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30 March 2010

mural design by Laser Imaging & Design with permission


C:\Documents and Settings\Dutch Rauch\My Documents\1ANA\100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation\CoNA logos\CoNA patch 004.jpg

99 ANAers! 

SPRING! is upon us… out of the doldrums of winter and into the warmth and vigor of summer!

…..…and our Navy, especially Naval Aviation, continues to be the ever-present force for peace and warfighting throughout the world.  On this morning, countless Navy ships and their Naval Aviation aircraft are deployed taking the fight to our enemies and showing our Flag:

Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups -

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - 5th Fleet

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - port visit Callao, Peru

USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) - Pacific Ocean

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) - Atlantic Ocean  

Amphibious Groups -

USS Nassau (LHA 4) - 5th Fleet

USS Peleliu (LHA 5) - Pacific Ocean

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) - 3rd Fleet  

Don’t forget all the “small boys” in those battle and amphibious groups – all with their complement of Naval Aviation helicopters.

There has been news aplenty since the last BULLHORN.  This BULLHORN captures the major events since then, less those concerning the F-35.  Because of the great activity and visibility of the F-35 program, news of the LIGHTNING II has been collected into the next BULLHORN.





Vanity auto license plates


Royal Australian Air Force New F/A-18

Pentagon Eyes Multiyear Boeing F-18 Fighter Deal

CNO: Navy Faces 100-Aircraft Fighter Gap

AIRPLAN  Number 9  

Flag Officer Assignments


New Presidential Helo Competition

VMM-261 in Afghanistan

USS John F. Kennedy to Maine

Super Hornet Tests LITENING Targeting Pod

Navy Grounds 104 Older F/A-18



As we all know, membership is our life-blood.  Unfortunately, at a time when we see a growing need for strong advocacy for Naval Aviation, our numbers are not growing to meet that challenge.  For a real good idea of the need for advocacy, read our “From the President” on page 4 of the last Wings of Gold, in which VADM Dunn speaks to some of the major issues facing Naval Aviation, including the strike-fighter shortfall, looming helicopter shortages, and cuts in aircrew flight time.


To try to meet the challenge of growing our membership, we are undertaking a challenge to all of our membership:

– for individuals to be a member of the  ACES club

-         and for squadrons to be awarded the Golden Sky anchor award.


The details of each award activity are listed below.


We enjoin everyone to participate – every member get a member – and earn recognition for recruiting at the same time!!


Please pass this to ALL HANDS!!!




Association of naval aviation



The Association of Naval Aviation presents two awards for Association membership recruiting excellence, as follows:


The ACES club


Membership in the Association of Naval Aviation ACES Club is awarded to that individual ANA member who recruits at least five new Association members in a calendar year.  Awards in the ACES Club are graduated:






Recognition in Wings of Gold, plus $25 cash



Recognition in Wings of Gold, plus $50cash



Recognition in Wings of Gold, plus $100cash



Golden Sky anchor award


The Golden Sky Anchor Award is presented to the ANA squadron that achieves at least one new recruit for Association membership each month in any twelve-month period.   Golden Sky Anchor Awardees will receive expanded recognition in Wings of Gold and $100 for their squadron treasury.


Program execution/monitoring

As before, submission of new memberships will be monitored by our Membership Coordinator, MS Debbie Garry.  In addition, it is requested that each squadron and recruiting individual track their own recruiting achievements and periodically pass their tabulations to the Editor of Wings of Gold, CAPT Zip Rausa at, for coordination of materials for publication in Wings of Gold.  Please also copy to the Membership Coordinator at  and the treasurer at .

Return to Index





Please NOTE –

For Session #1, CAPT Richard Knott will replace Mr. Hill Goodspeed

For session #2, Mr. Norman Polmar will be the Moderator

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1200-1600 Golf Tournament (A.C. Read)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

0900-0945 New Orleans Navy Band Concert (Atrium)


0945-1145 Session I: 
"Genesis: The Birth of Naval Aviation (1898-1914)" (Atrium)


Mr. David Hartman

Dr. Tom Crouch

CAPT Richard S. Dann, USNR

Mr. Trafford Doherty

CAPT Richard C. Knott, USN (Ret)

Luncheon (Flightdeck)

Guest Speaker:
Stephen Coonts, author of Flight of the Intruder

1330-1530 Session II:
"Answering the Call: Naval Aviation's Dynamic Expansion for the Great War" (Atrium)

Mr. Norman Polmar

Mr. Geoffrey Rossano

Dr. William Trimble

Mr. Tom Wildenberg

Dr. Marc Wortman

1800-1915  Opening Reception (Flightdeck)


Banquet (Atrium)

Guest Speaker:

Friday, May 14, 2010

0830-0900 New Orleans Navy Band Concert (Atrium)


Hall of Honor Enshrinement (Atrium)

Mr. Neil Armstrong
CAPT Richard P. "Deke" Bordone, USN
VADM William P. Lawrence, USN
LtGen Thomas H. Miller, USMC

1030-1245 Session III: 
"Naval Aviation: Issues and Answers" (Atrium)


VADM Thomas J. Kilcline, USN (CNAF)


TBD, USCG Aviation Flag Officer


RADM Joseph F. Kilkenny, USN, (CNETC)

RADM Patrick E. McGrath, USNR (CNAFR)
RADM Richard O’Hanlon, USN (CNAL)
RADM David l. Philman, USN (OPNAV 88)

RDML William G. Sizemore, USN (CNATRA)
LtGen. George J. Trautman III, USMC (DC AIR)
VADM David J. Venlet, USN (NAVAIR)


Click here - Symposium registration = for Symposium registration

Return to Index



Vanity auto license plates

Membership have asked about the availability of vanity license plates that feature Naval Aviation.  The state of Virginia offers a Naval Aviator plate:

Naval Aviator Plate

Details of which are available at

I’ve got one – PROUDLY - on my vehicles.  For those not in Virginia, check your own state web site - Dutch

Return to Index 



March 16, 2010


Flag Officer Announcement


            Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nomination:  

            Navy Vice Adm. David J. Venlet has been nominated for reappointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as director, Joint Strike Fighter program, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Arlington, Va. Venlet is currently serving as commander, Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md.


Super Hornet Squadrons To Lose 2 Aircraft Each

Each Navy Super Hornet squadron will lose two of its 12 aircraft between deployments — one of several details emerging about the service's plans to ease an upcoming shortage of strike fighters.

The so-called fighter gap is coming as older F/A-18A- through D-model Hornet aircraft reach the end of their operational lives, not enough new E and F Super Hornets are built to replace them, and production of the later F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter lags.

In a statement to Congress, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said the reduction in squadron size to "the minimum required" will take place during "nondeployed phases."

Navy Hornet squadrons already have been reduced to 10 aircraft per squadron. Super Hornet squadrons generally have 12 aircraft each.

The service will accelerate the transition of five F/A-18C squadrons to E or F models using available Super Hornets, "and will transition two additional legacy squadrons using Super Hornet attrition reserve aircraft."

Navy officials would not comment on the impact of using spare aircraft to fill out operational squadrons.

The fighter gap, forecast to peak around 2016, has been a matter of debate for a couple of years and was a major focus for requirements and budget planners over the past year. Planners, according to Navy Undersecretary Bob Work, had "pretty much eliminated any perceived strike fighter shortfall" in developing a new aviation procurement plan.

But a Pentagon restructuring of the JSF program announced Feb. 1 pushed back the service entry dates for the plane, which is being built in separate versions for the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. The move reopened the gap issue for the Navy.

"We felt very comfortable that we had a good, solid plan prior to the JSF restructuring," Work said Feb. 2. "And the JSF restructuring will cause us to look at it one more time."

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress on Feb. 3, `The Navy and the Marine Corps have really worked hard to mitigate this strike fighter shortfall, and I give them a lot of credit for that." The services, Mullen said, reduced the shortfall from about 245 aircraft "down to a very low number" prior to the restructuring.

New in-service dates for the JSF have not been announced. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said the system design and development phase of the program would be pushed back one year to 2015. Air Combat Command chief Gen. William Fraser said Feb. 19 his service is re-evaluating the JSF's in-service date.




Royal Australian Air Force New F/A-18

03/29/2010 AUSTRALIA - SUPER HORNETS START ARRIVING AT RAAF AMBERLEY THE AUSTRALIAN -- The first batch of new Super Hornet fighters for the Royal Australian Air Force arrived in Queensland last week, reports the Australian.   The five F/A-18F fighters are the first of 24 ordered from Boeing as a stopgap until the air force can take delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.   The Super Hornets will also replace Australia's aging F-111 strike aircraft, which are scheduled to be retired this year.   The fighters will be based at RAAF Amberley, not far from Brisbane. 


Australian Super Hornet aircraft number A44-203 taxis on the flight line at Naval Air Station- Lemoore- California-USA



Pentagon Eyes Multiyear Boeing F-18 Fighter Deal

Gates Says Boeing Has Made "Interesting Proposals"

(REUTERS 24 MAR 10) ... Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is weighing "interesting proposals" for a possible multiyear purchase of Boeing Co's (BA.N) F-18 fighter aircraft, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress on Wednesday, amid lawmakers' concerns about a U.S. combat aircraft shortfall.

"We are now looking at a multiyear contract with respect to the F-18s," he said.

Such a step could help offset a projected 100-jet U.S. Navy shortfall over the next decade amid delays in Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N) multiservice F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Boeing, in response, said it had offered the Navy cost savings of 10 percent under a multi-year contract.

"Boeing is committed to delivering the advanced, combat-proven Block II Super Hornet and new EA-18G Growler to the U.S. Navy through the procurement option that offers the best value for our nation and its warfighters," Paul Guse, a spokesman, said in an emailed statement.

CQ Today, a publication that covers Congress, reported last week that Boeing had offered the Navy a discount that would add up to more than $500 million for a multiyear purchase of F-18s to guarantee that its production line in St. Louis will remain open beyond 2013.

It cited unnamed congressional aides and industry sources for its information.

CQ said the Navy planned to buy 124 carrier-based versions of the F-18, divided between F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, which are standard fighters, and EA-18G Growlers, which are for electronic warfare.

Gates told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that initial Boeing pitches did not offer enough savings to justify a multiyear commitment by the Pentagon.

Since then, "the contractor has come back to us with some interesting proposals," he said, without elaborating.

Gates said he was confident that a restructuring of the F-35 program he announced in February -- including adding 13 months and $2.8 billion to the development phase and slowing the rampup to full production -- would keep the program on its revised schedule.

Gates fired the Pentagon's F-35 program manager and withheld $615 million in potential fee awards from Lockheed Martin as part of the restructuring.

"I think we got their attention," he said, apparently referring to both Lockheed and the program office, which he faulted for having provided "overly rosy" forecasts.

The Navy and the Air Force now expect to begin fully operating their radar-evading F-35 fighters in 2016. The Marine Corps plans to start operating its version in December 2012.

Under the last multiyear deal in 2006, the Navy paid Boeing about $49.9 million per F-18, which would be about $54 million per plane today, adjusting for inflation, CQ said in its March 19 report.

It is unclear what the per-plane cost would be under the latest proposed deal, it said.

Some U.S. lawmakers have said the Navy fighter shortfall could top 200 aircraft and recommended the Navy buy 150 F-18s over five years.



CNO: Navy Faces 100-Aircraft Fighter Gap, Will Deliberate Issue In POM-12

(INSIDE THE NAVY 01 MAR 10) ... Dan Taylor

The Navy is projecting a peak department-wide strike fighter shortfall of 100 aircraft, a lower figure than earlier estimates due to mitigation measures such as the purchase of more Super Hornets and the use of attrition aircraft, but service officials noted the number is “fluid” and could change.

“I believe we have done some very good work in using attrition aircraft and transitioning squadrons,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said Feb. 25 during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Right now, we sit and we look at what we’re going to have in the future, it’s about a 100-aircraft [fighter gap].”

Roughead said officials “are going to have to look at the life extension of some of our earlier [F/A-] 18A-Ds, and that’s where our focus will be” in the upcoming deliberations of the fiscal year 2012 program objective memorandum (POM-12). The POM-12 process will build a six-year investment plan with baseline costs for FY-12 to FY-17, plus expected costs for overseas contingency operations (OCO) in FY-12.

As recently as last year, the Navy had been looking at a fighter shortfall of up to 243 aircraft for both the Navy and Marine Corps in the middle of next decade as legacy Hornets are retired and the follow-on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter comes online.

In the proposed FY-11 defense budget unveiled last month, the Navy increased the number of Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers the service plans to purchase over the future years defense plan to 124, keeping the production line open through FY-13, which will further help mitigate the gap, according to officials.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told reporters after last week’s hearing that the 100-aircraft figure is a “moving number,” and there is no set year on when the shortfall is expected to peak.

“The reason that I’m not giving just an absolute direct answer here is that we have been taking mitigation actions,” he said.

Roughead and Mabus emphasized that much will depend on developing a business case for extending the lives of aging legacy Hornets and determining which aircraft can be extended, something the service is assessing right now. The Navy is also conducting high-flight-hour inspections of the newer Super Hornets and determining their life expectancy, Mabus said.

“As we look at these things and take some of these actions, the numbers at the end change and the years change, and so it’s really going to be an issue for POM-12 in terms of what other actions we need to take or what other actions will be recommended,” he said.




AIRPLAN  Number 9 

# 9                                                                                                    February 2010

“The bridge between current readiness and future capabilities is called future readiness. Building that bridge takes analytical

insight, due diligence and a discerning sense of prioritization. Our future depends on it.”

- RADM Deke Philman, Director, Air Warfare Division

Future Readiness Cross-Functional Team … results that endure! 

Future Readiness Cross-Functional Team (FR CFT): Today’s managers of Naval Aviation readiness often find themselves operating in environments dictated by yesterday’s decisions – some made long before the systems achieved initial operating capability. Recognizing both the need to influence readiness issues early in the acquisition process as well as the compression of the Naval Aviation budget, NAE leadership stood up the FR CFT to foster collaboration, identify systemic issues, champion the solutions that reduce total cost of ownership (TOC), and improve overall sustainability of aviation platforms.

_ In early September 2009, the FR CFT submitted its charter and way-ahead to the NAE senior leadership. A key NAE strategic objective states that “the NAE will engage stakeholders to effectively produce required levels of future readiness while optimizing costs.” To achieve this objective, the team’s efforts are centered on six Strategic Initiatives (SI) led by Senior Advisor Glenn Perryman and Director CAPT Richard Lorentzen, both from OPNAV N88.

SI 4.1: Aggregate, prioritize and elevate issues for fielded systems and sustainment infrastructure

SI 4.2: Champion Future Readiness issues

SI 4.3: Identify stakeholders and engage them in required culture changes

SI 4.4: Engage in the development level program gates and reviews to ensure readiness issues

and Total Ownership Cost are championed

SI 4.5: Incorporate relevant sustainment objectives in requirements documentation

SI 4.6: Leverage Science and Technology for the benefit of Future Readiness

_ The team is currently developing a process to identify readiness and cost degraders for fielded systems and sustainment infrastructure; establishing a business case methodology, model, and criteria for issue consideration; and defining NAE engagement actions in POM/PR cycles. Also underway are efforts to guide a cultural shift to ensure that “readiness issues” are considered on an equal basis with platform “system investments.”

_ The FR CFT is comprised of representatives from: Commander, Naval Air Forces; Headquarters, Marine Corps, Aviation; Naval Air Systems Command; Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition; Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic; Office of the Chief of Naval Operations: Air Warfare Division/Fleet Readiness Division; Naval Inventory Control Point; Office of Naval Research; and NAE Chief Technology Office.



Latest NAE Outstanding Performance Award Winners

December 2009: AMEC (AW) Richard Hannaman, USN, NAVAIR, Maintenance & Supply Chain Management sub-team

January 2010: CAPT James Nichols, USN, CNAL, Current Readiness CFT

February 2010: LtCol Tony Barnes, USMC, VMGR-352, KC-130 TMS Team


Key Messages  

The NAE recognizes the need to balance investments between capabilities of the future and the sustainment infrastructure required to support it.

_ The NAE leadership, in issuing guidance and actively engaging through the development lifecycle, can ensure that new development programs begin with realistic and comprehensive considerations for future readiness and Total Ownership Costs.

_ Engagement with the Science and Technology community is key to long term improvement of both Future Readiness and TOC. 


Facts and Figures

_ Since 1997, Naval Aviation operating and support (O&S) costs have risen at an average rate of $270M per year while the aircraft inventory has fallen by 10% between 1997 and 2008.

_ Analyses show the majority of TOC is expended during the sustainment phase, but as much as 90% of O&S costs are determined before a weapon system enters production.

_ Despite the deliveries of new aircraft such as the MV-22, F/A-18E/F and JSF, legacy aircraft will still account for about 33% of the total USN aircraft inventory through FY2020.

These legacy aircraft will be on average 25 years old.




Flag Officer Assignments


March 04, 2010                                                                  


 Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the following assignments:


                Rear Adm. (lower half) Dennis E. Fitzpatrick will be assigned as commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic, Norfolk, Va. Fitzpatrick is currently serving as director, joint operations, N3, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Admiral Dennis E. FitzPatrick
Director, Joint Operations Division, U.S. Fleet Forces Command
Rear Admiral Dennis  E. FitzPatrick

Rear Admiral Dennis E. FitzPatrick, a native of Delmar, N.Y., graduated from Cornell University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He received his commission in May 1981 and was designated a Naval aviator in March 1983. He earned a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and is a graduate of the Navy Nuclear Power Program and attended the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk.

His operational assignments included duty at Attack Squadron 105 completing deployments to the Western Pacific as a component of Marine Air Group 12 and the Mediterranean in USS Forrestal (CV 59) flying the A-7E Corsair II; Strike Fighter Squadron 86 flying the FA-18 Hornet embarked in USS America (CV 66) in support of Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Southern Watch as well as follow on operations in the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and North Atlantic; Strike Fighter Squadron 147 as the executive officer and subsequently commanding officer embarked in USS Nimitz (CVN 68) for an around-the-world deployment, which included operations in support of Southern Watch; executive officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as part of the first U.S. Carrier Battle Group to deploy following the Sept. 11 attacks conducting combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom; command of USS Shreveport (LPD-12) completing a major overhaul and a successful Interdeployment Training Cycle; command of the USS John F. Kennedy (CV67) where he completed a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and operations along the east coast of the United States; and a tour as an Individual Augmentee on the headquarters staff, Multi-National Force - Iraq.

Ashore, he served onboard Strike Fighter Squadron 106, flying FA-18 Hornets as an instructor pilot; The Bureau of Naval Personnel where he served as the A-7/FA-18 community detailer; United States Joint Forces Command as the deputy director of the strategy and analysis directorate; U.S. Fleet Forces Command as head; Warfare Requirements and Programming, Planning Branch. His current assignment is as director, Joint Operations Division, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

FitzPatrick was selected for flag rank in April 2008. He has over 3,100 hours and 655 carrier arrested landings. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal (two individual/three strike flight) with combat V; Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars and Combat V; Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal and various unit and campaign awards.


                Rear Adm. (lower half) Scott E. Sanders will be assigned as deputy commander, Second Fleet, Norfolk, Va. Sanders is currently serving as vice commander, U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command, Bahrain.

Rear Admiral Scott E. Sanders
United States Navy
Commander, Combined Task Force 151

Rear Admiral Scott E. Sanders received his commission in May of 1980 fromRear Admiral Scott E. Sanders the U.S. Naval Academy and was designated a naval aviator in 1982. After completing training in the E-2C, he reported to the “Seahawks” of VAW-126. While at VAW-126, he made deployments to the Mediterranean and Caribbean aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67).

In 1986 Sanders returned to VAW-120 as a flight instructor and served as the squadron’s flight standardization officer, E-2C model manager and commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic E-2C evaluator. He transitioned from active duty in July 1987 and affiliated in the Naval Reserve in a flight status with VAW-78.

Sanders held numerous billets at VAW-78 before assuming command of the squadron in November 1997. During his tenure as executive officer and commanding officer, VAW-78 earned the Battle “E” for excellence (twice), the F. Trubee Davison Award as the top tactical Navy Reserve squadron, and a Chief of Naval Operations Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Sanders was selected as the Navy Reserve “Junior Officer of the Year” in 1990 and subsequently appointed to a concurrent billet supporting NATO Reserve Forces from 1992-1998. He was the elected chairman of the commission on NATO’s “Standardization and Training of Reserves Forces” from 1997-1998.

In 1999, Sanders was selected as commanding officer of Naval Reserve Tactical Aircraft Control Squadron 2186. He had subsequent command tours in Naval Reserve Carrier Group 0486 and Naval Reserve 2nd Fleet Joint Force Air Component Command 0186. In 2006 he was assigned to Joint Forces Command, Standing Joint Forces Headquarters – Core Element and then as maritime ballistic missile defense officer on the staff of commander, 2nd Fleet.

After selection to flag rank in 2007, he was assigned as vice commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. In August 2009 he assumed command at sea of Combined Tasked Force 151, wherein he commanded, in sum, 4,400 sailors on 19 ships from seven nations, in a coalition counter-piracy force operating off the coast of Somalia.

In his civilian career, Sanders is vice president for strategic operations for Wyle, Inc.’s Aerospace Group. His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (3), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal.




                Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:  

                Navy Rear Adm. Mark I. Fox for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command and Commander, Fifth Fleet, in Bahrain. Fox is currently serving ascommander, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, Fallon, Nev.

Rear Admiral Mark I. Fox
Commander, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Rear Admiral Mark I. Fox

A native of Abilene, Texas, Rear Admiral Mark I. Fox was commissioned in June 1978 upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy and was designated a naval aviator in March 1980.

During his career, Fox has deployed from both coasts in six fleet tours, flying the A-7E Corsair II and FA-18 Hornet in over 100 combat and contingency missions off the coasts of Lebanon and Libya, and over the Balkans and Iraq. Combat highlights include scoring the first Navy MiG kill of operation Desert Storm prior to dropping his bombs on an airfield in western Iraq on January 17, 1991, and leading the opening "Shock and Awe" strike of operation Iraqi Freedom on March 21, 2003.

Fox's command and executive leadership assignments include service as commander, Carrier Strike Group 10; Communications Division chief and spokesman for the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) in Baghdad; deputy assistant to the President and Director, White House Military Office, responsible for overseeing all military support to the President; commander of Carrier Air Wing 2 aboard USS Constellation (CV-64); commodore of the Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet in Lemoore, Calif.; service as the first commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (the Navy's first FA-18E/F Super Hornet squadron) and commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 81.

Shore tours include duty as the deputy director of the White House Military Office; service as the Joint Strike and Aviation Programs Liaison officer in the Navy's Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C.; joint duty as the Maritime Plans officer at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium; assignment as aide and flag lieutenant for commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and the assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare - OP-05); a tour as the Light Attack/Strike Fighter Junior Officer detailer in the Naval Military Personnel Command and as an A-7E Corsair II instructor pilot in Attack Squadron 174.

Fox has logged over 4,800 flight hours and 1,347 arrested landings on 15 different aircraft carriers. Military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Gold star, Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat 'V,' and Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster. He has completed executive education programs at the Naval War College, National Defense University, Army War College, Harvard University, and UNC Chapel Hill.


Rear Adm. (lower half) Donald E. Gaddis will be assigned as program executive officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs, Washington, D.C. Gaddis is currently serving as commander, Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division/assistant commander for research and engineering, Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md.

Rear Admiral Donald Gaddis
Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division
Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command
Rear Admiral Donald Gaddis

A 1980 graduate of Auburn University, Rear Admiral Gaddis was commissioned through the Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. Upon completion of flight training and designation as a Naval flight officer, he reported for his initial fleet tour in 1983 with the World Famous Red Rippers of VF-11, deploying onboard the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) to the Eastern Mediterranean flying in support of the Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Lebanon.

In 1986, Gaddis reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 4 (VX-4) in Point Mugu, Calif., where he was assigned as the AIM-54C Air-to-Air Missile system project officer and operations department head until 1989. Upon completion of this tour, he served aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) as assistant air operations officer and flag tactical action officer; he was assigned to the Cruiser-Destroyer Group 12 (CCDG-12), which included Red Sea operations in support of Operation Desert Shield, and counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea aboard the USS Bainbridge (CGN-25) and the USS Yorktown (CG-48). In 1992, he reported to VF-84, Jolly Rogers, where he served as operations and maintenance department head, and deployed on Med Cruise 2-93 to the Adriatic Sea and Red Sea, flying combat air patrol and tactical reconnaissance missions in both Bosnia and Iraq.

Following this tour, he joined the Chief of Naval Operations Staff in 1994 and served as the Fleet’s requirements officer for the AIM-9M, AIM-9X, AIM-7, AIM-54, AIM-120 air-to-air missiles and the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System.

In 1997, Gaddis was designated an aerospace engineering duty officer and proceeded to earn a master’s degree in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., before he arrived at the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. Since 1999, he has served as deputy program manager for the F/A-18 Test and evaluation, operations officer for Program Executive Officer (Tactical Aircraft Programs), executive assistant to the Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, program manager for F/A-18 and EA-18G (PMA-265), and program manager for Presidential Helicopters (PMA-274).

In October 2008, he assumed his current position as commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and assistant commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command

A graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School – TOPGUN, he has accumulated more than 2,300 flight hours as a radar intercept officer in the F-14A/F-14B/F-4S aircraft to include 523 traps in the F-14 Tomcat. Gaddis’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Strike Fighter Air Medal, and various other personal and unit awards.




A product of... Navy Office of Information March 4, 2010

 Executing the Maritime Strategy


 “Our people - active, reserve and civilian - are the human element of the Maritime Strategy. They're dedicated, professionally trained and ready to accomplish the full range of joint military operations around the globe. They represent the finest I have seen in my military career.”

– Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, III, Chief of Naval Personnel

Around the world, the Navy is executing the six core capabilities of the Maritime Strategy – forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

Forward Presence

• USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) was in the North Arabian Sea in February supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and providing aerial support for Afghan, NATO and American troops participating in Operation Moshtarak. During the month, Eisenhower launched more than 640 combat sorties and flew more than 5,100 cumulative hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Maritime Security

USS Freedom (LCS 1) left Naval Station Mayport Feb. 16 for her maiden deployment to the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. During the independent deployment, Freedom conducted its first drug seizure Feb. 22 when it disrupted a high-speed "go-fast" vessel and recovered more than a quarter ton of cocaine.

Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response

• In support of Operation Unified Response, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), anchored off Haiti, provided medical and humanitarian assistance to Haitians. Comfort has treated more than 995 patients and performed more than 830 major surgeries.

• Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 55, a Navy Reserve C-130T Hercules squadron based at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, provided support to Haiti earthquake relief operations by delivering supplies into Port-au-Prince.

• Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 207 deployed to Haiti and assisted local leaders and the Colombian Red Cross in delivering 15 tons of humanitarian aid to one of Port-au-Prince's sectors. The team works with the Haitian government and international aid agencies to assess aid requirements and coordinate distribution efforts.


Building Maritime Partnerships

• USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb. 26 as part of Southern Seas 2010, a component of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command's Partnership of the Americas. Vinson is performing Theater Security Cooperation engagements with key Latin American partners while transiting to its homeport of San Diego.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 12 is deployed to Iraq where it has oversight of 30 EOD teams in U.S. Division North and has played a key role in partnering with Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police EOD companies.


 Status of the Navy (as of 1 March)

Navy Personnel

Total Active Component 330,212

Total Reserve Component 104,131

DoN Civilians 192,652

Ships, Submarines & Aircraft

Total deployable ships/subs 286

Ships underway 150 (52%)

Attack Subs underway 27 (50%)

Ships deployed 123 (43%)

Subs deployed 27 (50%)

Expeditionary units deployed 70 (37.8%)

Total Operational Aircraft 3,700+


Ground Forces in NAVCENT AOR

Countries ≥400 AC RC

Iraq 2,162 571

Bahrain 2,783 76

Kuwait 437 1,102

Afghanistan 3,838 760

Qatar 486 16

Total on ground, all countries 12,589


Sailors at Sea by AOR


PACFLT 12,590


C2F 7,276





New Presidential Helo Competition Begins

(DEFENSE NEWS 07 MAR 10) ... Christopher P. Caves


A new competition to build a presidential helicopter fleet was announced Feb. 16 by the Navy, which hopes to avoid the excessive cost overruns that made the VH-71 helo replacement program politically unpalatable and led to its cancellation in May.

The new program is dubbed VXX, for Presidential Vertical Lift Platform(s). A detailed listing of requirements for the new aircraft is given in a 27-page request for information; interested par-ties were asked to provide a response of no longer than five pages by March 3.

The document makes clear that no solicitation documents exist, but instead it is surveying industry to gather information in support of a new analysis of alternatives to replace the existing presidential fleet of VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters.

The new aircraft are intended to begin operating sometime between 2017 and 2023, according to the announcement.

The VXX program is expected to produce at least two versions of the new helicopter — an executive model to transport the president, members of his family and heads of state, and a passenger-cargo variant to support the president.

The request for information instructs interested parties to assume a "total aircraft buy of between 23 and 28" — the same number of planned VH-71s.

The VH-71 program was controversial on supplier and cost grounds. Supporters of Connecticut-based Sikorsky were unhappy the company lost to a Lockheed Martin-AgustaWestland team that, while building more components in the U.S. than Sikorsky, nevertheless based its aircraft on an Italian-designed helicopter manufactured in England and completed in the U.S.

Costs for the VH-71 also rose exponentially when a series of new security requirements were imposed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Navy bore the brunt of public criticism for the cost growth, although White House security agencies had more to do with changing the requirements.

A final embarrassment took place shortly after President Obama took office in early 2009, when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., defeated in the 2008 presidential election by Obama, asked him at a public news conference why he was purchasing a new helicopter "that cost more than a 747" airliner.

Obama said he didn't know he needed a helicopter that cost so much — perhaps a final death knell for the program.

Though McCain was unable to document his claim, the Pentagon canceled the VH-71 program May 15.




VMM-261 MAG-40 II MEB A  -   Deployed in Afghanistan








Maine Biz Group Endorses Aircraft Carrier Plan



PORTLAND, Maine ― The Portland Regional Chamber of commerce is endorsing an effort to bring the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy to Maine.

Chamber CEO Godfrey Wood says bringing the Kennedy could be a "grand slam home run" for Portland and the region.

Portland is one of two finalists to become the permanent home of the aircraft carrier.

The non-nuclear JFK was launched in May 1967 and was decommissioned in August 2007.

The local nonprofit group JFK for Maine was formed to try to bring the carrier to Portland.

The Portland Press Herald says JFK for ME estimates the ship could provide more than 100 permanent jobs.

The name of the other city vying for the JFK has not been released



US Navy's Super Hornet Fighter Tests LITENING Targeting Pod



ROLLING MEADOWS, US -- The LITENING advanced targeting pod has successfully demonstrated its capabilities on board the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft, Northrop Grumman has announced.

This is the eighth US fighter aircraft to fly the advanced targeting system.

“During the 1.5 hour flight conducted at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., LITENING demonstrated its performance, flexibility and interoperability under operationally representative conditions,” Mike Lennon, vice president of Targeting and Surveillance Programmes for Northrop Grumman's Targeting Systems Division, said.

The LITENING is a multi-sensor targeting pod designed to improve combat capabilities of fighter aircraft during day and night and all-weather conditions. It can be integrated on a wide range of combat aircraft to take on both air-to-air and air-to-surface targets.

The targeting system, externally integrated and mounted on the aircraft, contains a high-resolution, forward-looking infrared sensor. Besides, it features advanced image processing for target identification; coordinate generation for GPS weapons; a television sensor; a dual waveband infrared laser designator and range finder; a laser spot tracker; an infrared laser marker; and an optional air-to-ground data link and digital video recorder.

The system enables fighter pilots to detect, acquire, auto-track and identify targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons.

Both the US Air Force and US Navy along with seven allied nations have ordered the LITENING system for their fighter aircraft. The system has proven combat ready on the AV-8B, A-10A/C, B-52H, EA-6B, F-15E, F-16 (Blocks 15-52) and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.



Navy Grounds 104 Older F/A-18 Fighter Jets


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Navy said on Friday that it grounded 104 older model F/A-18 fighter jets built by Boeing Co after tests revealed earlier-than-expected cracking in the airframes.

The Navy's Naval Air Systems Command cited an emerging "safety of flight issue" with legacy F/A-18 A through D Hornets, after inspections revealed cracking had occurred earlier than predicted on some of the planes.

The grounding affects 104 of the 635 A through D model F/A-18 fighters the Navy owns because they exceed the life limit for this particular area of the aircraft as demonstrated in tests, said Navy spokesman Lieutenant Nate Christensen.

That means they had the highest potential for cracks in this location on the airframe.

Of the 104 aircraft, 27 are in maintenance and 77 are in flight status, including five deployed in Iwakuni, Japan and five assigned to the Navy's Blue Angels.

At this time, there is no impact on aircraft supporting operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, Christensen said.

He said preliminary investigation results indicated a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 mishap on Wednesday in Beaufort, South Carolina, was not related or caused by this issue.

An F/A-18 fighter pilot and his weapons officer had to eject from their aircraft after both engines failed and a fire broke out. The Coast Guard rescued both of them.

Christensen said the Navy had ordered a magnetic field inspection of all 104 aircraft, and said they would be returned to full flight status if no cracks were found, with recurring inspections to be carried out every 100 flight hours.

If a magnetic field inspection were unavailable, the Navy would perform a visual inspection, he said.

The planes would be allowed to continuing flying, but not faster than 4Gs, and they would have to be inspected again visually every day, he added.



MH-60 Program nominated for Laureate Award

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The H-60 Helicopter program team was nominated by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine for the publications prestigious Laureate Awards Wed. at the Andrew Mellon auditorium in Washington, D.C.

The nomination was for the MH-60 Romeo and MH-60 Sierra team for their instrumental roles in the deployment of the new MH-60R, or Romeo, on board the USS John Stennis Carrier Strike Group in 2009. The Romeo, along with its sister aircraft, the MH-60S, performed for the first time as a team.

“To have the H-60 Team honored by Aviation Week is a great privilege,” said Capt. Dean Peters, U.S. Navy, H-60 Helicopters program manager. “The entire team was completely focused on supporting the first deployments of the MH-60R and the MH-60S in their expanded role within the Carrier Strike Group. Daily coordination with test organizations, supply activities and fleet users resulted in a highly successful first deployment. The Team is now applying its energy in support of the many subsequent future deployments. The men and women who operate and maintain these multi-mission helicopters deserve nothing less.”

The H-60 Program Team was one of five nominees in the 2010 Military category.

The Navy’s helicopter communities completed the first ever joint MH-60R and MH-60S deployment aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in Jul. 2009.

This deployment marked the beginning of MH-60R and MH-60S deployments aboard aircraft carriers and provided the Strike Group Commander with a significant increase in situational awareness and warfighting capability.

This was also the first major deployment for the MH-60R and during the six month cruise the “Raptors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 flew over 2,700 hours with 11 aircraft, and completed over 1,500 sorties with 95 percent availability.

The MH-60R proved to be an exceptional submarine hunter and surface warfare weapons platform during exercises in the western Pacific.

During the same deployment, the MH-60S flew nearly 1,600 hours in support of 7th Fleet operations and demonstrated helicopter Link 16 capability in the battle group for the first time.

The "Eightballers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight deployed for the first time with six Armed Helicopters capable of carrying eight Hellfire missiles, four machine guns and an advanced Multi-Spectral Targeting System Forward Looking Infrared system.

HSC-8 completed Helicopter Visit Board Search and Seizure, Surface Warfare, Plane Guard, Search and Rescue and other utility missions in their area of responsibility.

For more information about the MH-60R or the MH-60S programs please email  






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