This blog is a break of sorts from the usual Military stuff. This just a test of sorts , to share one of our many newport news Virginia stories. One Saturday Chris and I were doing our routine errands when we saw a sign for a Nissan expo at the Hampton Colosseum , we stopped in just to check it out , and ended up buying a new car , which is quite a step up for us ,our Suzuki Swift was rather small , just 2 door , and stick shift , which was good enough for us , so getting a new Altima , was different for sure, 4 door A/C and Automatic was great , and cruise control was a nice change too! Wow what a welcomed change!
Next blog will get back to the Naval stuff , so in Military terms , carry on!
While I was stationed at HC-2 in Virginia , My second 9 month deployment was to Naples Italy , Our 1 H-3 was there as a support for the 6th fleet commander there (An executive transport for the Admiral there , and other various uses to support the USS’s in Europe and also part of the Nato force in Europe too) as the Bosnian conflict kept us rather busy , and our helicopter was replaced by a newer H-3 , which was quite a task for sure. The cargo area had to be converted for executive transport , but that mission was only made once in a while , so the VIP furnishings had to be portable(Fancy carpet , Seats , etc.). So my job as aviation electrician was much like my duties in Va. , but much different for sure. We were based at a local base , and we lived in hi rise overlooking the runway , so we were close to work , and had a front row view of the many military planes that landed for a rest at the tiny airport. The area was overshadowed by Vesuvius , that once showed Pompeii just how lethal it could be! I Deployed there in cold weather for a few months , then spring showed me a much different Italy , The Command ship for the Admiral traveled the Adriatic Sea , and when he went aboard , we were deployed as a tool for him , so we visited many European ports , so as a tourist , the warmer weather was far better for us! And as warm blooded Floridian I especially appreciated spring!
The autostrada may be the home of road rage , but renting a fiat gave them another reason to hate me and other Americans, so plenty more next time…
Just a Break from the regularly scheduled stuff ! I was more than Proud to be a dad for my 2 Kids , and no 1 event is better than any other , but my Mr. Mom title was the most memorable for me. When I was stationed at N.A.T.T.C.(Naval Air Technical Training Command) Millington as an Instructor at The Basic Aviation-Electrical Maintenance , My Son Christopher came to live with me when he was 5 years Old. And being subject to Lots of Moving every 4 years , I Bought a single wide Trailer . And as an added benefit , when we moved to a new base we always had a familiar home! So getting used to a new town when we moved , we had 1 less thing to adjust to!
Mobile Home part 2 next time…
My second 9 month Deployment there , was a different place , as the Navy Built a new barracks for us , it was near the military ASU(Auxiliary Support Unit) , a compound for all the military in the area , It was full of mobile home like buildings for the Headquarters , and though I could Bike there in years past , I could get there quicker , not an all day affair like it once was. We were fed @ our living Quarters , so we rarely had to eat out , Maybe we are a bit spoiled? But food safety in foreign lands is always a gamble! This time I bought a bike , just like the locals , so I’m sure the american on 1 of their bicycles turned a few heads!? The bike was made in Pakistan , And was rather heavy , as it was made of steel , and it was quite a chore to lug it to and from my room. Luckily the elevators rarely broke down (Like years past!) so that helped. When i first deployed there , we were closer to the airport , and further away from ASU.
This post will definitely have a 61.2 , so more to come
This blog is a reflection on one of the most interesting Deployments , was On The USS-Merrill(DD 976) , we sailed on the Pacific Ocean , which had many neat Asian Ports , but in order the circle the globe , we used the Persian Gulf , we were in the area in 1988 when the USA had enough of the terrorist using abandoned oil platforms as a base from which they attacked passing ships , more importantly petroleum tankers carrying gas through the area. So The USA lead “Operation Praying Mantis” was used to crush that threat. Many American Forces , and Foreign Allies launched an attack. And an Iranian-Gunboat fired on one of the US Navy Ships , which was not a real good idea , as The Gun Boat was unable to go any more harm! The entire Group of Ships were awarded the Combat Action Ribbon , and many other awards that I’ll cover in future blogs. Our helicopter had no role , so it was stowed in the Hangar. We were kept down below until it was all over. So there was nothing to see here , and besides being on the deck during the Operation would have been dangerous
a continuation of my last blog…The 2 ShipsI deployed on in the Western-Pacific each had their own DeSalination Plant , to make fresh water from the salty sea water, so I have to wonder why the states don’t do the same? But that is just an aside! So when the system on the Ship was down or inoperative we had to conserve or do without! The only convenient time was in rough-seas in a storm. Fortunately storms were rare , but when mother nature stirred up the ocean , we didn’t fly (as the flight deck was a bit unstable) and the salt spray was more severe than usual , so we kept it tied down in the hangar . But when the helicopter was in the hangar , the rotor blades were folded for storage , so none of the flight controls could be operated , as any control stick or pedal had a direct connection to the rotors and tail. And any change in the flaps on the blades was very dangerous to the blades. So when it was stowed in the hangar , The control sticks and pedals were locked to prevent use or damage. More next time…