Brought to you by our
Nightmare Scrapbook For April, 2002|
The Fifteenth Month Of Command
The Four-Way Split Continues!
At the beginning of April, the Nightmares continued to successfully operate out of four separate
sites while exceeding flight hour and sortie goals. On 1 April, Screech led our "Detachment Bravo" back
out to the assigned aircraft carrier for final, pre-deployment exercises and evaluations. The
XO supervised activity at home plate following graduation from the Commander's Course in Quantico,
Virginia. The CO chewed sand with the "Squadron Minus" at Combined Arms Exercise Five while
Critter and Jolly continued to excel at the Weapons & Tactics Instructor Course. In the rear, three
aircraft progressed through their mod and phase inspections with "Gash" flying the post-maintenance
check flights and covering until the XO's return. If this sounds like a complex scenario, you're right.
We begin at 29 Palms, where 100 Nightmares sweat during the day and shiver at night . . . .
Launch the Nightmares!
Landing gear coming up
Dash Two rushes to catch up as individual STO's are executed to avoid FOD
Winds change, so we switch to runway 10 for DanO's launch
Here are the superb Marines who make our takeoffs possible. They relax between launches in order
to stay sharp for the frenetic activity that punctuates the day....
Keeping boots shined in this dust is nearly impossible
Our Navy Corpsman
Our newest Plane Captain, "Pan"
Ground support equipment filters must be changed frequently
Waiting for transportation at the end of the shift
CAX isn't ALL work!
The Cow was pleased to see that the Nightmares would be sharing their hangar with an F-18
squadron commanded by LtCol "Lips" Durkin. Lips and Cow were in the same platoon at
Officer Candidate's School (Camp Upshur) as teenage college sophomores. If he saw us today,
our old platoon sergeant would surely shake his head and wonder what had become of his beloved
Corps . . . .
Yes Staff Sergeant Garcia, we slipped through your net.
This is the Landing Site Supervisor (LSS) vehicle that we use to monitor "Forward
2,040 feet MSL (and hot) affects hover performance!
Harriers and Hornets on the flight line
The pilots gather daily to review lessons-learned
The MAG-13 OPSO (right) augmented us during the first six days
Cliffy takes notes for the mass debrief that he and the CO must attend after "FINEX"
Our newest pilots, "Yap" and "Hero" have the distinction of having flown their first flights
in the Fleet Marine Forces at an expeditionary airfield. Unfortunately, this was tempered by
the downside of having to fly them with the CO....
"Yap" taxis past Crash, Fire, Rescue (CFR)
The Expeditionary Control Tower and ATC
Crash, Fire, Rescue: 99% boredom, 1% sheer terror
"Yap" in the hover
"Hero" flies the instrument pattern (TACAN approach)
Yap comes down
Another Happy Hour in the Nightmare Room....
Our newest pilot "Yap," is welcomed by Wizard (right)
Zak's wears this guilty expression most of the time....
Smarter than the average Yank....
The average Yank sweats out another CAX
At CAX, Nightmares spent lots of time aerial refueling between target attacks in support of Second Battalion,
Refueling courtesy of an Air Force KC-10
Over Blythe, California after leaving the KC-10 above
Fly 'til you're sleepy, sleep 'til you're hungry...
Returning "home" to the airfield for a promotion formation in the hangar
A Meritoriously promoted Lance Corporal!
Telling a great Marine how proud we are to serve with him
"Guns" assists the CO in promoting the newest Ordnance Master Sergeant
The Sergeant Major helps the CO promote another meritorious Lance Corporal
Issuing a warrant signed by the Aviation Combat Element Commander--and CO of MAG-39
All Nightmares share the same luxurious accommodations at CAX
. . . not to mention, the same elegant cuisine!
OK, back to work! We need to change 15's engine
This was done at CAX quite efficiently
Stroker, Boss, Wizard and Zak in a 4-plane sortie on 2 April
Zak ditches the pilots and hangs out with the squadron's REAL heroes
On the flightline at CAX
Zak took this great picture of our Nightmares dropping an engine. This is everyday
stuff, but remember, these Marines are barely 20 years old--God bless them!
After the engine drop, the wing goes back on 08
Checking the landing gear on 12
Gunny W. checks the gear doors for a perfect fit
Looking through the hot nozzle aperature
Two 500 lbs. high explosive bombs and six 25 lbs. inert bombs = standard loadout
We load the two Mark-82's first
Installing the fuze is a somewhat delicate operation...for trainees
Tightening the fuze under careful supervision
Even the Sergeant Major likes Ordnance....
Boss and Cow carry eight Mk-76 25 lbs. practice bombs each
Known as "Blue Death" and and "Smurf killers"
Nightmare pilots stay sharp on 30 minute alert....
The jets and bombs wait too
The post-mission intelligence debriefing
Steroid demonstrates the Litening II Pod for Wizard
A horror greater than that of armed combat!
(Homocide outline is of first person to sit next to Steroid)
Speaking of horror....
Girls, Boys and expensive toys leave CAX for home on 16 April
If you're not having fun in VMA-513, you're screwing up!
Speaking of fun....