Tag Archives: CVW 2

165,000 tons of Rock & Roll, Ready for Their Close-up

30 Years Ago Today: A port beam view of Forrestal-class supercarriers, San Diego-homeported USS Ranger (CV-61) with Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) aboard, and her sister, the Japan-based USS Independence (CV-62) with CVW-5 embarked, underway in the Perian Gulf during Operation Southern Watch, a multinational effort establishing a no-fly zone for Iraqi aircraft south of the 32nd parallel in Saddam-era Iraq. Taken on 16 September 1992.

U.S. Navy photo DN-ST-93-00101by PH2 Andrew C. Heuer, via the National Archives.

Note the mix of F-14As (VF-154, VF-21), F-18Cs (VFA-192, VFA-195,), A-6Es (VA-115), SH-3Hs (HS-12), EA-6B Prowlers (VAQ-136), and S-3Bs (VS-21) aboard Indy and the similar complement of aircraft (sans Hornets) of VF-1, VF-2, VA-145, VA-155, VAQ-131, HS-14, and VS-38 on Ranger. These were some of the final deployments for the Tomcat, Intruder, Sea King, and Viking, who would be withdrawn within the next decade.

Indy, commissioned in 1959, had just finished filming Flight of the Intruder aboard prior to her deployment to the Gulf War and was decommissioned only six years after this image. Stricken in 2004, she has since been scrapped.

Ranger, commissioned in 1957, earned 13 battle stars for service during the Vietnam War, and like her sister, was a movie star, having been used to film scenes for Top Gun. She was decommissioned just a year after the above image was snapped, stricken the same day as Indy, and similarly scrapped.

CVW-5 endures, still based in Japan in association with the forward-deployed carrier named after a movie star– USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).

Meanwhile, CVW-2 is attached to San Diego’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 and the flagship USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)– which due to her record of West Coast homeports has been a filming location for JAG, Crimson Tide, Behind Enemy Lines, and her own documentary series, 1995’s excellent Fortress at Sea.

Fab Flattop Five! 365K tons of Good Times

What do you get when you take two 105,000-ton supercarriers, add two chunky 42,000-ton Goula-built LHD/LHAs, and a 20,000-ton Japanese “helicopter destroyer” along with their five principal surface warfare escorts in one big photo-ex? 

This: 

PHILIPPINE SEA (Jan. 22, 2022) Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and CVW 9 fly over the Philippine Sea, Jan. 22, 2022. Operating as part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, units assigned to the Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Groups, Essex and America Amphibious Ready Groups, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force are conducting training to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Haydn N. Smith)

PHILIPPINE SEA (Jan. 22, 2022) Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, CVW 9, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) fly over the Philippine Sea as Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), JMSDF Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), America-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), Wasp-class landing helicopter dock USS Essex (LHD 2), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111), USS Chafe (DDG 90), and USS Gridley (DDG 101) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) transit the Philippine Sea Jan. 22, 2022.

“Operating as part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, units assigned to Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Groups, America and Essex Amphibious Ready Groups alongside Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, are conducting training to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

(U.S. Navy video)