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February 16 - Stephen Decatur Takes USS Intrepid into Tripoli Harbor to Recapture and Burn USS Philadelphia That Had Run Aground and Been Captured

John G.

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#21
"Congress didn't fund and build aircraft carriers to steam around in circles in the middle of the ocean and be protected by fighter pilots. Congress built aircraft carriers to project power ashore, and at sea, in our national interest - and win wars - and THAT is what I do! YOU are support! Don't forget it!"
Good one!
 

Finface

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#22
Could you give us some of those reasons?
So for most squadrons, air wings and ships there are "cruises" (deployments) that are supposed to last six months. Six months has always been a fluid goal. Lots of times they get extended and you can imagine why - the needs of navy is the umbrella dictate. You go on cruise, with some port calls along the way, and almost always in the last 40 years spend some time in the Indian Ocean supporting our oil buddies and maintaining a presence against Iran. When you get back everyone goes into stand down mode for a while. It's always busy maintaining jets and taking care of people, but sailors take leave, get married, get divorced, go to schools. You stand down about a month and then you start training again. It's always about being "combat ready". At some point you go back to the boat for "workups". Sailors who maintain the jets and work the flight deck go aboard and the ship heads out to sea. Most times on the west coast this is off San Diego. 100-200 miles offshore in "warning areas" where ships and planes are supposed to be extra vigilant for military operations. You do a few workups and after about 8-12 months ashore you go on another cruise.

Being forward deployed in 7th Fleet and with the carrier battle group that is homeported in Japan (I think it is the Ronald Reagan now) is a whole different animal. The ship might be in port for a month, or two, and then its out to sea again. Sea of Japan off Korea, Philippines, South China Sea, off the coast of Vladivostok (Russia), up towards Alaska, and the Indian Ocean and around Australia sometimes. Guam - all those WW II battle islands. You are the tip of the sword, the leading edge of the bullet when you operate like that. We pilots didn't stay in Japan long. We'd go to the Philippines, or Korea, with detachments of sailors, and just have a blast.

Culturally, you got to really know Asians. You got to see real poverty back then too. I enjoyed every minute of it. A lot of sailors like the partying, and some fall in love and marry women from these countries.

I did the stateside workup thing too - later in my flying career.
 

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