Chairman Does 'Check Ride' in Super Hornet
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
NAVAL AIR STATION LEMOORE, Calif., Oct. 21, 2003 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff suited up and took over the backseat of the Navy's newest fighter-bomber here Oct. 20.
Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, who has more than 4,000 hours flying various Air Force high-performance aircraft, checked out the capabilities of the FA-18E Super Hornet. He flew with VFA-122, a Fleet Replacement Squadron at the central California base.
Myers, who flew 600 combat hours over Vietnam in F-4 Phantom IIs, flew with Navy Lt. John "Ping" Turner, a veteran of actions over Iraq.
A Navy pilot helps Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hook in before a familiarization ride aboard a Navy FA-18E Super Hornet at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., Oct. 20. Photo by Jim Garamone
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The chairman flew as part of a two-plane mission. The aircraft went to the R2508 Training Complex over Death Valley and adjacent locations. It was Myers' first time in the Super Hornet.
Lemoore officials said the mission entailed refueling from an FA-18F tanker aircraft and then conducting basic flight maneuvers. Turner said the chairman took the stick for much of the mission.
Afterwards, Myers spoke to sailors and Marines at the Lemoore dining facility. He re-enlisted three sailors and presented an award to another. He thanked the service members for their service and answered their questions.
The Super Hornet first entered the fleet in late 1999. It has performed well in actions over Afghanistan and Iraq.
The chairman's final West Coast stop was scheduled Oct. 21 at Fort Lewis, Wash., to examine another new U.S. military capability the Army's Stryker infantry carrier vehicle. A Fort Lewis Stryker unit the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in November.