VAW-112 at sea supporting Operation Enduring Freedom

Golden Eagles Lt. Carl “TobyÓ Davis, Lt. Michael “XtremeÓ Tem, Lt. Cmdr. Reginald “LandoÓ Johnson, Lt. Scott “BunkÓ McCord, and Lt. j.g. Jessica “RodeoÓ Hunt prepare to launch off USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Oct. 21 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the North Arabian Sea.

Photo by Lt. j.g. Pete "Corumbo" Kowalcyk / VAW-112

Golden Eagles Lt. Carl “TobyÓ Davis, Lt. Michael “XtremeÓ Tem, Lt. Cmdr. Reginald “LandoÓ Johnson, Lt. Scott “BunkÓ McCord, and Lt. j.g. Jessica “RodeoÓ Hunt prepare to launch off USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Oct. 21 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the North Arabian Sea.

AE2 Casey Beck gets an E-2C Hawkeye ready for the aircrew to fly in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The photo was taken Oct. 21 aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74).

Photo by Lt. j.g. Pete “Corumbo” Kowalcyk / VAW-112

AE2 Casey Beck gets an E-2C Hawkeye ready for the aircrew to fly in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The photo was taken Oct. 21 aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74).

AN Crystal Benford of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 signals pilots to start the port engine of the E-2C Hawkeye aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), currently in the North Arabian Sea.

Photo by Lt. j.g. Pete “Corumbo” Kowalcyk / VAW-112

AN Crystal Benford of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 signals pilots to start the port engine of the E-2C Hawkeye aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), currently in the North Arabian Sea.

The Golden Hawks of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112 have spent the last month supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the North Arabian Sea.

Based at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, the squadron is deployed on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) and is expected to remain there for the next eight to 10 months in support of Fifth Fleet objectives in the Gulf region.

Just six months ago, VAW-112 was in the same location, supporting U.S. ground troops in Afghanistan. During that deployment, the Golden Hawks closed out Operation New Dawn by flying the last naval aircraft from Iraq on Dec. 18, 2011, effectively ending combat operations after 21 years in Iraq.

During their one-and-a-half-month transit west, VAW-112 visited ports in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and Phuket, Thailand. After conducting diplomatic missions and receiving a little rest and relaxation, the Golden Hawks were again ready to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

To prepare for this mission set, the squadron’s maintenance department has been working around the clock to get their four E-2C Hawkeye aircraft ready. Despite aircraft transfers, long working hours and their accelerated turnaround schedule, the Golden Hawks were able to launch and support 100 percent of their mission sorties.

Often called “quarterback of the skies,” the E-2C Hawkeye plays a crucial role in airborne and surface detection at ranges far exceeding any other platform — surface or airborne. While the F/A-18 Hornets and EA-6B Prowlers provide close air support to U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the E-2C works to provide surface and air early warning detection for the carrier strike group by ensuring that the airspace and sea lanes are safe.

In addition to supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the USS Stennis Carrier Strike Group is also supporting the U.S. Navy’s mission of forward presence in a region that has seen historic levels of tension and uncertainty during recent months. VAW-112 is an integral part of this critical mission and is instrumental in providing security for U.S. assets and regional partners.

© 2012 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

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ANDREA HOWRY, 805-989-5281

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NSWC Port Hueneme and representatives from eight allied, international navies joined forces on April 7 to establish a unified strategic plan for modernizing and sustaining the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) on a global scale, yielding enhanced worldwide fleet readiness and collective maritime strength against ever-evolving threats.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
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