March 2022 / Volume 5/ Article 64www.usaeronauticalhistory.comMay 2022 / Volume 5/ Article 65www.usaeronauticalhistory.comTHE REAL TOP GUNF-14 TOMCAT HEROES F-14 PilotWilliam "Rock" Daze F-14 RIODavid "Hey Joe" Parsons
1 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comUSAHStaffUnited States Aeronautical History (USAH) is a non-profit organization that was established and dedicated to preserve, educate and maintain the history of aviation in the United States and abroad. USAH is committed to making sure the history is kept alive, archived and accessible for the next generation. We are devoted to the aircraft, aviation equipment, and the stories of those men and women; from the 1903 Flyer with the Wright Brothers, to present day aviation, both Military and Civilian.We feel it is imperative to keep the existence of our Military and Civilian Aviation alive to allow our youth to explore and gain the knowledge of the great history that would otherwise be forgotten. At USAH, we are able to provide this through monthly digital magazine issues, documentaries, photos and videos. We work to support the collection and archive of information as it pertains to aviation.Here at USAH we cover many aerial events such as; U.S. Military/Military Decommissions, Commercial Aviation, Pilot, Air Shows, Experimental, Air Racing, Aerobatic, Expos and simply put...everything aviation.USAHP.O. Box 56Claymont, DE 19703(302) 927-1133 We want our Military of All Branches........those serving currently and veterans, that you are never alone......you are always in our thoughts and prayers to keep you close to God's angels and to protect you while protecting our freedom and bring you home safe.Jimi Simmons: V.P.Photographer/Videographer & JournalistShawn Byers Senior Editor Photographer & Journalistwww.usaeronauticalhistory.com Guy Spumoni Chief EditorHarry Bristow/U.K.Videographer &PhotographerDave "Hey Joe" ParsonsMilitary Liaison &Contributing EditorCONTENT1. Featured Article-Pgs. 3-21....... The REAL TOP GUNs by Jimi Simmons & Photos by Hey Joe2. World Flight Brief Segment-N/A Continuation of Feature Story 3. Women In Aviation-Pgs. 25-29........Intl. FA Alexandra Stevens by Jimi SImmons
2 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comYOU CAN FOLLOW US ON If you or your company is interested in being a corporate sponsor in the production of "Flight Life Magazine", please contact us ! We have many avenues of advertising through USAH! USAH would like to thank our advertisers in this issue for their support and confidence in Flight Life Magazine:www.brittlincoln.com
3 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comArticle by Jimi Simmons Photos by HEY JOE
4 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com This month's issue of Flight Life Magazine is a very special one and close to home for us, being it features one of our own. We bring you Tomcat heroes, Pilot and RIO of the U. S. Navy. F-14 Fighter pilot William "Rock" Daze and RIO Dave "Hey Joe" Parsons. While Tom Cruise brings the glitz and glamour from Hollywood to the screen, let us share with you the REAL heroes who lived it! We will start with Rock, F-14 Tomcat Pilot. Rock was born in Los Angeles, CA. and grew up in the Hollywood Hills. He was the middle of 10 kids, always trying to break out for attention. ?Third generation at Loyola H.S., a Catholic all boys prep school, I played football and beach volleyball in the shadow of my more talented brothers that graduated before me?, stated Rock. Well now, born a California kid? beach volleyball? sounds like Tom Cruise stole Rock?s real-life role. Having lived in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Rock now lives in The Villages, FL an hour north of Orlando, Fl.I asked Rock when he knew he wanted to become a pilot? ?My brothers said I told them confidently at the age of 8 that I was going to be a pilot ? good thing my skill set matched my dreams. I was attracted by the space program and the astronauts who were my heroes, as early as third grade. A logical kid, I realized all of the astronauts were military pilots so ? I would be a military pilot too. I didn?t want to work during college, so I decided on the U.S. Naval Academy. It still amazes me that I got in and graduated from a school that had so many incredible men. Yes, only men, as I was in the graduating class of 1976, the last year before women entered the U.S. military academies. We used to say, as there were no women and our liberty was limited, that the Naval Academy took 18-year-old men and made us 22-year-old ?boys?. My fellow officers from other schools said it took 4 years to teach us what they learned in 8 weeks."William "Rock" Daze
5 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comRock knew nothing about flying before the military, but he did know he wanted to be a fighter pilot. However, the U.S. Naval Academy gave Rock 20 hours to solo when they were selected to flight training his senior year. For us squids, the U.S. Naval Academy has a vast rich history line, and any Midshipman knows what an honor it is to be accepted. Rock went into the U.S. Navy directly from Loyola High School. He took some advanced math classes at the junior college his senior year. I asked Rock what the U.S. Naval Academy was like for the four years he attended and here is what he had to say? ?It was the best and it changed my life forever. Surrounded by the most talented, intelligent and honorable men in the country. All I had to do was study, work out to stay in shape, and take advantage of all the learning opportunities offered to us. Boxing, parachuting, scuba, cave diving and every sport from rugby to fencing, swimming to football, competing against men who were incredible athletes. About 72% of my class had at least one varsity letter from high school.?Below is a picture of Rock flying the F-14 Tomcat, Diamondback 102 (with a live AIM-7 Sparrow after practice missile shoot) over Virginia Beach heading towards break on runway 13 at NASO. Rock flying the F-14 Tomcat. Photo by Hey Joe.
6 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com Here is Rock explaining in full detail from day one until graduation what flight school was like in the U.S. Navy. ?Wow, there is so much to say on that question. It was fun, exciting, challenging and scary all wrapped into one. It was the adrenaline addiction of the young. From T-28?s at Corpus Christi to A-4?s in Beeville, through F-14?s. The excitement of getting better, faster, stronger was unbelievable. Some people get this exhilaration a few times a year, maybe only five times in their life. We had it 5-6 times a week!?I asked Rock what was the most difficult part of flight training, as well as the training and hours involved in flying, and on what types of equipment. "Doing it apart from my fellow pilots. I was married midway through basic jet training and it took me away from the BOQ?s (Bachelor Officer's Quarters) where all the pilots lived. We talked about flying, instructors and lessons learned, every minute of every day. Separated from that total immersion into flying made it more difficult for me. I was never a ?natural? pilot like some I knew, however, I got to the top of my trade by focused attention and hours of practice and study. It was never work because I loved being a pilot so much. We started in WWII simulators, to the T-28 a beast of a prop (prop, mixture, throttle) and big torque (left leg). Then to the T-2 Buckeye, twin engine jet much easier to fly with immediate power and no torque with extra throttle mixture control. Then we went to the two seat TA-4, which allowed us to fly a more tactical jet with incredibly good maneuverability. Navy jet training tests the young pilot much sooner than other military training systems which makes them more independent and capable as a junior pilot ? especially important flying off the carrier.? HEY JOEROCK
7 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com Rock flew the A-4E in the Philippines which allowed him to learn in a dangerous, open environment, and honed his flying skills with many former Vietnam era pilots that taught him the right way to fly tactical jets. ?Probably like a bush pilot in Alaska, single seat, single engine, single radio flying in a no radar mountainous area, with few landing strips, makes you a good pilot. I went to the F-14A, flew off the USS America, went through TOPGUN, then back as a F-14 instructor pilot, airshow pilot and test pilot.? I asked Rock to go into detail with regards to the specific training and hours that were involved in flying on and off an aircraft carrier, as well as the intensity and feelings experienced when landing and taking off from a carrier, especially the catapult launch. ?I had over 1000 hours in the A-4E, 1800 total hours in F-14A, with over 385 traps including 123-night traps. The first time landing on the ship was tough, but it was not scary because we were so excited to fly. Landing on the ship during the day, for all the years I flew was so fun, much like catching the winning catch in a football game. Totally different at night. Most of the night traps were so scary, the adrenaline coursing through my body was such that after I was chocked and chained, my knees shook uncontrollably and I had to wait Rock and Hey Joe with the V-F102 Centurions.ROCKHEY JOE
8 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com15-30 seconds before I could stand up and get out of the cockpit. Cat shots were fun. Taxi up, checking the plane, saluting, then burners and you were going to go ? if you changed your mind, you were still going. 0 ? 140 MPH in 4-5 seconds was a shot, LOUD NOISE REALLY LOUD, AND PRESSED BACK then quiet as you flew away, sucked up your gear and smiled because now I was in control."Rock flew on the USS America from 1982-1985, with two Indian Ocean deployments, and the squadron was the VF-102 Diamondbacks. "The winter deployment was much easier, flat seas and 100 miles visibility. The summer the deck moved +/- 11? and low visibility. At sea periods were 95 and 103 days at sea. The food was great, the crew fantastic, the at sea periods hard", stated Rock. "I chose the A4 out of flight training rather than the S3 because I wanted fighters. After 3 years flying in the Philippines, I chose to go directly to the F-14 in Oceana, VA. rather then take the easy route as an A-4 instructor pilot. After that I stayed in the F-14 Tomcat. I got in through the back door. I did extremely well flying tactics in the TA4 training, but was sick when I went to the ship for carrier qualification, and got terrible grades. So, I was offered the S3 Viking. I knew I could get in later so I elected to go Cubi Point and fly the A4E. I did very well and learned to fly a great airplane. Thus, I was the first group chosen to fly the Tomcat from the VC community. The F-14 Tomcat was a great airplane, but was very difficult when things went bad. The Navy was looking for pilots with a little more hours and good skills, so I was chosen", stated Rock. Photo by Hey Joe.
9 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comLaxmi in her uniform to start her 20 hour flight to the USA.Being a Naval Aviator on an aircraft carrier would appear to be a very stressful position, not mentioning the responsibility. ?I would spend most of my day thinking of my night trap and planning my entire day around it. I always took a short nap and a few minutes to concentrate on the landing, before manning up. I used to volunteer for extra night traps because I wanted to face my fear and be ready to fight at night should we go to war. Others had it easier, as they were good behind the ship. I was a fleet average ?ball? flyer, and had to work harder than others. On my last deployment, when I knew I was done flying off the ship, I looked at all the focus and fear for each night trap and asked myself, ?What did I get for that?? All I got was another mark in my logbook. Friends in business spent much less energy and fear, and made a lot more for their family. It wasn?t worth it to me anymore?.As a pilot, I asked Rock what was the most difficult decision he ever had to make, whether it be a safety issue, mechanical, personnel, etc. "The most difficult was while flying single ship, F-14 airshows while an instructor pilot at VF-101 at NASO, VA. I was flying at the state airshow in Louisiana and before the Sunday show, I saw there was a broken cable around the feathers of my right engine. Although not a major issue, and knowing that I should not fly a high speed, high G show, I had to cancel the airshow. I guess that?s why I was chosen to be an Airshow Pilot, I knew when NOT to push it. Several months later, the crew that was practicing to replace me died when they hit the ground at 500 knots trying to salvage a bad maneuver. It?s sometimes harder to choose the better way. Twice I was the senior member of a FNAB board (Field Naval Aviator Board) while an instructor at VF-101. This was to evaluate and recommend if the pilot or RIO should continue to train and stay in the F-14 community after an accident or training failure. I was direct, and would watch the face of the pilot as I?d tell them, I do not care if you want to continue to fly the Tomcat. Our job is to decide if you should; I don?t care if you ever do. Our job is to decide that if you do continue to fly the F-14, you do not kill yourself and your RIO. Similar to informing a person of a death in the family, it?s better to get to the guts up front so there is no question. It seems harsh, but the pilot sitting on the other side of the table knows why they are there and the potential consequences before it starts ? so don?t shy from the truth. This is not just about a $50 million F-14, it is about life." Rock served on the USS America as a cold warrior. ?We were sent to the Med off the coast of Lebanon when the Marine Barracks was destroyed and flew in the Indian Ocean during the Iran Iraq war. I was also shot at over Somalia by SA2 and triple AA, but I was in the reserve when Desert Storm began", stated Rock.
I asked Rock to describe his most memorable flying experience. ?Well, that is an easy and obvious one?TOPGUN, and flying the F-14 Tomcat. Often in life, we are told how great something is, and it doesn?t live up to the hype. TOPGUN had the greatest buildup you can imagine in fighters, the lore and legend built it up to an unsustainable level. When I got to TOPGUN, with all the hype ? IT WAS BETTER?.As with every pilot I interview, whether they are military or civilian, I always ask this question, "What do you believe defines a ?professional? Naval Aviator today?". ?As Neil Armstrong once said to a friend of mine, ?when I hear the word professional? I cringe as it usually signifies mediocrity. No, a true tactical air pilot feels his aircraft as an extension of himself, pushing himself and plane to its limits, with joy, never fear. Never would you be frivolous or waste time, for it is a young man?s game, the adrenaline addiction of the young, that too soon is gone, and too easily taken away. So, the true stick and throttle pilot, be it Cessna, Tomcat, or B767, learns everything about his aircraft and where it will fly, for how else can you really know what you and your plane can do. It is a fun and joyous life. Professional is for those from the staff who come to see your paperwork. Real pilots would never risk what they love by not making sure everything was not as perfect as they can make it?.10 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comROCK HEY JOE
Rock was on active duty for 13 years; then he joined the Navy Reserve for another 13, retiring as a Naval Captain. "When they told me I was done flying I got out, I signed up to fly. During the 13 years active duty I always flew even while getting my Master?s Degree", stated Rock.After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Rock flew 27 years with American Airlines.?I thought I could leave flying, and tried business for 3 years, when I couldn?t fly fighters, thought I was over it. Nope, I was ?ruined for life? once flying got under my skin. At American Airlines I had my ATP and was qualified on the B-727, B757 and 767, then as a CAPT on the B737, finishing on the B737 MAX. Over 19,000 hours in Boeing aircraft (in order: 727,757&767, 737 CAPT) .We used to joke that Boeing had great engineers, who made fantastic dumb airplanes for smart pilots. I retired at 65, left my big house on a canal in Ft. Lauderdale to learn the fun of golf, tennis, friends in The Villages FL, north of Orlando. I love learning all the incredible 'backstories' of all the men and women here. But my golf game was not getting any better so now I am running for the Florida House of Representatives for Sumter & Hernando Counties."As most of you know by now, I always ask every pilot what they recommend to any young men and women looking to achieve their aviation goals through the military and the route they should take and here is Rock?s input.?If military, go to the National Guard. You can fly good aircraft forever with good solid Air Force training and if you decide to fly for the airlines to make better money, you can do both and not sacrifice years of seniority waiting for your commitment to end. This coming from a U.S. Naval Academy graduate :)".11 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com Photo by Hey Joe.
12 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com The second part of our feature story is our very own David ?Hey Joe? Parsons. Hey Joe was a RIO in the F-14 Tomcat, and we are honored to have him be a part of U.S. Aeronautical History and share his story this month. Hey Joe was born in Valdosta, GA. and moved to Hawaii (twice), Alabama and Maryland (twice). He played football, ran cross country and track at Woodward H.S. in Rockville MD. He currently lives in Solomons, MD near NAS Pax River.When Hey Joe was young his father took him to see airplanes at Hickam AFB in Hawaii at age 6 and he told me he was hooked ever since. ?I knew I wanted to be in aviation in the military at the first sight of the F-102 Delta Daggers at Hickam", stated Hey Joe.Hey Joe knew he wanted to fly fighters in the military and he ended up entering the Marine Corps program because they had the only guaranteed contract to go to flight school. ?I was in the Marines for a total of 5 years before transferring to the Navy where I served for 15 years before retiring.? Hey Joe attended OCS at Quantico, Va. via the PLC Program and attended the University of Maryland.F-14 TOMCAT RIODavid "Hey Joe" Parsons
Although Hey Joe was a RIO in the U.S. Navy, I asked him if he had the desire to apply for and go through pilot training to become a Naval Aviator. ?I signed up for a pilot contact but my left eye was not 20/20 by the time I arrived at Pensacola. When I was told my left eye ruled me out as pilot slot, I immediately set my sights on becoming a RIO. I had met several in the Pentagon and did not consider anything else.?As a RIO, I had asked Hey Joe if there were any flight experiences at the controls and if so, what was the most difficult part of the flight training as a RIO. ?It was up to the instructor whether NFO ?flew? the aircraft. Most instructors gave us an opportunity to fly but some did not. I had lots of stick time in the T-2C Buckeye and the TA-4J Skyhawk as well as the TA-7C Corsair (from friendly RAG CO who was visiting and took me out to the USS Lexington for Cats and Traps). We trained alongside other NFO?s in the T-2C and T-39 before selection to RIO (or BN) pipeline. Flew the radar equipped T-39 for specific RIO training before moving to TA-4J for ACM flights. From start to finish to get my wings took 18 mos".I asked Hey Joe to go into some detail as to what a RIO did in the F-14 and what his responsibilities were. ?There is initial NFO training at VT-10 that involves classroom and simulator time dealing mainly with navigation before moving to T-2C to put it all in practice flying airways and low levels. The NFO is responsible for all the mission planning and handles all the voice communications giving the pilot ?directions?. Near the end of basic/intermediate phase, students are selected for specific pipelines such as NAV (P-3), AEW (E-2) and depart for advanced training elsewhere. The RIO and BN students stayed at 13 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comVF-102 over Gulf of Sidra. Hey Joe took this of their wingman as the sun was rising after the raid on Libya. They were the last aircraft airborne covering withdrawal of strike aircraft. Photo by Hey Joe.
Pensacola moving to VT-86. The RIOs trained in all manner of air intercepts whereas the BN prospects planned and flew low levels creating detailed radar predictions. The NFO has aircrew responsibilities with the pilot conducting navigation and monitoring fuel status (no less than every 15 minutes). The RIO handles all voice communications. Both carry Pocket Checklists that are initiated by RIO".Hey Joe flew off the following carriers and was part of the following squadrons:-USS LexingtonUSS Enterprise (VF-101)USS America (VF-102)-USS John F Kennedy (VF-32)USS Kitty Hawk (VF-32)?I have only operated from NAS Oceana so I can?t compare it. My carriers were USS America (81-86) and USS John F Kennedy (89-91). Both are similar with only minor differences, although I liked the location of the 'Dirty Shirt' Mess on the O-3 level on the Kennedy vice below the Hangar deck next to Wardroom on America. That way, the 'Dirty Shirt' literally became the Air Wing?s gathering spot to eat. My operational squadrons were VF-102 and VF-32. Because of my late arrival from USMC, I did back to back tours in VF-102 joining them in 1981 and staying until 1986", stated Hey Joe.?USS America was my first operational carrier and I served in VF-102 from 81-86 amassing 500+ traps on her. We flew in several NATO exercises during Cold War traveling to Norway and facing big response from Soviet Union. I flew off the Kennedy during Desert Shield/Storm amassing 200 traps. Both meant a lot to me.14 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcat over USS America.
15 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comI asked Hey Joe to share his history of the intensity and feelings he had when landing and taking off from a carrier for the first time, in daylight as well as at night time. ?First landings and takeoff in TA-7C off the Lexington were violent and made my heart race. No room for error. Daylight not as bad as night ops. North Sea in Fall time frame in heavy seas really was an eye opener. Night time ALWAYS required every ounce of concentration. The more senior I got, the more junior the pilot was so I had to monitor his performance and stay ahead of aircraft and him."Hey Joe went into to detail with me to describe the ?catapult shot? and the feelings he experienced. ?Flight ops at sea involved ?walking? to aircraft at least 45 minutes prior to launch in order to preflight the aircraft. Pilot and RIO did this individually starting at nose and walking in opposite directions passing each other at the tail and meeting up at nose. Each aircrew removed the various pins (7) on the ejection seat before ?saddling up? assisted by Plane Captain who helped with shoulder straps. Each aircrew prefigured the switches and circuit breakers before closing the canopy and starting the motors once starts were called away by the Air Boss. The RIO initiated the INS alignment process which took 7 minutes. Once the alignment was taken, the pilot let the plane captain know he was ready to taxi and Yellow Shirts (flight deck director) took over to guide us to a catapult. With 4 catapults available, aircraft were lined up behind all four well in advance of launch time. Once launch started, an aircraft launched approximately every 10 seconds with next wave Video by F-14 Pilot Ward Carroll About a RIO's Responsibilities.
16 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comtaxiing immediately into position until all aircraft were launched as quickly as possible. The Tomcat kept the wings back until on the catapult where director told the pilot when to bring them forward and drop flaps as aircraft went into a kneeling position. Troubleshooters watched from all quadrants as pilot advanced power wiping out controls with catapult pressure ready to launch the aircraft.?Being an NFO in the back seat on an aircraft carrier would appear to be a very stressful position, not mentioning the responsibility and the fact that you have no control of the aircraft should the pilot become unconscious or unable to fly. I asked Hey Joe to elaborate on this in for me. ?We trained and flew as aircrews usually staying with same pairing for approximately 6 months although we flew with just about anyone when schedule worked out that way. Our only option if a pilot was incapacitated, was to execute command eject. Hey Joe did serve during war time and here is what he had to say. ?I first saw hostile fire in 1983 over Somalia when a nervous SAM site fired at us while conducting a TARPS (Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System) mission. Luckily, I spotted the telephone pole sized missile as it launched and our 2 Tomcats split-essed for the deck. I saw lots of AAA and SAMs over Libya in 1986 during Eldorado Canyon. In August 1990, we deployed for Desert Shield which became Desert Storm in January of 1991. We were based in the Red Sea aboard the USS Kennedy flying around the clock with tons of Air Force supplied gas overhead and everywhere we went?. ?The flight schedule determined Loadout of the Tomcats which was flowed down by the Ship at sea (and by Operations ashore). As the flight schedule was executed, Maintenance Control told the Duty Officer what aircraft were assigned to each event. So First day launch of Desert Storm from the JFK. Hey Joe is in the Tomcat spotted on CAT
17 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comwe had no choice or input at all. You showed up and looked at the flight schedule board to see what aircraft you were assigned and Max Control told you what was ultimately loaded on it?.With Hey Joe being a RIO in the F-14 Tomcat, I asked him to go in to some detail on the F-14 and its purpose as a fighter. ?The Tomcat was a purebred fighter with the biggest stick in the arsenal; the AIM-54 Phoenix which had a demonstrated range of upwards of 100 miles. The Tomcat and Phoenix combination was a powerful deterrent in the Cold War defending the Carrier from Soviet bombers and cruise missiles at unprecedented ranges. It?s large size was due to huge radar and impressive fuel capacity enabling it to remain on station for hours defending large swatches of the sky. This mission was called Fleet Air Defense and nothing came close to the Tomcat performing it. The RIO was the most important contributor to this mission running the powerful AWG-9 radar and performing navigation functions to remain on station?.?The Tomcat was no slouch in traditional air to air missions. It was big and a challenge to fly well in ACM, but the swing wing gave it impressive turning performance and high speed capability?, stated Hey Joe.?A surprise mission not intended initially was Photo Reconnaissance by virtue of installing the TARPS pod. The first sustained combat flown by the Tomcat was TARPS missions flown over the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon in early 80s. Daily supersonic missions were flown by pairs of Tomcats to monitor insurgent activity. Although TARPS was intended to be an interim role, it was a primary role until retirement (over 25 years)?. Photo by Hey Joe. VF-32 Tomcats holding over JFK. Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcat with TARPS pod returning to NAS Oceana.
?The last mission ironically became the most significant combat mission for the Tomcat; Precision Strike replacing the venerable A-6E Intruder by virtue of the LANTIRN Pod developed for the F-15E Strike Eagle. Introduced in the last decade of service, LANTIRN ensured that the Tomcat served as a first string asset right up to the last deployment in 2006?. I asked Hey Joe to describe his most memorable flying experience while serving in the U.S. Navy. ?Desert Storm was the highlight of my flying career while serving in VF-32 aboard John F Kennedy. Participating in large Strike Packages, Flying TARPS as well as 8+ hour CAP missions near Iran inside of Iraq with all the gas we wanted. Does not get any better".After proudly serving and being honorably discharged, Hey Joe was was hired by WBB in 1994 to continue to work to develop the AIM-9X Sidewinder and associated JHMCS along with F-14 LANTIRN (Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night) rapid integration from the start. ?I had written the Operational Requirement for AIM-9X in my last job in the Pentagon so it was a natural fit to continue to help industry interpret what it was supposed to be. Simultaneously, I played an integral role in getting the LANTIRN pod onto the Tomcat which was a monumental effort completed in record time ensuring another 10 years of longevity for the Tomcat in Naval Service. I have continued to work in defense related areas participating in Rapid Response efforts like the F-14 LANTIRN caper and other initiatives involving leveraging of aviation technology to support Special Operations.?18 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcat escorting Soviet Tu-95 Bear D over North Sea during height of Cold War off Norway.
As in every interview, I asked Hey Joe what he believes defines a ?professional? Naval Aviator today. ?I still work with young aviators and have been impressed with their dedication and detailed mission planning through execution of their mission. They know their aircraft, their tactics, their missions and how to make it all work?.I asked Hey Joe what he recommends to any young men and women looking to achieve their aviation goals through the USN and the route they should take; whether 19 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcat near Mt. Etna, Italy. Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcat with Belgian Mirage 5 fighters over Sicily, Italy.
becoming a commissioned officer or enlisted person and here is what he had to say. ?Figure out your aspiration and go for it! Learn all you can and start as early as you can. Take advantage of Airwarriors.com and seek opportunities to talk to those who have gone before you".When Hey Joe is not working he has a voracious appetite for books, so he is always reading military history primarily. He also enjoys gardening and riding his bike.20 www.usaeronauticalhistory.com Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcatover Key West, Florida. Photo by Hey Joe. Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcatover Key West, Florida. Over Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield. VA-75 A-6E Intruder overtaken on low level by VF-32 Tomcat. Photo by Hey Joe. VF-102 Tomcatover Key West, Florida. Photo by Hey Joe.
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