (‘00), the MMCO at
VFA-81.
Welcome Aboard to Charles Castevens (’04), the
Avionics Branch Officer in VFA-81 at Oceana.
John Bucelato (’69) left Manugistics and is doing some
independent consulting. He and Karen recently returned
from a trip to Hawaii and the Hale Koa.
Greg Cavanaugh (’89) is now OIC of the AIMD at
Diego Garcia and is in the throws of dis-establishing
AIMD DGAR and relocating it to become AIMD
Bahrain.
Rex Burkett (’96) is OIC of AIMU, Rota, Spain and,
sadly, is in the process of disestablishing the unit.
John Burpo (‘80) and Ward Masden (‘68) are now
CACI employees but still doing the same SECNAV
Critical Infrastructure Protection program work they
were doing before Vredenberg was bought out.
Dave Bussiere (‘90) is a "Consulting Specialist"
working at RCI in Virginia Beach providing program
and acquisition support to NAVSUP and SPAWAR.
Kent Caldwell (‘82) had a very nice retirement
luncheon on 14 May. He officially retires from DCMA
Bethpage on 1 July and has taken a job with BAE
Systems IEWS in Nashua, NH to work performance
based logistics.
Welcome Aboard to Rob Caldwell (‘86), AIMDO at
NAS Jax.
Mike Callinan (‘76) is no longer working as Lockheed
Martin’s Manger of Customer Support or with any of
their ATE programs. He was recently assigned to
Business Development and is heading up their efforts as
they relate to fully integrated logistics support of various
space programs. Right now Mike is the capture manager
for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (formerly known as
the Orbital Space Plane) and the Space Based Radar
programs. In short his role is to coordinate all of the
Training, (Crew, Flight/Mission Controllers, and Ground
support crews), development and implementation of
Autonomic Logistics IT systems, and all related ILS, as
we used to know it, for the programs. Mike says that it's
kind of neat after all these years to be able to say that he
is working on something that really is 'rocket science'.
Its also interesting that NASA and the Air Force Space
Command are gravitating toward the Navy approach to
program management and logistics. Cheri Solomon took
over Mike’s old job as manager of the Customer Support
Center.
Tom Cann (‘55) reports that he is doing pretty good and
is still working part-time for ISI..rather Anteon, who
acquired ISI several months ago.
Welcome Aboard to Leanne Carter (’03), the QAO in
VAQ-130.
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Rudy Chavez (‘88) is currently in VFA-203. After the
squadron DECOMs 30 June he will be stashed at AIMD
Atlanta & VAW-77 until the FTS CDR results come out
in July timeframe.
Dennis Christensen (‘80) retired in January and moved
to Jacksonville where is a Senior Program Manager with
Anteon Corporation (ISI) in their Lake Gray office.
Welcome Aboard to Steve Clarke (’77) who is a reserve
AMDO currently on active duty recall at NADEP Jax
trying to help out with some engineering, build process
and logistics issues. In real life Steve has been working
for a non-profit environmental consulting company in
Jax. Steve, Debbie and Ryan are doing well and are
involved in the usual school, church and Scout activities.
Derf Cleveland (‘80) has left his job as the AIRPAC
Aircraft Maintenance Officer and headed for NADEP
North Island where he’ll be XO/CO.
Andy Cooper (’00) is now the AMO with HS-15
deployed with CVW17 onboard CV67.
Welcome Aboard to Ellen Coyne (’85), ACOS for
Material on the CARGRU One staff
Tom Crain (’87) has turned over AMDO FTS (TAR)
detailer duties to Donnie Bodin (’87) and moved over to
NAVMAC in Millington.
Bill Crosby (‘76) is working for LTS, Inc in corporate
management.
Dave Cutter (‘72) is still working at LMI helping OSD
and, more importantly, coordinating the monthly AMDO
luncheons in northern Virginia. Check the “standing
reading” section of the amdo.org website’s main page for
dates and locations.
Mark Czarzasty (‘80) will retire on 18 June and stay in
the Pax River area.
Welcome Aboard to Mike Dagdagan (‘02), stationed in
HS-6.
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Richard Dorn (‘82) is heading from NAPRA Atsugi to
OPNAV N78. He’s been busy, though, with standing
up a new Detachment in Guam, negotiations for taking
on the overseas cal labs, dialogue on transition to
NWCF, and Change of Command planning, plus all the
usual rework/repair efforts
Welcome Aboard to Mort Eagleton (’02) who is with
reserve unit NTS 0195, the ASP program.
Eddie Ellison (’88) is AIMDO at NAS Atlanta.
Welcome Aboard to Danilo Evangelista (’00) a recent
AMO school grad now aboard USS Essex homeported in
Sasebo.
Welcome Aboard to Ellen Evanoff (’88) who is
working in OPNAV N814.
Holly Falconieri (’99) is the Av/Arm DO and Legal
Officer in AIMD Sigonella.
Bob Farmer (’92) has moved to Bremerton and is now
IM-1 officer aboard USS Carl Vinson.
John Farwell (’91) recently took over as CVW-11
CAGMO following a great tour at CNAP.
Pat Felts (’82) has left FIGHTERWING and relieved
Gordy Coward in AIR-6.0.
Owen Fletcher (‘76) retired and works for ISI in the
OPNAV N43 Strategic Planning Group working Flying
Hour Program Modeling
Frank Floyd (’58) is finally really retired after retiring
at CNATRA in ‘84 with a little over 36 years, followed
by 10 years in Ray Kirby 's shadow at Kay and
Associates working with Tech Reps and Aircraft
Maintenance projects, plus 10 years in business for
himself. For the last couple of years he’s been working
off a long list of overdue house projects. Frank says that
while house projects can be fun, they are not all that
fulfilling, so after reading "The Purpose Driven Life", he
decided that he should work in programs that encourage
young people to realize their full potential. He found a
program that helps teenagers do something positive with
their lives and has him working closely with military
people at the same time. Frank’s new official title is
"Chaiman - Naval Sea Cadets, Mayport Council, Navy
League". He says it's a blast!
Frank and Dorothy are the proud owners of 4 children,12
grandchildren and 2 7/8 great-grandchildren - all doing
well. Three of the children and 6 of the grandchildren
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live within 20 minutes of their home in Jacksonville
Beach, Fl. and they get to see them often.
Frank also says that he thinks often of the valuable
lessons taught him in BUWEPS (’63 - ‘66) by his mentor
Captain Howard Goben when Frank was one of his three
loose cannon lieutenants. Gobe was highly skilled in
working the Washington DC bureaucracy. In addition to
their jobs in BUWEPS, Gobe had them strategically
loaned out part time to other organizations senior to
BUWEPS so that when he requested something up the
chain, they were in place to write the approval message
answer or at least to lobby for it nose to nose. It was
BUWEPS in the morning and someplace else in the
afternoon. Frank can remember having, in addition to
his desk in BUWEPS, a desk in CNM, CNO, and OSD.
Lester Owenby and Fred Hoole were similarly farmed
out. This infiltration approach proved very effective and
Frank says that they got a lot of stuff they might not have
gotten otherwise.
Frank also thinks often of how proud he is of his very
sharp IM-2 Officer in Ranger (CV-61) (’77 – ‘78), LTJG
Michael Bachmann. Frank says that when he is asked
about his Navy career, he describes it as a "Highly
Rewarding Great Adventure", and these guys, plus many
like them, made it so. There may have been a bad day in
there someplace, Frank says, but he just can't remember
it.
Joana Garcia (’92) is now happily ensconced as a
Golden Warrior in VFA-87.
Brian Genton (’96) is QAO in VFA-15, NAS Oceana.
Steve Gibson (’75) is working a contract supporting Sea
Warrior Career Management System at BUPERS and
commutes every weekend from Millington to Pensacola
to take care of his cows, chickens and goats. His most
recent project has been performing HIPAA Assessments
for various hospitals. Steve also started his own
consulting firm and is working two contracts
simultaneously.
Jerry Godding (’82) has completed his second year in
law school and has decided that he will pursue an
Intellectual Property specialty. Jerry will be taking the
Patent Bar this summer and also a couple of seminar
courses from Franklin Pierce in NH where he will also
“visit” this fall semester. Jerry will take the spring ’05
semester back at Roger Williams University and
graduate with his friends. Jerry says that in the Navy, he
used to wake up and couldn’t wait to go to work then
was amazed that they let him do the job and pay him,
too. He thinks it will be possible to feel that way about
IP also.
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Welcome Aboard to “Flash” Gorton (’96), who is
deployed with VF-11 as acting AMO/MMCO. Flash
will be heading to AIMD Whidbey next.
Ken Graeser (‘79) will be retiring toward the end of this
summer.
Bob Gumpright (‘77) is still working the NJROTC
Program at Booker T Washington High School in
Norfolk.
Elizabeth Hamilton (‘97) is now the Aviation
Maintenance Information Systems Officer at
COMNAVAIRLANT.
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Welcome Aboard to Brian Jacobs (’91), the CVW-17
CAGMO.
CJ Jaynes (‘83) made a trip to Russia in December
where she adopted Alexis, now her 3 1/2 year-old
daughter.
Marty Jones (‘83) is now working at Rockwell
Collins/Kaiser Electronics in San Jose. He was invited
into their Product Support Division as their production
control/inventory manager over the newly established
(Sept 2003) performance based logistics (PBL) contract
on Hornet, Tomcat, F-15E, F-22, Comanche, Cobra
HUDs, DDIs, UFCDs, MPCDs and Joint Helmet
Mounted Cockpit System (JHMCS).
Bryant Hepstal (‘94) is finishing his tour at the ELU in
Whidbey (and overseas) and is preparing to transfer to
USS Ronald Reagan later this year.
Wes Joshway (95) has been having a busy year. He was
promoted to LCDR and transferred from a rewarding
tour at VAW-124 "Bear Aces" where he held both the
AMO and MMCO jobs. He checked into NAVAIR
PEO(W) PMA-208, Aerial Target and Decoy Systems in
January as Fleet Liaison Officer and Targets Auxiliary/
Augmentation Systems (TA/AS) IPT Leader, which is a
fancy way of saying that he is in charge of procuring and
maintaining all of the target WRAs. Wes is also now an
APC member.
Welcome Aboard to Jon Michael Hersey (’98), the MO
for NAS Keflavik’s VP-3A.
Welcome Aboard to Joseph Kamara (’02), the Material
Control Officer in HC-6.
John “Pontiac” Hine (’81) retired in January from
COMNAVAIRPAC.
Doug Killey (’84) will be relieved as CVWP AIMD OIC
(NAS Whidbey Island) on 22 JUL, reporting to NADEP
Jacksonville as Production Officer.
Shawn Hankins (‘81) is the ACOS for Material and
Logistics in COMCARGRU-5 aboard Kitty Hawk.
Bob Heinicke (‘75) is overloaded with volunteer
activities including being the secretary-treasurer of the
Pensacola VW club.
Tim Holland (’82) is the H-60 APML.
Welcome Aboard to James Hopkins (’00), the
AMO/MMCO in VR-55.
Chris Horton (’01) has transferred to VP-8 in
Brunswick.
Bob Hunter (‘64) had a successful knee replacement
operation in Norfolk at the end of March and is back
home in NC after rehab and recovery. The other knee
gets fixed this October.
Tom Jacobs (’72) is recovering nicely in Austin from a
nasty car accident that totaled his car when a 16-year-old
turned in front of him. Tom had multiple fractures to his
foot which necessitated two surgeries followed by time
in a wheel chair and on crutches. Last spring Tom got
two great weeks touring Ireland.
Avgi Ioannidis (’82) is heading to San Diego to be the
COMNAVAIRPAC MO.
Jeri Sue King (‘83) retired in May and was relieved as
NAS Mayport AIMD Officer by John Topoloski (‘78).
Welcome Aboard to D’Andre Knight (’96), the AMO
in HS-3.
Lisa Lamarre (‘86) transferred from OPNAV N43 back
home to NAVAIR PMA260 where she worries about
SERMIS, AMMRL, LAMS, MALSP, and site
installations.
Last fall, Bud Leenerts (’54) made a 2-week, 4,239-mile
solo trip on his Harley from his home in Heber Springs,
Arkansas to Reno to attend the Hook ’03 reunion and on
to San Diego to visit his son.
We’re real proud of Craig Livingston (‘75) who has
been promoted to Product Line Manager of Lifetime
Support at BAE’s ESPS Directorate.
Welcome Aboard to Rich Lorentzen (’86) the AIMD
Officer onboard USS NIMITZ.
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Carlos Lozano (‘79) retired in March and is working for
the EDO corporation (formerly AERA), Professional
Services Division where he supports OPNAV N43 in the
Flying Hour Program.
John Malsbury (‘86) has moved to Fairburn, GA where
he’s running an Avionics Repair Facility servicing
commercial airlines.
Mike “Shoe” Mellor (‘80) is building his retirement
house on 8 acres about 70 miles South of Tucson, about
6 miles West of Ft. Huachuca Army Post, and about 10
miles from the Mexico border. Shoe says that its at 5280
feet elevation, with lots of oak and Arizona walnut trees,
and is very nice!
Mark Meredith (‘79) is retiring 25 June at Oceana
NAMTRA but will remain on the Navy ERP project as
an independent consultant. The Merediths will move to
Annapolis where the project is based in early June.
Mark says that we're converging into a single Navy ERP
and about to pass milestone A/B as an ACAT 1AM
program. Roll out to all shore AIMDs starts in ‘06.
Chris Miller (’99) is the AMO in VAW-124 at Norfolk.
Helen and Rich Minter (‘68) are still getting settled in
their new digs in Richmond.
John Mokodean (’80) now works for CACI since they
bought Vredenburg & Co from American Management
Systems. John is supporting the Navy BRAC effort and
working out of Crystal City.
Welcome Aboard to Demichael Morgan (’96), QAO in
AIMD, USS Eisenhower.
Dave Mozgala (’68) has been teaching pre-algebra and
GED math at Craven Community College near his home
in New Bern, NC. Dave’s son Gregg (still in NYC
working very hard at writing and acting) will be married
in June.
Matt Mullins (’87) is the Aviation Maintenance Officer
at NAVSUP/NAVICP in Mechanicsburg, PA.
Bob Munsey (‘68) has just moved into his new home in
Cocoa, FL (his street is named “Fringe Place” and Bob
said to mention that he’s lived on the fringe most of his
life, and is now retiring on it). Bob is on a team at the
Warbird Museum in Titusville that’s restoring a TBM3E, and he is working on getting his private pilot’s
license. Bob is also on the airshow committee for the
Museum’s annual airshow held each March.
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Tom Najarian (‘64) has retired from Lockheed Martin
and is staying home, playing a little golf, and taking care
of Robin as she fights kidney problems.
Dean Newman (‘83) retired and accepted a position
teaching Logistics Management with the Defense
Acquisition University in California, MD.
Mark Nieto (‘94) reported to NAVAIR at NAS
Patuxent River as the Team Leader for the AIRSpeed
Implementation Team. In a nutshell, Mark says that his
team is responsible for collecting industry innovations
(at this time they are doing LEAN Maintenance, Theory
of Constraints and Six Sigma), formalize them and
implement them at all of the Naval Aviation maintenance
and supply activities around the world. This year they
will be doing the entire F/A-18 community.
Shawn Noga (’97) is the MMCO in VAQ-133.
Tim Pfannenstein (’90) has reported to NAVAIR as the
Deputy E-2C APML.
Jeff Pizanti (’98) recently moved up to AMO at VAW120. He was a Det-MO to Pensacola this spring and also
took a CQ det to Enterprise. Jeff’s first child is due in
June.
Art Pruett (’87) is on his way to become AIMDO
aboard the Navy's newest carrier; USS Ronald Reagan as
AIMDO. Art’s relief as Career Manager is LCDR Trent
DeMoss (’91).
Welcome Aboard to Rod Rancik (’74) who is currently
working as a Senior Logistics Engineer at SAIC in San
Diego supporting the Navy SPAWAR programs. He
previously spent 14 years as the ILS Technical Manager
for the SAI Technology Division of SAIC, which
changed ownership to Litton, Northrop Grumman and L3 Communications during those years.
Terry Reddaway (‘91) transferred to NAVAIR assigned
as the Air Systems Program Manager coordinating the
Naval Reserve support of 650 officers and enlisted to
NAVAIR in 32 units nationwide.
Ken Reynolds (‘79) is TAD (15 Jan - 15 Jul ‘04) to
become the Commander of DCMA Kuwait relieving
CDR Kent Caldwell.
Dianna and Don Robertshaw (‘65) moved from
Pennsylvania to Denison, TX to be near the
granddaughters. Don is still keeping busy with his
carving projects.
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Welcome Aboard to Rusty Robertson (’86) a 1525 who
is AMO for the Fleet Logistics Support Wing when he’s
drilling, and is Director of Emergency Management for
Sagadahoc County, Maine when he is not.
Following retirement from AIMD NORIS in '95, Mike
Romero (‘77) moved to Granger, IN, to jump into the
private manufacturing world as a Quality Manager.
Mike says that he had little idea where Indiana was, let
alone Granger, but couldn't turn down the job offer.
Since the move, all three of their children have moved
into the area to be near. Mike says that you can't ask for
better than that. He worked in electronics, fiberglass and
aluminum manufacturing for about seven years.
However, it wasn't as satisfying as he'd hoped, plus he
didn't enjoy undergoing the stress of three downsizings,
so he decided to make a major career change in 2002 and
get out of the corporate world. Mike joined his son and
daughter in starting up their own business, a marketing
firm called Target Strategies. They work out of Mike’s
home, and Mike says he really enjoys the people he
works with as well as the work environment.
Welcome Aboard to Jim Rorer (’02), the MMCO in
VFA-82 at Beaufort.
Welcome Aboard to Mike Russo (’91), a Program
Manager at Titan Corporation in the
COMNAVAIRLANT Engine Class Desk.
Rick Ruth (‘74) is still in Dallas as General Manager of
one of Coca-Cola’s seven fountain syrup plants in the
US. Rick says that the challenges of running a
manufacturing plant are not all that different from his
Navy days. He and Robin still get to do one or two
cruises a year and are enjoying the opportunity to travel
and see new things.
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Curt Shanahan (‘84) has retired and is taking over
John Malsbury’s former job as manager of Boeing’s
Avionics Repair Facility in Seattle.
Frank Smith (‘76) is working in Millington with Steve
Gibson (‘75) on a Sea Warrior project.
Mayumi and Mike Spengel (‘68) recently returned from
a great three-week vacation in Roatan, Honduras. Read
all about it at http://home.hawaii.rr.com/sailanddive/.
Greg Stachelczyk (‘74) is still working for ISI, an
Anteon Corporation, in support of the Navy Aviation
Simulation Master Plan (NASMP) out of PMA205.
Welcome Aboard to Jeffrey Tandy (’90), the
WINGMO for COMHELWING Reserve at NAS North
Island. Jeffrey will be heading to CNRF New Orleans to
assume the engine/SE class desks in June.
Pat Taylor (’74) is currently Director, Fleet Support
Department, ISS Division for the TITAN Corporation.
Pat is primarily supporting and putting the F-14 to bed,
but also provides a wide array of engineering and
program support services to several other platforms.
Lee Thomsen (’69) has completed his 5th year with RCI
as a Principal Senior Consultant working performancebased product support strategy development for the KC130J, BAMS UAV and USMC EFV. Lee and Marysia
have been doing some traveling to Poland, Florida,
Pennsylvania, North Dakota and California.
John Topolosky (‘78) just moved from NATEC HQ,
NAS North Island, CA back to NE Florida and relieved
Jeri Sue King (’83) as AIMD Mayport OIC. John
reports that his triplets are now 3½ years old and keep
him fully occupied when not at his day job.
Patsy and Gus Scalia (‘75) spent most of the winter
traveling from their now-former homebase in Berlin to
exciting places like Vienna, Budapest, Krakow and
Auschwitz. They are currently in the DC area as Patsy is
in a Spanish language course in preparation for another
assignment “down south”.
Rick Trayner (’74) is the Jacksonville Resource Group
Manager for AI-ES Aeronautics in Orange Park.
Don Schramm (‘69) is still singing with the Kennedy
Center troop and teaching music from his home in Pax
River. He’s also treasurer of his parish church and
honcho’ing a $700K renovation project.
Michael Wagner (’98) will be heading to USS Ronald
Reagan when he completes his studies at Monterey.
Antonio “T” Scurlock (‘98) has left Vinson and is the
NMCI Enterprise Training Officer at Naval Network and
Space Operations Command (NNSOC) in Dahlgren, VA.
Welcome Aboard to Darren Viera (’84) who is the
supportability guy on Northrop Grumman’s J-UCAS
program in El Segundo.
Welcome Aboard to Craig Washington (’89), the
RAGMO in VF-101
Congrats to Mark Wassil (‘88) on getting his Private
Pilot license.
Randy Weakley (‘75) is still with FedEx where he has
spent the past few years helping "redefine" the aviation
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organizational structure to take advantage of the digital
revolution. Randy is still Director of Aviation Technical
Data Systems -- Aircraft Records and Publications.
From the moment he arrived, he says, they have been
"digitizing" the daylights out of their old paper systems
(implementing a FedEx NALCOMIS IT solution). As a
result, his organization is less than half the size it was
when he took over. At this rate, Randy says, he will
have no organization left in five years and may be
driving a truck -- if he can pass the eye test. FedEx’s
ultimate goal is to put electronic wireless "notepads" in
the hands of their mechanics -- placing the electronic
workcards and manuals planeside. Achieving a fully
paperless environment supported by an electronic
signature solution is the strategy. To say the least, it has
been a major cultural change for a workforce raised on
paper (including the FAA). Their "old guys" (including
some VPs) are a pain in the arears and ultimately the
"new generation" raised in an internet world will be the
ones who take us to the next level. Randy also reports
that Elaine is enjoying all the good things offered in
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Memphis and that both of their boys are attending the
University of Memphis.
Welcome Aboard to Walt Winters (’95), the MMCO in
VFA-106 at Oceana.
Fred Wiggins (’63) reports that he and Dona are heavy
into upgrading our house in Lakeland, FL and just
finished some serious remodeling at their house in
Burke, VA. Fred says that he is still bass fishing but
he’s also doing a lot of what he does best which is
nothing! He says that when he gets up in the morning,
he has nothing to do and by the time he goes to bed at
night, it's only half finished!
Rosemary Wynne (‘83) is preparing for retirement from
NAVMAC in Millington this July.
Didn’t see your name here? Send in a note and we’ll be
glad to include it in the next newsletter.
Featured Articles
Good Luck, Bad Luck or No Luck At All
My Aircraft Carrier Experiences During 1970-1985
BY NORM BLINN (’65)
INTRODUCTION
In the late sixties and early seventies, America was in turmoil with civil rights, space exploration and the Vietnam war
competing for national attention. As our astronauts explored outer space, even landing a man on the moon, civil rights
advocates battled racism at home while we fought an increasingly hotter war against communism in Vietnam
Our country was a cauldron of boiling energy. Earlier in the decade, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. A few
years later, Vice-President Spiro Agnew, resigned for taking bribes in the Oval Office. Then, President Richard Nixon
resigned following the Watergate scandal. The fact that chief executives could leave office in disgrace, while the country
operated without national panic, is a testimony to our American heritage.
But every month, hundreds of Americans came home from Vietnam in coffins as other young men, honoring their oath,
went there to fight for democracy. I was one of them. Here are some of my experiences, as an aviation maintenance
officer, from the Vietnam years up to the Iranian hostage crisis. Read these stories of carrier life, beginning over three
decades ago, and maybe you’ll appreciate how far our Navy and our country have come.
ANTI-WAR PROTESTS
It was September 30, 1971 and USS Constellation (CVA-64) would leave for Vietnam on the next morning’s tide. Connie
was moored forward of two other carriers. Her bow was nearly even with NAS North Island’s perimeter fence. As
darkness fell, thousands of protesters held lighted candles, softly singing their protest songs, right under the ship’s bow.
Throughout the night, crewmen drifted onto the flight deck to silently watch the eerie sight and think of the future.
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As we slipped our lines and shifted colors, an age-old command was heard, “Stand by to repel boarders”. Anti-war
protesters had vowed to stop our departure with a chain of boats across Point Loma Channel. With fire hoses manned and
Coast Guard boats alongside, Connie plowed through the channel as we gained speed. Coast Guard escorts shouldered
about two dozen boats out of our way and soon our bow bit into the open Pacific. Not the kind of hero’s departure we
wanted, but that was the way life in America was, in 1971.
CLOSE TO MUTINY
In the early 1970s our country was fractured by racial tensions and anti-war feelings. Vietnam was an increasingly
unpopular war. In the late 1960s, these frustrations had resulted in riots and burning cities across the country, including a
part of our nation’s capital. In this climate, the men of USS Constellation (CVA-64) and CVW-9 prepared for war.
In July, 1971, Connie was off the southern California coast conducing refresher flight ops. After evening chow, a group of
black sailors congregated in the after mess decks. Their banter changed into racial complaints. As more men drifted in, the
tirades became more vicious and foul-mouthed. Soon over 200 black sailors crowded into the area, and an angry sit-in
began.
Refusing the Master at Arms order to disperse, they demanded that “the man” hear their grievances. The ship’s XO
attempted to restore order, but they angrily demanded that the Captain come to them. Instead, our Captain surrounded the
protesters with an armed Marine Detachment. Taunts continued as, one by one, every black Marine laid down his weapon
and joined the protesters. Now, well after midnight, the mess deck was in shambles and tensions were beyond boiling.
Fearing an uncontrollable riot, the Captain ordered everyone in the airwing and ship’s company awakened. Sleepy
officers, CPOs and sailors crowded second deck passageways and ladderwells to contain the rioters. We were packed
shoulder to shoulder until nearly 0600 when word was passed to secure.
Shortly after returning to my stateroom, all hands were ordered to muster on the flight deck. Climbing onto the catwalk, I
saw that the ship was back in port. The entire airwing and all ship’s company, not on duty, formed ranks as our senior
officers warned us to face port. There we stood with our backs to NAS North Island, as a series of announcements told us
that busses and BUPERS experts were on the pier and anyone with a grievance could leave the ship. Sadly, every black
sailor in our squadron, except our Leading Chief, fell out. The original protesters, joined by hundreds more, departed and
we never saw them again.
We returned to sea the next day and, ten weeks later, deployed on schedule. On that eventful cruise, Connie’s airwing
compiled an enviable war record including; Operations Proud Deep, Linebacker and the unrestricted bombing of North
Vietnam. One fateful day, May 10, 1972, saw the heaviest aerial fighting of the Vietnam war with eleven MIGS and two
F-4s shot down in aerial combat. On that day, LT Randy Cunningham (VF-96) became the Navy’s first Vietnam Ace.
But those historic accomplishments meant nothing. When the Rear Admiral Selection Board met, our Captain’s name was
not among the selectees. The incident, caused by a few racial agitators off the coast of San Diego, ended this popular and
inspirational leader’s career. He was in command, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. A real shame too.
A GIANT SUCKING SOUND:
December 1971, on Yankee Station was cold and wet. USS Constellation (CVA-64) plowed through gray, wind-whipped
seas under an equally ugly sky. Boarding rates were down as rough seas kicked our stern through nearly 20 feet of vertical
motion. Our A-6s sat in the “six pack”, chained forward of the ship’s island. It was nearly noon. Crews started engines as
“Connie” turned into the wind. We were launching an Alpha Strike. F-4s were banging off all four catapults. Our
Intruders, each loaded with sixteen 500 pound bombs, were next up.
VA-165’s Ordnance Officer, a slender Warrant Officer-1, leaned into a cockpit, fixing a bombardier’s problem. Chains
were being struck, as the “Gunner” climbed down, secured the boarding ladder and walked toward the plane’s nose. A
yellow-shirt Flight Deck Director signaled the plane forward just as a nearby F-4 added power to turn onto Cat 1.
The F-4 exhaust blast blew Gunner against the A-6’s nose. Suction from its accelerating engine pulled him against the
bottom of the starboard intake’s lip and then lifted him backwards to certain death. As his head, arms and upper torso
disappeared down the A-6 intake, our slightly-built Maintenance Chief wrapped his arms around the Gunner’s waist. Both
men were dangling with their feet above the flight deck and Chief’s head was disappearing too. The director and a burly
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redshirt grabbed both men, stopping their slow progress down the screaming maw. Another director frantically signaled
the pilot to throttle back and the entwined foursome tumbled to the deck.
This happened in less than15 seconds while the noise and motion of a 30 plane launch continued around them. Never
missing a beat, Connie’s catapults continued to shoot airplanes skyward. Gunner recovered quickly from his sore back but,
weeks later, he still sported colorful bruises. His rescuers were awarded the Lifesaving Medal for their brave actions.
Years later, Gunner was a highly- decorated LDO Lieutenant Commander when retired from his final job as AIRPAC’s
Ordnance Officer.
WAYWARD FLIGHT:
In Spring of 1972, VA-165 was conducting combat operations with CVW-9 aboard USS Constellation (CVA-64). We
operated from Yankee Station in the South China Sea, about sixty miles from the coastline and the DMZ (the demilitarized
zone – 19 degrees north latitude). This day, I was in the right seat of a KA-6D headed for NAS Cubi Point, Philippines.
Later prohibited by NATOPS, our squadron then allowed groundpounders who passed the flight physical and were
type/seat qualified to fly tanker missions.
At Cubi, our tanker would get depot-level repair of its nose gear. KA-6Ds were older A-6s with radar, inertial and
computer bombing systems removed and tanker conversion added. For this flight, all classified DECM equipment had also
been removed. The plane had only basic radio, IFF and nav gear. Spotted laterally by Cat 1, we would be launched first.
The ship’s inertial input cable could not reach us, so the troubleshooter manually slaved our compasses. Either he applied
the 90 degree correction incorrectly or the ship turned for launch, but when we catapulted our compasses were 180 degrees
off.
It was monsoon season. Climbing to 20,000 feet in clouds, we turned southwest toward DaNang, 60 miles away. At
altitude, still popeye (in clouds), our TACAN wouldn’t lock on DaNang. After about 20 minutes of flight, my pilot
decided to head east for Cubi. Flying in that area is simplified. Magnetic and true headings are identical because there is
no magnetic variation. We turned, expecting to break into forecasted clear air, but were buffeted by increasing turbulence.
I tried contacting DaNang, then the ship, with “no joy”. As I hit our standard radio frequency buttons, we heard lots of
Vietnamese, but no American voices.
In unison, the pilot and I said “something’s wrong”. On A-6 aircraft, the standby wet compass sits near the windshield
base and is difficult to see. We both leaned forward in our straps and saw a wet compass reading 270 degrees. We were
heading inland! With a quick-yanking turn, the pilot reversed course at full throttle, and we were streaking toward the real
east at over 500 knots. A few minutes later the sun appeared. We were over water, throttled back, for a 700 mile trip to
Cubi.
After landing, my pilot left for CONUS and his discharge. Weeks later, I plotted the erroneous legs we flew. I figure that
we coasted-in south of Vinh and were probably inside North Vietnam when we reversed course … totally defenseless, way
off our flight plan, and extremely lucky. Never told the story until now. It doesn’t pay to advertise stupidity!
HARD LUCK AND GLORY:
In May 1972, as part of a huge Navy/Air Force coordinated action, USS Constellation’s Air Wing (CVW-9) embarked on
Operation Linebacker. Enemy MIGs were active. Our fighter squadrons, VF-92 and VF-96, fought them daily and it took
a heavy toll. VF-92 lost their CO, XO and over half of their airplanes. VF-96 lost some too, but earned its place in history
as LTs Randy Cunningham and Willie Driscoll became the first Navy Aces in the Vietnam conflict.
Sister squadrons, flying the same equipment and missions… one takes great losses, the other snags a historical first. Flying
into the fiercest of enemy defenses, some men lost their lives, others became POWs and the rest came through unscathed.
“Duke” Cunningham is now a multi-term Congressman representing San Diego. His former Radar Officer sells real estate
in California.
SMOKE AND FIRE:
For the Navy, Vietnam meant long deployments and short turnarounds. Home from the war in July 1972, USS
Constellation (CVA-64) would leave six months later. That November, our airwing was completing workups and
readiness exercises off southern California. Man-up and crew debriefing during General Quarters was a pain.
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I was taking a break from the flight deck, in our second deck Ready Room. The 1-MC boomed “aircraft fire in the hangar
deck, Boomer 510”. That’s ours! My Maintenance Chief and I clawed through the dogged hatches. Boomer 510, tail
forward at the leading edge of Hangar Bay 1, had a dull orange glow inside the cockpit. As we got there, the canopy was
opening and a dark, smoking figure tumbled to the deck. A blueshirt doused the man with CO2 as our Master Chief
climbed the boarding ladder, fire bottle in hand.
A doctor and corpsmen responded quickly. The burned and blackened man was one of our fire control repairmen. He was
hustled off to sickbay where doctors diagnosed third degree burns over most of his body. Two hours later, he was flown
ashore and immediately medevaced to Brook Army Hospital’s burn unit. He died the next day.
What happened? Apparently, this young airman decided to smoke a cigarette in the closed cockpit while repairing the
bombardier’s equipment. We found that the bombardier’s oxygen switch was turned on. The accident investigation
concluded that the victim was sitting in an oxygen-rich cockpit, wearing a grease-stained jacket, and caused a flaming
explosion when he lit his lighter. The motorized A-6 canopy opens slowly. A safety clamp prevented canopy jettison, so
the sailor sat amid flames until there was enough of an opening for him to escape.
We offloaded the airplane in San Diego, but it never flew again. Several bottles of Purple-K fire retardant were used to
fight the fire which had spread into the forward fuselage. A very corrosive chemical, it ultimately destroyed the cockpit
and everything around it.
RIGHT FOR LINEUP
Nasty weather preceded our workups before we departed for Vietnam in 1973. With a short six-month turnaround,
everyone was tired, from ship’s company to the flight and deck crews. First day out of San Diego, we had an accident. On
a daylight landing, a car-qualling A-7, drifting left, caught the #4 wire. The drift worsened on rollout and the A-7 rolled
left off the flight deck. By sheer luck, the tailhook remained attached to the pendant and the airplane hung suspended nose
down, canopy facing the ship’s side. The pilot grabbed the handles to eject but, seeing gray hull, wisely delayed and now
hung, head below horizontal, suspended between the water and flight deck. As “tilly” dropped her hook, he un-strapped,
stood on his instrument panel and was hoisted back aboard. A newly installed radar dome forward of the LSO platform
was destroyed during the accident.
Our valiant CAG pleaded with the Captain to strap the A-7 to the ship’s side and continue landing qualifications, but we
returned to port with the A-7 dangling from the ship’s side. We were in port one day. As the A-7 was removed, a
Raytheon team, which had just installed the radar antenna, returned aboard to install another. They continued working as
we returned to sea the next day.
Less than a week later, the work was done. The team, having installed two identical antennas in the same place, departed
by COD. That night, while conducting quals, an F-4 drifted left on landing. As the F-4s left wheel fell into the catwalk, the
crew ejected and the plane’s wing jammed against the hapless antenna. The crew ejected safely and was recovered as we
fished a not-too-damaged F-4 back aboard.
A quick call to Raytheon found their technicians in San Diego’s airport, waiting for a return flight to Boston. Imagine their
chagrin as a C-1 rolled up to take them back aboard Connie for a third repair to the same antenna!
SUICIDE OR WHAT?
In spring of 1973, USS Constellation (CVA-64) was conducting combat operations and our A-7’s had a problem. Their
TF-41 engines were stopping in flight with no warning. The cause was turbine failure but the fix was still being
investigated. Interim solution had pilots running engines at 100% power for five minutes before launch. The theory was
that if it didn’t blow on deck, it was OK to launch.
As our VA-146 “Busybee” and VA-147 “Jason” pilots sat on deck at 100% power, tempting fate in their bomb-laden
airplanes, I watched the evolution from the A-6 “six pack”. Six Busybees and Jasons spotted athwartship, behind the cats,
faced my planes with roaring engines. Blueshirts held a line well forward of the A-7 intakes as a warning to flight deck
personnel.
A fire-fighting tractor, nicknamed “TAU” because of its twin-agent unit fire suppression system, drove toward the bow
behind the planes. Not unusual because the TAU would be needed if an engine failed. The driver and fireman wore heavy
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silver-colored asbestos suits. As the TAU stopped just beyond the forward A-7, the fireman stepped off and walked
alongside the airplane. Ducking under the wing, he angled toward the huge A-7 intake. He reached out, touched it and
then stepped forward. Instantly, he was sucked down the intake and the engine stumbled. The pilot shut down as colored
smoke came from the tailpipe. Corpsmen ran to the plane as a river of red and silver bits of clothing flowed from the
intake. It was too late. He was gone. Was it a tragic mistake or a suicide? Only God knows.
UNLUCKY HELO
In spring of 1976, USS Independence (CV-62) had just begun a Mediterranean Sea deployment with CVW-1 aboard. At
mid-day, on a sunny, blustery sea, Indy approached a 6th Fleet oiler. Messenger lines shot over, retrieving fuel hoses and
steel cables. Once tightened, the planned four-hour underway replenishment of fuel and stores began. Bright blue, frothy
waters ran between the two ships as they maintained the required 160 foot separation.
Suddenly, the oiler’s horn sounded and Indy’s I-MC announced “emergency breakaway”. The oiler had lost steering
control. Sailors on both ships frantically severed connections and loosed hoses as the venturi effect slowly suctioned both
ships together. With hoses and lines splashing into the churning sea, Indy slowly accelerated. Out of control, the slowing
oiler was getting closer to Indy’s starboard side. Our Captain ordered right hard rudder, hoping to avoid collision. We had
almost cleared, when the rolling oiler’s bow boom swung forward across the aft elevator where HS-5 had an H-3 helicopter
spotted. The wildly swinging boom ripped away its starboard wheels, sponson and tie-down chains and the helo hung
precariously in the elevator’s safety nets. Two weeks later, the damaged helo was offloaded for depot repair in Naples,
Italy.
Almost five months later, as we left Naples for the last time, the fully-repaired helo flew back aboard, looking like a new
airplane. You couldn’t see any sign of the extensive damage it had suffered. We headed for Gibraltar, a blue-water
turnover with the relieving carrier, and outchop for home.
The shiny helo stood out from the airwing’s other sea-battered airplanes. It was spotted aft on the flight deck, with its right
main-mounts on the elevator. The airplane wiggled a bit as the elevator #4 claxon sounded and the safety stanchions rose.
No-one seemed to notice the tie-down chains straining against the plane’s fuselage, but everyone heard the agonizing
sounds of the exact same sponson being ripped away, as the elevator was lowered to the hangar deck . We offloaded the
unlucky helo in Norfolk and the same repair was completed again!
BARRICADE ENGAGEMENT
In February, 1976, USS Independence (CV-62) was recovering aircraft under moonless skies in an angry sea. After
boltering twice, with the deck moving wildly, a low-on-fuel F-4 with hydraulic problems hit the ramp and partially folded a
main-mount. The crew had “blown down” their gear, flaps and slats, but as they added airspeed to tank, aerodynamic
forces caused them to “bleed up”. Then they couldn’t get fuel. A bingo airfield was out of range. With little flying time
left before fuel starvation, the Captain ordered a barricade engagement.
The rainy flight deck was a mass of colorful, frenzied activity as barricade arms were raised with some blueshirts shaking
and guiding the vertical nylon pendants and others installing metal ramps along the barricade base. The Flight Deck Bosun
was halfway across the barricade, hand-checking placement of the barrier base behind the ramps, when the hapless F-4 was
ready to land. He raced into the port catwalk as the fast-moving plane touched down.
The on-center engagement looked good until the damaged main-mount sliced through the barricade’s lower nylon cable.
Hardly slowing, the F-4 continued toward the angle shredding the barricade. The crew initiated an unsuccessful ejection,
as canopies and seats entangled with the barricade. Search and rescue efforts were unsuccessful.
The accident investigation determined that the Air Boss cleared the plane to land before the Bosun had fully checked the
barricade’s security. But the PLAT tapes and flight deck TV tape from that dark, rainy night offered inconclusive
evidence. Bad luck all the way around. It wasn’t a good night to be flying.
BUCKING F-14:
Summer in the North Arabian Sea is a miserable experience. The southwest monsoon, causes heavy seas and constant
overcasts with low visibility. It also covers the ship and airplanes with slippery, gritty, yellowish-red mud. In June 1984,
USS America (CV-66) was turning into the wind preparing for man-up and launch. As the ship started turning to port, the
Air Boss called “heel starboard”. A VF-102 F-14, spotted aft of the island on elevator #4 had a tow-tractor attached.
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The pilot, on deck early, told the Plane Captain to head for chow and climbed into the cockpit to ride brakes as the plane
was towed to Cat #4. Tie-down chains were struck and the tractor began pulling forward. The turning ship rolled
starboard as it paralleled 12 to 15 foot swells. Moving uphill against the roll, the F-14 was moved about ten feet forward
before the tow tractor lost traction on the slippery deck. Airplane and tractor slid backward. As the F-14 main-mounts hit
the deck-edge coaming, its nose wheels jumped about two feet above the flightdeck. Seeing this, the tow’s driver gunned
his engine to pull the plane forward. This time, he advanced nearly 20 feet when another swell dragged the F-14 backward
again. A second, more violent, coaming hit lifted the plane’s nose wheels and the tow’s drive wheels off the deck.
At that point, the tractor’s towbar connection broke. Untethered, the tractor leaped forward. The driver’s eyes were wide
with fear as he fought for control. Meanwhile, the F-14’s nose wheels were about six feet above the deck when the pilot
wisely decided to abandon the cockpit. Falling nearly 20 feet to the flightdeck , he scrambled to safety as the plane
quivered dangerously. America took another hard starboard roll and the plane’s nose continued lifting upward. In
seemingly slow-motion, a multi-million dollar F-14 did a slow backflip over the ship’s side, hit the water inverted and
disappeared from view as everyone stared unbelievingly
A COLD CAT SHOT
My AIMD office aboard USS America (CV-66) was located on the 0-2 level, portside, below the Catapult #3 water brake.
We felt and heard the water brake as it slowed and cushioned every shot. One morning, in 1984, my office shook as the
catapult ram hit the brake with a jarring slam. I called the Air Boss, reported the abnormal sound and he ordered an
inspection. The V-2 guys reported nothing amiss, so operations continued. Over the next few days, I advised the boss
whenever we felt occasional hard hits.
Early afternoon, an EA-6B was being launched. As the stroke began, we heard a loud ripping/cracking sound. Quarterway down the cat track, acceleration stopped and the crew initiated ejection. An EA-6B ejection sequence takes 2.1
seconds to blow canopies and expel its four crewman. The aft left and aft right ECMOs were gone halfway down the track.
The front seat ECMO went out near the end. The pilot’s Martin Baker seat fired as the plane dropped off the angle, rolling
left. The ECMOs were ejected vertically. Their chutes filled quickly as their seats fell away. The pilot’s ejection path was
nearly horizontal, propelling him headfirst, away from the ship’s side. His chute popped. As the blossoming parachute
pulled his head back toward the ship, he collided with one of the falling ejection seats. The freak collision crushed his
skull and chest, killing him instantly.
We saw four good chutes, followed by four men in the water with life vests activated. Two helos were on-scene quickly,
making the pickup. Everyone on the flight deck was smiling, waiting to congratulate the crew on their harrowing escape.
Elation froze, as a blanket-covered body was laid on the deck and we heard the 1-MC call “Chaplain to the flight deck – on
the double”.
The NAEC Lakehurst Accident Investigation Team found that the annular ring in the starboard catapult piston was mismachined. The ring is like a hollow shower head, spraying high pressure water at an angle, to slow and stop the machined
ram at the end of each stroke. A catapult has two cylinders with a ram-piston in each. The rams are mechanically joined
and the catapult shuttle is mounted on the join hardware. Incorrect hole angles in the annular ring actually stopped the
water flow, causing the “hard hits” I reported. With each hard hit, the shuttles “zipper” mounting fixture cracked slightly.
It failed during the EA-6B launch.
WALLY NEEB AND JOE BATORI:
In the mid-70s, when I was aboard USS Independence (CV-62), our F-4 squadrons were VF-33 and VF-102. Later, in the
mid-eighties on USS America (CV-66), they flew F-14 aircraft. The VF-102 Diamondbacks have a rich tradition of
deception. Somewhere in the distant past, they created two fictional aviators. The intrepid duo took their place on the
squadron’s roster board as junior officers. Over the years as Wally and Joe’s logbooks filled with fictious flights, they
were promoted when due. There is even a rumor that their names actually appeared on the Navy-wide promotion list as
BUPERS advanced them to Lieutenant Commanders. Whenever passing their ready room, I’d look at the roster board and
there they would be. How’s that for luck? A nearly twenty-year deception carried out with typical fighter-jock aplomb!
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How Important Are Your Job Skills As An AMDO?
BY JOEL HAWK (’85)
The job skills you are learning as an AMDO could be
more valuable than you can imagine. One may ask how
would the skill set I’ve learned as an AMDO possibly
help me in __________. You fill in the blank with
whatever job you may be considering. I chose use real
estate.
I’ve learned that working in real estate is like sending a
well-maintained jet off the flight deck. There is a lot of
work to do long before you even begin to show someone
how to buy or sell a property. There are many systems
to check, many details to make sure of, but once you’re
ready to start, put it in tension, rev it up, and let’er rip.
The ride is enjoyable, you will get to see and learn a lot
of new things and about new places, and you get to
personally help someone directly with one of the most
expensive items they will ever buy. You become friends
and much of the time, long lasting friends (or if they’re
jerks, you hit the delete button and you never cross those
tracks again).
The skill set you use in your everyday job as a Naval
Officer and more importantly, as an Aviation
Maintenance Duty Officer, is a perfect fit for helping
John and/or Jane Public with buying or selling their
home. Folks need leadership and they want someone
who is thorough and detailed. They turn to you as their
trusted advisor to help them transfer ownership of
property, correctly and legally. The last thing anyone
wants to happen is to learn there was some risk exposure
they didn’t know about. Enter the trained, on top of it,
retired military Real Estate agent. Just mentioning the
fact that you’re retired military puts you in a revered
category of someone who can be counted on when
needed.
Selling real estate is a direct parallel to maintaining
aircraft. One has to have systems in place in order to be
successful and reduce risk. Checklists are a large part of
successful realtors, but amazingly not many use them.
I’ve created several different checklists depending on if a
client is buying or selling real estate. We have always
been taught to follow checklists and in doing so knowing
your chances of success are increased tremendously.
We’ve learned to develop systems. Systems can be used
for prospecting, following up on leads, determining your
clients needs, budgeting and tracking income/expenses,
and staying in contact. There’s a delicate balance of
providing enough contact, but not too much. This is
learned through trial and error and there are a lot of
suggestions how to go about this. One of the strongest
systems I have in place is in technology. The advances
in technology I’ve learned while in the Navy have
helped me personally in my business. The Internet has
changed every aspect of our business lives and is far
reaching. Maintaining a presence within this medium is
a must as it is with any business hopeful of success. Part
of the education I chose was to learn what to do in order
to maintain that presence. The use of email goes a long
way in communicating conveniently, quickly and
historically. It’s too much to ask trying to remember
every detail about a particular client, but with email, you
can review all dialogue quickly and come back up to
speed.
As in everything you do, you need to be able to set and
accomplish goals. These can be monetary, personal or
professional goals. The most successful people I’ve
come in contact with have a plan and an awareness of
how to accomplish that plan. We’ve learned much of
what we know by reviewing lessons learned and
consulting with seniors who have gone before us either
as CAGMO’s, AIMDO’s, MMCO’s, etc. It’s the same
when you transition to the civilian way of life. Seek out
successful folks in your chosen path and learn the
lessons they have learned to help prevent needless
downfalls. Ask them how they accomplished their goals
and apply the things that seem right for your situation.
Education is a large part of any field you desire to work
in. Continuing Education is something we all
understand and realize as important. You do it every day
in your present job, whether it’s learning about a new
aviation platform or war system or finances/people/and
on, and on. In real estate, you have to stay aware of
changing laws and how they affect your business. You
need to learn things how to improve and encourage
business growth and how to help people. The more you
know, the more valuable you are to the consumer
whether it be your CO or your customer.
The people skills you learn as an AMDO are invaluable.
You’ve learned how to motivate and guide people in
their jobs. You’ve learned how to evaluate people
quickly and identify the good and bad. You’ll need to
do the same in business because you will not want to
serve everyone. It’s as important to know who to help
and as it is who not to help. You’ve learned how to
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delegate assignments and how to follow up to make sure
the job is done. You have become a team builder in your
job and that’s exactly what a good Realtor is, a team
builder. You interact with everyone involved in the deal,
which includes the buyer/seller, the other agent, lender,
escrow officer or the attorney, title representatives,
inspectors, contractors and many others. You are the
central figure in making all of this come together for the
customer and none can do it better than a well trained
Maintenance Officer. Naturally, this doesn’t just apply
to real estate; it applies to all that you do.
One needs to be organized in business. Nothing will
stop a business quicker than not knowing what, where,
when. (Mostly where since if you can’t find the house,
you can’t sell it.) It’s a natural course of events in
selling real estate. You have your infrastructure already
in place and you meet with your clients. You learn of
their needs and abilities and then you offer suggestions
to help them accomplish their goal. This normally starts
with an initial meeting similar to the morning
maintenance meeting between you and the Maintenance
Chief. Between the two of you, you make a plan for the
day and then you set out to accomplish the plan. It’s the
same in every civilian endeavor you wish to make.
Create a plan and deviate as necessary to reach the
objective.
A good agent is responsible, disciplined and able to
handle multi-tasking. Sound like you? It should since
you do this everyday without thought. We have been
taught to be somewhere on time and ready for the task.
We have been taught through the years to be able to
handle multi-tasking. It’s second nature for us so the
transition to the civilian sector is very easy and although
this line of work requires extra hours, working on
weekends and holidays, we do it because we are
responsible and have a sense of duty like no other.
When beginning your business, you should be business
minded. Just like you plan your budget and watch your
expenditures with different pots of money assigned to
you, you will do the same in your civilian job. You have
learned how to think ahead and forecast needs for the
future and will position the monies, set priorities and
make the determinations necessary to be successful. Too
much complacency in this area will shorten the life span
of your business.
Negotiation. Do you feel like you’re a good negotiator?
You should. You fight for everything in the Navy. You
have learned how to negotiate for a good set of orders or
for additional manpower/parts/money. You fight for
what you believe in whether it be a particular ranking for
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one of your men/women or how an instruction should
read. Everything you touch has some measure of
negotiation attached to it. The same here and it’s not just
about the price; it’s about the terms or some other aspect
of the sale. You’ve been taught and experienced in the
art of negotiation and coupled with all the other
attributes you’ve learned as an AMDO, you are well
prepared to enter any segment of the civilian world of
your choosing. Real Estate was what I chose to do and
though some may not enjoy the long
hours/weekends/holidays and lost birthdays, it was
exactly the same for me while I served in the Navy. I
loved it then, and I love it now. Yes, for me, it’s a very
good parallel between the Navy and the civilian sector.
Time Management. Just like today, you have so much to
do and so little time to do it. The skills you have learned
in the Navy regarding how to assign your time will go a
long way to a successful transition into the civilian
sector. You have learned how to set priorities and
sequence tasks in order to be successful. Being aware of
this can be a secret to success or the impetus to failure.
So you may ask how to get started. The first thing I or
anyone else can say is to network. Get used to this word,
as it truly is the gouge. Once you have decided what you
want to do (and trust me, that’s the hardest part), contact
those you know who are in that line of work or may
know of someone who is doing it. Contact that person
for a 15-minute informational interview. You’re not
asking for a job, you’re trying to learn what the job is
and whether or not it’s something you really want to do.
During the interview, ask them if they could recommend
someone else in their field that may be available for
another info interview so you can continue your
research. Don’t be afraid of doing this, as most folks are
more than willing to talk about their work. They will be
open about the advantages and pitfalls of their career.
Be sure to pick up the tab for lunch. When done, be
absolutely sure you send them a hand-written thank you
note for their time and counsel.
If any of you have been thinking of real estate as a
second career, I like to eat so give me a call/email and
let’s have a chat.
Joel Hawk
www.joelhawk.com
President, Mission Bay Real Estate Association
Broker-Owner San Diego Real Estate
ABR, RECS, SRES, e-PRO
(but my favorite designation is) AMDO USN (Ret)
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FTS- What’s in a Name?
My Experience as an FTS AMDO
By Barbara Bauer (’96)
I joined the Navy during my senior year of high school,
as an AMH. I loved working with my hands, getting the
planes in the air, working outside (on nice weather days
especially), and watching the sunrise during those long
ramp security watches. The best part was traveling on
detachments; launching the planes, fixing whatever
breaks, then having liberty somewhere the average
American would only dream about.
I got my Bachelor of Science degree as a Second Class
Petty Officer going to night classes while teaching AMS
“A1” School in Millington, TN. That was during the
timeframe when carriers were just opening to women. I
decided to apply for a commissioning program as I got
closer to finishing my degree. It seemed to me the best
way to prepare for life afloat. I also wanted to make a
difference by being one of the "good" officers and
helping out the troops.
I first heard of the TAR community (now FTS), while I
was teaching "A" school. The TAR students would get
their orders differently; sometimes they didn't have a
choice because they were the only one. The only thing I
had heard about TARS was that they "didn't go to sea or
overseas." I heard and thought more about it after my
first officer tour overseas. I had an infant daughter and
started comparing career path options.
The TAR program was renamed recently to FTS (Full
Time Support). There are fewer duty stations/billets for
FTS AMDOs, but there are still plenty of good jobs to go
around. The FTS AMDO community is great. We're
lean and friendly. A reserve squadron has fewer FTS
officers, so the accountability is greater but the “red
tape” is drastically reduced. In short, I just love being an
FTS AMDO. You can definitely make a difference.
The Reserve program is much more than I imagined.
The DRILRES (Drilling Reservists) are an integral part
of our squadron, and in many cases are more qualified
than our FTS sailors. Many of them drive long distances
every time they come to the squadron. The DRILRES
are a great group of folks who are motivated and go to
great lengths on many occasions to support their country.
They get qualified, go on detachments and support our
flight operations just like their active duty counterparts.
They do it for many reasons; least of all being money this has been proven by all the pay problems (i.e.,
transitioning between programs). They still drill. A
common reason for many of them to affiliate with the
Navy Reserve is that they feel a piece of them is missing
after they get out, and they still want to be a part of the
Navy for the camaraderie, the travel, and the fun. They
want to “support the cause,” give something back to their
country, and many other reasons. It is interesting to see
how the maintenance department changes when you
have different sailors here on weekends, during their
Annual Training, and/or during a mobilization. I was
surprised by the fact that in our squadron the "two weeks
a year" is staggered (each sailor comes at different times)
and most of our folks work with us well over two weeks
every year.
In conclusion, I have never regretted my decision to
transition to the FTS AMDO community. My
experiences have been extremely rewarding and I would
recommend the community to anyone looking for a
challenge. Barbara is MMCO of VR-62
History 101
Before the advent of the training squadrons, crews destined to specific units were sent to FAEBETULANT or
FAEBETUPAC; these commands were the FAETULANT and FAETUPAC that followed later. These commands were
under the direct control of COMAIRLANT and COMAIRPAC and they trained crews in aircraft type and unique
configuration for mission assignment. FAEBETULANT was at NAS Norfolk and had over fifty aircraft assigned, i.e. the
early P2Vs and PBMs (the hunter killer configuration team prior to the E-2 aircraft) and a number R4Ds configured for
airborne classroom training in aircraft radar and ECM. Pilots and crews destined for specific squadron assignments were
first sent to FAEBETU and trained as a crew in aircraft type and then sent on to the squadron. In those days we did not
have the training squadrons on board, so they went to the Fleet Airborne Training Units and when the training squadrons
formed, the aircraft were eliminated from the Fleet Airborne Training Units and the “airborne” was eliminated from their
title, hence FAETULANT and FAETUPAC. Thanks to John Roach
The AMDO Association Newsletter
Spring – Summer 2004
The AMDO Association Newsletter is published semiannually by the AMDO Association (Capt Marty Reagan, USN
(Ret) editor). Address correspondence to:
30 Lipscomb Court
Sterling, VA 20165
(703) 444-4078
e-mail: [email protected]
http://www.amdo.org
All AMDOs of every persuasion (active, reserve, FTS, retired, former) are invited to join the non-profit AMDO
Association. Dues are $10 (2 years) or $20 (4 years). Here’s what you get:
AMDO ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP
(1) a great way to stay in touch with your shipmates, especially after active duty,
(2) a web site dedicated to the community,
(3) this newsletter, twice a year, with lots of community news you won’t find anywhere else,
(4) invitations to AMDO social events (luncheons, birthday celebration, etc.),
(5) a free [email protected] e-mail address, and
(6) assistance with job hunting and résumés.
Join on-line via PayPal at http://www.amdo.org/members.html or send a check for $10 or $20 to the AMDO
Association, 30 Lipscomb Court, Sterling, VA 20165. Include your home address, home and work telephone numbers and
e-mail address, and let us know what you’re up to these days so we can let your friends know in the newsletter.
Support your AMDO community - Join now!
The AMDO Association
30 Lipscomb Court
Sterling, VA 20165
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