Saturday, October 17, 2009

Navy Diversity

There is a lot of talk going around the tighter Navy circles regarding diversity within the Navy, particularly within the Officer Corps. I served 9-years as an enlisted and never thought it was too "white", we had plenty skin diversity and of course idea diversity that this kind of integration brings. But the Officer Corps was a different story and the "big brains" at the Naval Academy are working hard on changing that, to mixed reviews (CDR Salamander has a recurring Blog theme weekly called "Diversity Thursday" wherein he explores this issue, most interesting read).

So, I'll leave the esoteric to the Officers and Former Officers to contemplate. "Diversity" to me was always this:
Note: Click on photo to enlarge.
After Pack on Indy, 1976/1977. (Photo by JimmyT)

Now, them's what I call diversity. Aircraft-O-plenty. These are scans are of negatives (a new and ongoing project here in the Swamp) of Carrier Air Wing 7 deployed aboard the USS Independence circa 1976/1977.

The above shot is the area known as the "Aft Pack" and includes F-4 Phantoms flown by VF-33 (Star Fighters), VF-102 (Diamondbacks), EA-6B's from VAQ-136 (Ironclaw), A-6E's and KA-6D's flown by VA-65, (known as 'Cupcake' I think because of the shape of the mushroom cloud), an A-7E Corsair II in VA-12 markings (these were the Ubangi's, you want to talk about diversity, their squadron emblem was an African skull with a bone through the nose) and there is an SH-3 Helo from HS-5 and an S-3 Viking (VS-31 Longhorns) from my outfit. Oh, yeah and two of them RA-5C Vigilante's flown by RVAH-12 out of Key West, a most remarkable machine.

Below is the "Bow Pack" with more A-7's, some fro
m VA-66 the Waldo's (some kind of red roster), we carried maybe 30 A-7's between the two squadrons to fulfill the "Light" attack role. You can see more S-3's and Helo's as well as the E-2C on the far right and the C-1 Trader COD aircraft.

Bow Pack on Indy 1976/1977. (Photo by JimmyT)

Now what is that, 10 aircraft types from 11 different squadrons? That's what I call Diversity!! You won't see that kind of diversity in today's Air Wings.

OH and this last shot, its our COD doing what was a routine launch for them back in the day. A deck run. No catapult for this guy, simply taxi to the ramp at the back of the landing zone, two-block the throttles and let her run. This you don't s
ee anymore in the 21st Centruy Navy.

C-1 COD Launch. (Photo by JimmyT)

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

I'm all for diversity until such time as it's taken to extreme... which, of course is hard to define. Therein lies the problem, methinks.

That said, I like your take on diversity, Jimmy.

virgil xenophon said...


Why the change for the CODs? Explain, please. I can't see the reason from here, find it strange if they are using CATs now at this late date.

JimmyT said...

Buck, and they are close to crossing that fine line at the Boat School. But, I do love aeroplanes!!

VX, Deck runs for the COD were normal, in fact in all the time we had a C-1 as the COD I can remember only one time that it took a Cat to get airborne. The C-2 came to us after we lost Mamie (the COD on the Ike crashed into a mountain in the Med killing I think 11 people from the Air Wing) we received a C-2 as replacement and it was always a Nose Tow launch, like all the rest of the aircraft by then.

BT: Jimmy T sends.