I question the validity of that "first person" account. In my four years in the navy I never heard the island of a carrier called the "tower".
Supposedly he's an "airdale" and Pri-Fly is often refered to as the "Tower." However, the island structure is never
referred to as the tower.
Or the "war room" , what the hell is that. If the author said captains cabin, CIC or pri fri that would be more believable.
Admiral's country contains an operations area commonly called "the War Room" [been there many times]. However, a morning CAG
/Admiral meeting would normally be held in the Admiral's quarters... there are few chairs in the War Room [many maps/charts/computers/etc...].
There is much else in that "first person" account that does not jive with a junior airdale's life aboard an aircraft carrier [i.e. there are no seats to be "sitting" on the bridge; one does not "bs" with a squadron XO
getting his underway replenishment shiphandling qualifications (he's definitely not staying in one place or "bs-ing" with anybody; the CO
of a ship always
knows the alert status of his airwing, etc., etc., etc.
I find it hard to believe that there was not an "alert 5" A/C if they were in those international waters.
Peacetime rules normally set by State Department (civilians). USN
is constantly arguing their CV
's "posture" with State Dept. folks who think they can "order" CV
's (they can not directly, but they can and do pressure Defense Dept. to direct specific CV
readiness postures). As noted elsewhere, K.H. is forward deployed in Japan so a Sea-of-Japan "cruise" without escorts or airwing in A-5 status is not unusual [JASDF normally provides coverage if the CV
is in A-30 status].
...but outside of CONUS aren't they supposed to have at least one? I know they have to have "alert 15's" so what was the foul up?
Not always true on both counts. Even during the Cold War we [Big-E/CVW-11] were often ordered
to maintain A-30 status only. The way we handled those situations [after the admiral finishes blowing his stack at "higher authorities"] was to send an E2C on a PMCF [amazing how we always needed a maintence flight at those times
] and the aircrews who would normally make-up the A-5/A-15 crews would be receiving survival gear "refresher training" [requires doning full flight gear] in their ready rooms.
Plane captains would even "exercise" their planes' avionics [have them flight ready]...all coincidentally of course. I'm sure the flight deck crews' spotting of airplanes was coincidental as well.
I would think the Admiral?CAG/CO all took a some flak from the top brass over this one.
If memory serves: Admiral was "allowed" to retire prior to the scheduled end of his tour; CAG
and CV CO
's were "passed over" for promotions (rumor had it they were the only selectees not actually promoted); CAG
Ops and CV
Ops officers were "allowed" to retire early [FitReps would have killed their careers anyway] and a couple of squadron CO
's received less than stellar FitReps.
policy is NO UNESCORTED FLYBYS... EVER! NO EXCUSES!!!