Brought to you by our
Nightmare Scrapbook For May, 2002|
The Sixteenth Month Of Command
The Beginning of the End...
And a New Beginning!
In May, the Nightmares consolidated their assets at home just long enough to send the
11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Detachment out for a final pre-deployment exercise.
The far-flung activities of the previous two months were major
successes, and the squadron began May well-poised to split into its two components:
a six-jet "Det Bravo"; and a ten-jet "Squadron(-)." It seems appropriate therefore, that the
squadron should say farewell to the CO in the same breath as it bids "bon voyage" to Det
As the final full month of this CO's monthly scrapbook, it is envisioned
that the seven days of duty covered in June's installment will be very similar to the "Change of
Command" page that began the project. It has gone by too fast, but then, it always does. In the
images that follow, you will see a squadron at the top of its game, core competent in all
skill sets and combat ready. Without note or fanfare, the squadron passed 45,000 mishap-free
flight hours in March, the best safety record in the history V/STOL aviation. VMA-513
is flying over 400 hours a month and morale is extremely high. This is the squadron that all
Marine Aviators dream of flying with, and leaving will be hard.
On 25 April a professional photographer, Ted "Kodak"
Carlson, put on a gunner's belt and stood
in the open back ramp of a KC-130 to take some amazing aerial photographs of the Nightmares.
The four Nightmare aircraft in formation were piloted by Cow (A/C 16), Torch (A/C 11), Yap
(A/C 00) and Hero (A/C 01). We'll start with a few images from Cow's perspective in
aircraft 16, and then roll through some of Kodak's far
more professional shots from the MCAS
Miramar-based VMGR-352 KC-130. If you would like to purchase images from
Mr. Carlson, please click
on his name!
Hero's first trip to the tanker, Yap's second
The Southeast corner of the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley
It was a bumpy, convective day
Please be mindful that the
following images are not the property of Harrierpilot.com and are proprietary. They are the
copyrighted property of Ted "Kodak" Carlson of
Fotodynamics. Please honor his copyright as these images are posted
by his kind permission. Thank you!
A great image over the shoulders of the KC-130 pilot and co-pilot
This alternate "break" was Kodak's idea...
Did I mention that the air was bumpy?
The descending line in trail
Cow and Yap before Torch & Hero arrived
Abeam the KC-130's nose, Yap breaks beside Cow
Torch snuggles up close with his pod open
Cow carries a Litening II Pod with the lens covered
Hard turn away in A/C 16
Over California's Imperial Valley
Cow and Yap up close
Cow in a slow break; the KC-130's max speed with the ramp open is 180 knots
Yap joins up
Staying behind the transport is easier with the landing gear down
A "close Cow" with auto flaps helping out
No, this isn't a Harrier sliding into gun position
on a Hornet; these are from the 7 May aerial refueling test at NAS China Lake.
Hornets DO have utility in the expeditionary realm! :)
For the following special photographs, Cow would like to extend sincere thanks to CWO2 B.
Sean Fairburn (he is a Visual Information Officer, AKA Combat Camera). When not serving in the
Reserves, Gunner Fairburn works in Hollywood,
shooting Feature Films and Commercials. You can see his superb work in the recently released
John Woo Film, "Windtalkers," starring Nick Cage. Gunner Fairburn was the Combat Camera Operator
in the film, and all the battle scene footage was shot by him. Thanks Gunner!
Here are the pilots of the Nightmare aircraft carrier detachment assigned to the 11th Marine
Expeditionary Unit. The CO hand-picked each member of this detachment; they are all first-class
pilots and include our incomparable Royal Air Force Exchange Officer, "Maccer." VMA-513
Detachment Bravo shall depart CONUS immediately after the change of command ceremony early next
"Chunks" appears to be missing a chunk of his head!
And a very special salute to the stellar enlisted Nightmares who keep our jets combat ready
and our pilots safe through their uncompromising professionalism!
On 10 May 2002, the CO had the high honor of reenlisting his Sergeant Major!
This is his last hitch!
Staff NCO's congratulate the Sergeant Major
Two new Lance Corporals and two Privates First Class
Promotion to Lance Corporal...
...and it feels good!
On 16 May, the CO promoted those who were on leave earlier in the month...
Looking down from the cockpit on 16 May; the CO's last sortie
The only thing worse than knowing that you are flying your last sortie
in the Harrier, is NOT knowing that you are flying your last sortie in the Harrier!
The CO's last flight was a close air support sortie with "Chunks" in the 29 Palms
Complex. During the sortie, Chunks became a Section Leader and Cow became an earthling
This is Cow's last airborne photo from a Harrier
Our 17 May Mess Night...click on it to see more!
Screech will take good care of our Nightmares on the boat