Since USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 arrived and began carrying out their mission in the U.S. 5th Fleetís area of operation Feb. 20, a couple of crew members not usually found on aircraft carriers have been providing a critical link between naval air power and ground operations in theater.Purple power!
The two crew members are U.S. Army Soldiers. Army Maj. Dave Lander and Army Sgt. 1st Class John Reardon joined CVW 9 when they embarked aboard Stennis Jan. 19 in San Diego. Since then, the two have been working in Stennisí carrier intelligence center (CVIC) and act as liasons between the pilots of CVW-9 and Soldiers on the ground in theater to coordinate operations.
According to Lander, this means converting "Army talk into Navy talk for the pilots and then back into Army talk for the ground forces."
There is a mutual respect between the Soldiers aboard Stennis and the Navy personnel who work with them.
ì"This is my fifth cruise in this theater, and Iíve never seen the coordination at the level we have here," said Cmdr. Robert Jones, operations officer for CVW-9. "We know more walking out the door to our airplane about whatís going on than we ever have before and itís directly because of these two gentlemen here. Their mere presence on the boat puts kind of a personal face on the mission weíre going out to do. They have smoothed the process and made us more effective as an organization just by being here."
Friday, March 02, 2007
As reported here: