Profile Photo
Rob Anderson
197 articles

VRC 30 Det 3 Bahrain 2009

November 11, 2015 · in Aviation · · 13 · 1.9K

Since I have been posting my build I thought you all might be interested to see some pictures from my deployment to Bahrain. In VRC 30 we deployed in two aircraft Detachments attached to a Carrier Battle Group. We were aboard USS Nimitz and my Det, Det 3 was part of Carrier Air Wing 11. Interestingly enough my Dets radio call sign for ground operations was "Crusader" dating back well before 9/11. Needless to say we did not use that when in the Middle East! COD detachments typically use the "boat" as a taxi riding it to within flight range of a land base. We then load up all our gear and personnel and fly off the ship to set up shop. A typical fly day started before first light and ended in the late afternoon. Early in our time there it was so hot that if we did not get airborne before temps rose, we would have to start unloading cargo or we would be too heavy to take off in the heat. We flew everything from mail, to engines and spare parts, E-1s to the Chief of Naval Operations, Rock Stars and Senators as well. The first picture is of the flight line at the Aviation Unit, it was a very crowded patch of tarmac. Next a "drop check" on the landing gear, pre flight and launch. Note the areas of primer on 32. We never had enough time to keep up on corrosion work and 32 got to the point where we did the complete re-paint of her with the black and red tail over Christmas stand down. I also threw in a pic of her "swimming" one day after the rainy season started. Last several pics are of aircraft coming and going at the Av unit. For those interested in detail shots, there is a photo album in the reference section for C-2s over on Cybermodeler.

Reader reactions:
2  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Thanks so much for these, Rob. Excellent reference photos.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Rob...great pics!

  3. Thank you for your service Rob, and for posting these photos!
    Now I would guess if I duplicated the weathering on that Black Hawk people would say cool but take it easy with the weathering and easy on the panel lines. Great reference photo.
    California Steve

  4. Yes, the tactical grey Navy schemes do weather quite a bit, they show every smudge and finger print. Oh and the Navy does not fly Blackhawks we fly Sea Hawks and Night Hawks 🙂 That is an MH-60 S Knight Hawk, my last Squadron HSC 21 flew them.

  5. Rob, is that wiring in the wingfold similar to that in the E2C? I suspect the only way I'll get that built is with folded wings.
    Thanks for posting these, shows what the real aircraft look like. The corrosion control paint is gray, as well?

  6. Great pictures, thank you for sharing Rob.

  7. Bernard, the wing fold wiring and plumbing is nearly identical, all the hydraulics are the same since the E-2C (at least the group 0 E-2Cs I worked on) and C-2 share the same outer wing. Newer Hawkeyes have more antennas and associated wiring running through the wing, but the wing butts are still essentially identical. In fact we had a wing lock cylinder rupture and our sister squadron VAW 117 gave us one off of one of their Hawkeyes. The primer we used was usually out of a rattle can and was a medium grey, but we also had some that was a dark olive color. We also used zinc chromate that was about the color of P-47 wheel wells, not quite as yellow, but not super green. Paint stores were a problem during this deployment and there were a few times where we used commercial rattle can white just to keep paint on bare metal. Also there were times when we just could not paint due to heat, humidity and sand. We had one small hanger and were not allowed to paint in it, all out painting was done outdoors, some times the best we could do was cover the bare spots with a corrosion preventative compound called grade 4. It dried an amber color, but was always a bit tacky so it ended up getting dirty quickly.

    • Thanks, Rob!

      I can't recall ever seeing a model of an active duty Navy aircraft with corrosion control being depicted. I remember my moment about all that came when Koku-Fan had some photos of F-14s floating on the boat, and they were real grungy, and "speckled".

      One of my friends who models said when he was in, he saw an A-4 that looked it had age spots all over it.

      Nowadays, I get to see our aircraft collection down at the museum, and they are outside 365 days a year. Keeping them painted is an ongoing struggle.

  8. Thanks Rob.

    Can you tell me about the overpainted fasteners and panel lines. I'm assuming that it's an anti-corrosion measure. Are these photos typical of the end of a cruise or are the aircraft always like that?

  9. Sorry, I just read the previous posts. Lesson learned!


  10. Neat pictures. I just saw a C-2 up close and personal during Fleet Week a while back on North Island. I'd like to build the Kinetic kit one of these days. I can relate to the heat; i was in Baghdad for 4 months in the summer so i know how miserable it can get.

  11. Hello Rob,
    Thanks for your "live"contribution.
    I am a proud follower of the US Navy / USMC.
    (If you desire peace, prepare for war).
    Indeed, the times of shining AC from the Carrier Air Wing is long past.
    Make's it for the modeller more interesting.
    Looking forward to more "live" contributions
    I wish you many safe flights and healthy return home.

  12. Thanks for the kind words Derks, my flying and sailing days are over now. I retired from the Navy and now am a production supervisor making drywall of all things!

Leave a Reply