27.12.05, 12:26 #1
22.01.06, 21:00 #2
22.01.06, 21:04 #3n/a
Gibt es die VFA-203 "Blue Dolphins" in 2006 noch oder wurden die auch schon aufgelöst? :?!
22.01.06, 21:13 #4
Gute frage. Wenn ich in Mai 2004 Ft.Worth besuchte standen damals alte VFA-203 Hornets auf m ramp so ich denke die einheit gibts nicht mehr.
VFA-203 hat in 2003 ihre F/A-18A+ eingewechselt und bekamm die ältere F/A-18A in Camo anzug zurück aber seit dem habe ich nichts mehr von dieses squadron gehört. VFA-201 und 204 werden dahin gegen noch oft gesichtet in der USA.
07.02.06, 21:07 #5
Hab gerade heraus gefunden das VFA-203 nicht mehr existiert. Ebenfalls VFA-201 sollte ganz schnell auch den akse fühlen....
Loss could have ripple effect at base
By CHRIS VAUGHN
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
FORT WORTH - Just three years after its history-making deployment for the opening of the war in Iraq, a Navy Reserve F/A-18 Hornet squadron based in Fort Worth has been designated for elimination by the active-duty Navy.
The loss of Strike Fighter Squadron 201 and its 220 sailors and officers, one of the premier units at Naval Air Station Fort Worth, could have a cascade effect on other missions and units at the base, which recently survived the latest round of closings.
Members of Congress, including Texas Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn and Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, vowed to fight the Navy's plan to kill off the squadron, which is also known by its nickname, the Hunters, and as a VFA, its military abbreviation.
"It's a matter of money," Granger said of the Navy's justification. "But oftentimes, those numbers don't prove out."
The Navy's decision, released Monday along with the Defense Department's proposed fiscal 2007 budget, "defies logic" in the view of retired Navy Capt. Paul Paine, the former base commander and a former Hunters commander.
And if the squadron is eliminated, the future of the base itself will most certainly be re-evaluated by Navy officials, he said.
"Any time there is a loss of a unit, it is going to raise questions," Paine said. "I would not say that it threatens the [base] from going away. But it will make people re-evaluate it."
Base commander Capt. John McCormack cautioned that the naval air station is still slated to grow in the next few years with the addition of a Navy transport squadron, a Marine F/A-18 squadron and more Air Force Reserve F-16s.
Still, McCormack said, he is disappointed.
"I'm sad that the Navy has to cut back at all," he said. "I would like it if we could keep everything we have, but that doesn't align with the current budget cycle."
Capt. John Fleming, spokesman for the chief of the Navy Reserve, would confirm only that VFA 201 was selected for "disestablishment."
The reasons why and the details, including where the people and airplanes would go, he said, would have to come from people unavailable on Monday.
At the opening of the war in Iraq in 2003, VFA 201 was the first tactical reserve squadron to be mobilized and deployed on a carrier, in this case the USS Theodore Roosevelt, since the Korean War. But long before that, the Navy Reserve's combat squadrons were on the chopping block.
Just two months after VFA 201 returned from its deployment and received praise from top commanders for its performance, the Navy Reserve's top aviator, Rear Adm. Daniel Kloeppel, said the unit was "an easy target."
"In some people's estimation, we're expendable," Kloeppel said in July 2003. Kloeppel, an American Airlines pilot, has since retired from military service.
Part of the reason is because the Navy, more than any other branch of service, views its reserve components as lesser partners to its active duty force.
Unlike the Air Force Reserve F-16 squadrons, which are an integral part of the Air Force's worldwide deployment rotation, the Navy rarely sends reserve F/A-18 squadrons to sea.
Defenders of reserve aviation contend that they operate at 60 percent to 70 percent the cost of an active-duty squadron, and that the active-duty squadrons benefit from working with the far more experienced pilots of the reserves.
VFA 201's 2003 cruise was done over the objections of high-ranking admirals, Kloeppel said.
That pressure on the reserves has only intensified with the federal budget crunch.
The Navy is trying to build submarines and ships and buy new models of the F/A-18, all massive and expensive projects.
In the short term, the active-duty Navy's F/A-18s are quickly reaching the end of their lives for carrier deployments, and next-generation F/A-18s are not arriving fast enough to replace the older models.
The reserve's squadrons, whose Hornets have made far fewer carrier takeoffs and landings, are an attractive target, Paine said.
Granger, Cornyn and Hutchison wrote Adm. Michael Mullen, chief of naval operations, that "it makes much more sense to ... swap aircraft between the active duty and reserve squadrons to extend the life of the F/A-18 fleet without reducing overall force structure."
The Navy had already decided to eliminate the reserve F-18 squadron in Atlanta, leaving only three squadrons. In addition to the unit in Fort Worth, one is based in Virginia Beach, Va., a legendary Navy fighter-pilot town, and the other in New Orleans, the headquarters of the Navy Reserve.
Of the three, the Fort Worth squadron may be the most politically expendable.
"They're trying to appease the political leadership in Louisiana because of [Hurricane] Katrina," said Paine, who said recruiting and retention in aviation units is far better here than anywhere else. "It's totally a political decision. It's not the smart decision."
Cmdr. Doug Beal, VFA 201's commander and also an American Airlines pilot, said he has not been told why his unit was selected.
But his biggest concern, he said, is making sure that the issue is not a distraction in the coming months. The squadron is the first reserve unit in line if a call-up is necessary, he said.
"I haven't detected much of a morale problem, although as it becomes more serious, people probably will start to worry more," Beal said. "The focus here right now is safely fixing and flying airplanes."
Because the naval air station has two F/A-18 squadrons, one of them a Marine reserve outfit, a key Hornet maintenance facility is on the base.
Halving the number of Hornet squadrons makes that maintenance facility more vulnerable to cuts, some observers have suggested. McCormack, however, said he doesn't think the maintenance facility is threatened at all.
Granger said she sees VFA 201 as integral to the base's joint operations environment.
"It's all part of a whole," she said. "It's the 'jointness' that makes it very valuable. When you start tinkering with it, it has more than the effect of one decommissioning."
07.02.06, 21:16 #6n/a
Thanks for your information.