USAF Sees The Navy Side Of Things
Air Force Capt. Michelle Pryor and seven other officers from
Osan Air Force Base, Korea, flew aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63)
October 25 for an overnight aircraft carrier familiarization tour.
The captains and majors, the Air Force equivalent of Navy
lieutenants and lieutenant commanders, were aboard to see Kitty
Hawk and Carrier Air Wing 5 operations.
Cmdr. John Tougas, Air Wing operations officer, said that this
familiarization will allow Air Force officials to give naval
operations a bigger, more accurate, role in the defense of Korea,
if ever needed.
"Simply put, the recent carrier orientation visit gave our
sister service comrades an opportunity to gain a better
understanding of Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group combat
capabilities," explained Tougas. "So [now] they can better
integrate and synergize naval firepower with other joint forces in
the defense of the Republic of Korea."
The Air Force officers said that, from their perspective, the
day-long familiarization worked.
"I work a lot with Navy issues," explained Air Force Capt.
Natalie Glenn of the 607th Air Intelligence Squadron. "[I now] have
a much better appreciation for the differences that the Navy has
when operating with us."
Glenn continued, saying she not only learned the differences,
but the likenesses, as well.
"Also, I see the similarities between each of the services in
the ‘intel’ world," she said. "That’s probably
the most beneficial to see, that we’re all working on the
That ‘same page’ understanding makes it easier for
officers like Pryor, who manages airspace for military flight
operations, to help meet the Navy’s needs.
"It does give you a different perspective on what their
operating restraints are," she said about the carrier’s 1.5
acre flight deck and relatively short runway. "I can help get these
guys (Navy pilots) some air space that they need."
In addition to the KC-135 refueler, Pryor flies the much smaller
C-12 Huron passenger and cargo aircraft. Most of the officers that
came aboard fly versions of the F-15 Eagle fighter.
Pryor, Glenn and Air Force Capt. Jeff Dale, also of the combat
operations squadron, spent part of their final day on Kitty Hawk
watching refueling with USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) and then
received a briefing on the F/A-18C Hornet by Lt. Jason Lane.
The Kitty Hawk strike group includes the aircraft carrier, the
aircraft squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing 5, the
guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63), and Destroyer Squadron
15 staff. The group’s ships and destroyer squadron staff are
based at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, and the air wing and
staff are based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
(Aero-News salutes Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jason
Chudy, USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs)