The new Fleet Response Plan requires that the Navy must be able to provide six carrier strike groups within 30 days for contingencies anywhere in the world. A great idea on paper, but what does it really mean to the average sailor and wrench turner?
The realities of naval aviation from a maintainer's viewpoint are every bit as hazardous as the flight of the aircraft we maintain. Any carelessness, recklessness, deviation from established written procedures, or inattention to detail can severely damage aircraft and equipment or harm some of our greatest assets, the men and women who maintain or fly the aircraft. I have served all 23 years of my career in naval aviation. I have turned wrenches on more than 11 different types/models/series of aircraft and spent the past six years as a Hornet maintenance controller and flight-deck coordinator. The past two cruises have been combat deployments on board two different aircraft carriers. I have deployed eight times on board five different aircraft carriers, and, like most sailors, I have worked in every conceivable weather and sea state in this exciting environment.