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Navy Lends Support to Air Power Over Hampton Roads

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070507-06
Release Date: 5/7/2007 8:16:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class(AW/SW) Pamela Coxe, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

HAMPTON, Va. (NNS) -- Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures (HM) 14 and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 provided support to the Air Force at the 2007 Air Power Over Hampton Roads air show April 27 to 29 at Langley Air Force Base.

The VFA-106 “Gladiators” East Coast Rhino Demo Team dedicated its flights in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Demo at this air show to fallen Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Kevin “Kojak” Davis, Blue Angels No. 6 who was killed in a plane crash April 21 while finishing the final aerial demonstration in an air show at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.

According to Air Force Lt. Col. Rob Destasio of 1st Fighter Wing and director of the air show, the Air Force requested the Navy’s appearance.

“Absolutely we welcome them,” said Destasio, expressing the importance that all the branches come together for this air show.

Navy personnel embraced the Air Force’s invitation and felt honored to accept.

“We are here today because we got the call from our ‘brother in arms,’ 1st Fighter Wing, at Langley,” said Lt. Lenny Wise, a weapons system officer of VFA-106. “We do the air shows to demonstrate the Super Hornet’s capabilities, and it’s also a great way to attract young men and women to join naval aviation.”

The U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Demo displayed the aircraft’s tactical flight precision and maneuverability with turns and rolls through the air.

Also on hand were the members of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen (HM-14), based at Naval Station Norfolk. While F/A-18s were in the air, the Navy’s MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter remained on the ground in static display and open to the public.

“The primary use of the Sea Dragon is AMCM (airborne mine countermeasure),” said Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 3rd Class Joshua Shreve, crew chief, HM 14. “Basically we tow mine-sweeping countermeasure systems and look for mines from the air.”

ACU 4 from Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek was also on-site to show the Navy’s landing craft air cushion (LCAC) presented for the first time at the air show on static exhibit for public view and tours.

“We are an over the horizon high-speed troop, support, equipment delivery service for the Marine Corps,” said Operation Specialist 1st Class(AW) Shane Sembrat, LCAC navigator for ACU 4.

LCACs are capable of carrying a 60-ton payload at speeds of 40 knots and are used in a variety of military and civilian operations such as military expeditionary operations and relief efforts.

“We get to go to some of the air shows,” said Chief Quartermaster (SW) Jerrod Morgan, ACU 4 navigator; sharing information with the public about the LCAC, the role they play in the Navy and allowing them to see it is a way in which “we love to give back to the nation and the military.”

Morgan said he was glad to get the call from his "sister service" and welcomed the chance to work with them.

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