CAP Talk

Operations => Tall Tales => Topic started by: afgeo4 on December 15, 2005, 04:00:09 AM

Title: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: afgeo4 on December 15, 2005, 04:00:09 AM
It was Memorial Day weekend 2004 and as usual, the mighty United States Navy was in New York City for the annual Fleet Week.  This year, as in years after 9/11 the turn out was small.  The US Navy sent an LHD, an LPD, one Aegis Class, and once missle cruiser.  The US Coast Guard had an ice breaker and the USCGC Escanaba present.  The Japanese Coast Guard brought their cutter and the Irish Navy brought a  frigate.

As with years present, the NYC Group of CAP went on higher alert.  Not because there are so many boats in the harbor to watch the ships.  Not because it's New York City and the threat of a terrorist attack is elevated.  No, the reason why we go on alert is because the Navy, in their infinate wisdom, tradition and training always manages to set off something.

This year was no exception.  Around 4pm on Saturday I get a phone call from our group ES officer, Capt. Daniel Katz-Braunschweig (K-B).  He tells the SARSAT has a hit on the Manhattan's East Side and that I should get ready, but stand by.   At 6pm another call...  +1 hit on the Lower West Side.  We deploy.  I drove the Group CAP van while K-B, with his extensive UDF exprience did the tracking and navigation aided by a lap top hooked up to a hand held GPS. 

An hour into the mission we were approaching Manhattan from the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn and for those who don't know, the Gowanus is an elevated highway, 100 feet above the surface.  We get a great view of the skyline and suddenly, we hear nothing on our 243.00 scanner.  It's not that we got a signal, it's just that we lost the static.  Having been on a recent SAREX designed by K-B himself we both immediately smiled and yelled out, "silent signal!"

The signal kept dissapearing into an abyss of static and reappearing again as it so often does in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, but along the West Side Highway it was clear that we had a big one.  In our minds we knew it had to be the Navy, so we let the IC know what we've got.  He called the USN SAR team that was stationed on one of the ships and we were told they dispatched their crew.  The rat race had begun.  I've had two prior missions where the signal's just dropped off.  In fact, on one, it shut off as we were walking onto the Marina.  I wasn't going to let some sailors have the find this time!

We head out the Holland tunnel to check things out from across the Hudson River and after driving up Jersey City and Hoboken's riverside, we finally had our bearing.  The big gray ships moored at the 49th Street Pier!  Back through the Lincoln Tunnel and to the gates.

We walked along the ships to confirm what we knew all along...  "It's this one!", K-B said.  "The port side."   The call to the IC followed.  Chap (Maj) Smith was the IC on this one as he usually is in NYC.  He's been in contact with the Admiral of the fleet the whole time.  Turns out the Navy SAR team found nothing and came back to their ship.   We informed of our signal tracking and requested to come aboard.  After about 2 hours we were escorted up to the USS Iwo Jima, LHD-7.  http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/photos/040526-N-6371Q-138.jpg

The watch officer (I presume), a commander showed us in and took us to the command room where we briefed him and a bunch of other senior officers on board.  None of them understood the concept of a silent open frequency.  We were escorted up to the flight deck to search the helicopters and question the Air Boss.  All helos came back negative and the Air Boss (Marine LtCol) told us his SAR team went over their aircraft and gear to check for beacons and came back negative.  K-B noticed that the signal was coming from the inside of the ship, from the mid section.  We went inside to get a read, but everything was metal and shielded.  So, to the Ops room we go.  The ops room on this type of ship is an amazing place.  This is the control center for Amphibious Assaults.  1500 Marines, tanks, LCACs, Helicopters, even Harriers get their orders from this room.  The place was wall to wall wide screen tv's and computers.  Maps everywhere!  However... it wasn't some top secret briefing on those 50" inch flat panels, it was the X-Box.  Yes, someone was playing SOCOM in war central.

Anyway, the only person who seemed to know what we were talking about was a LtJg.  A 5'7, about 120lbs blonde, USN RESERVE, Lieutenant Junior Grade!  She immediately had a petty officer patch the signal through to the PA and then to the radio room we went.  K-B had mentioned that the signal was probably coming from the main antenna array, and the radio room was the logical place to go. 

The door opened and a PO2 was standing there, with an understandably puzzled look on his face as he stared at two guys in bdu's with blue name tapes (officers???) and a Commander.  We asked him if any of his radios were on and explained that we are getting a silent signal on the Guard freq.
He said he'd be back in a second and about 30 seconds later, "I found it!".
"The guy who was on shift yesterday ran a test on two of the radios and must have forgotten to shut this one off.", he said.  We shut it off and with huge smiles on our faces make our way out.  On the way out, a sailor says, "Hey!  Civil Air Patrol!  I used to be a cadet back in the days!"

So home we went, at 1:40am, happy as can be.  No, we didn't get to save a life.  We didn't even get to try to recruit anyone.  Heck, we didn't really even do that much walking.  We were smiling because we, a couple of 20 something CAP'ers got to wake up an Admiral (the USS Iwo Jima was his ship for the trip to NY), frighten a bunch of high ranked Navy officers by telling them there was a radio on their flag ship transmitting silently (and they didn't know anything about it), show up a Navy SAR team who couldn't even track a signal on their own ship, and in general do good deeds on behalf of the volunteers of CAP and the Air Force.

Now I don't know if this mission was all that and a bag of chips, but I sure won't forget it.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: whatevah on December 15, 2005, 04:03:51 AM
awesome  :o
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: MIKE on December 15, 2005, 04:17:36 AM
However... it wasn't some top secret briefing on those 50" inch flat panels, it was the X-Box.  Yes, someone was playing SOCOM in war central.

Dood... You can't play no SOCOM on X-Box.  :D

PS2 and PSP only.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: afgeo4 on December 16, 2005, 04:26:01 AM
Sorry, I assumed it was SOCOM.  Never got a chance to confirm that since we were among O-5 officers. 
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: footballrun21 on December 16, 2005, 05:41:47 PM
Well, it just goes to show you that not only is CAP better than Sea Cadets, it's better than the Navy! :D :D
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: Matt on December 16, 2005, 06:34:33 PM
Sorry, I assumed it was SOCOM.  Never got a chance to confirm that since we were among O-5 officers. 

So why not ask?  O-5's are people too...
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: Five-seveN on December 16, 2005, 07:53:16 PM
Thats funny.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: afgeo4 on December 17, 2005, 07:34:15 AM
no no no... I meant REAL O-5's, not CAP O-5's.  You know, the ones that actually get paid for work.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: footballrun21 on December 17, 2005, 09:05:50 PM
How long did this mission take?
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: Matt on December 18, 2005, 11:37:52 PM
no no no... I meant REAL O-5's, not CAP O-5's.  You know, the ones that actually get paid for work.

You mean they actually get PAID to babysit -- cool!

Nah, I know a couple of O5s and O6s, they're actually pretty cool people.  You can learn a great deal, the scary ones are those in Counter-Intel <shivers>.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: afgeo4 on December 19, 2005, 02:46:13 AM
lol I've always thought the scary ones were those who don't know what they're doing.

The mission took... let's see... around 1700 hrs to around 0130 hrs...  8.5 or so hours. 
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: MustangCadet on December 22, 2005, 01:31:39 AM
i know a commander in the navy seals
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: footballrun21 on December 22, 2005, 03:00:05 AM
i know a commander in the navy seals

wow, good for you.... ;)

Just kidding :D  Is he a cool guy? Is everything he does pretty serious?
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: MustangCadet on December 30, 2005, 12:09:30 AM
no hes a really cool relaxed guy. he tried to get me to wanna join the navy seals but i considered it but am gonna stick with the USAF
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: PhoenixRisen on January 06, 2006, 04:51:14 AM
no no no... I meant REAL O-5's, not CAP O-5's.  You know, the ones that actually get paid for work.

CAP officers get paid too, sheesh.

CAP O-1: $0.00
CAP O-2: $00.00
CAP O-3: $000.00
CAP O-4: $0,000.00
CAP O-5: $00,000.00
CAP O-6: $000,000.00
CAP O-7: $0,000,000.00
CAP O-8: $00,000,000.00

Funny, I thought everyone knew that. :P

Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: SarDragon on January 06, 2006, 06:17:39 AM
Why delete it? He's exactly right - we (SMs) add a zero every time we get promoted. Been doing it for years.   ;D
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: pixelwonk on January 06, 2006, 03:26:55 PM
no no no... I meant REAL O-5's, not CAP O-5's.  You know, the ones that actually get paid for work.

CAP officers get paid too, sheesh.

CAP O-1: $0.00
CAP O-2: $00.00
CAP O-3: $000.00
CAP O-4: $0,000.00
CAP O-5: $00,000.00
CAP O-6: $000,000.00
CAP O-7: $0,000,000.00
CAP O-8: $00,000,000.00

Funny, I thought everyone knew that. :P




pshhhht.... I'm O-4 and I'm already making 75K Zeroes a year with the Carlton Sheets CAP Officer progression program. 
For only $39.95 I'll send you a packet about how you can make that kind of money too!
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: SarDragon on January 06, 2006, 11:15:17 PM
Wow, that's way cheaper than the Charlatan Cheats Program I've been selling for $149.37.  ;)
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: stillamarine on March 21, 2007, 07:40:23 AM
Geez The sad thing is I know that boat!  Some good Marines on there. At least now don't ask me about then LOL

sorry just realized I brought up an old post!
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: SAR-EMT1 on March 26, 2007, 10:31:27 PM
Doesnt change the fact that its a great story.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: afgeo4 on March 27, 2007, 04:10:28 AM
... and 3 years later it's published in the Northeast Region's newsletter: http://ner.cap.gov/news/northeaster_mar2007.pdf
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: jimmydeanno on April 12, 2007, 06:58:47 PM
I saw this and a smirk came to my face...

While I was in VAWG, I was called to form a UDF team for an ELT search.  It was Dec '05, don't remember the exact date. Our search lead us to Naval Station Norfolk. 

Commencing a search of the base using the DF equipment, we tracked the signal down to the piers.  After convincing the guards for the pier that we were just trying to deactivate and ELT (EPIRB in this case), he let us go.  We then tracked the signal to....the USS IWO JIMA!

The OD said that they weren't recieving any signals on the emergency frequencies that they monitor, but would look into it.  After a few minutes the XO came down and asked us why we thought it was this ship instead of the others. 

We told him that our intial signals started around 1030 that morning (we didn't get called until 1700), and that we DF'd the signal to this position.  The 1030 time frame struck a chord with him, the ship had pulled into port at around that time.

He then called the comm room, who had to figure out which one was going off (I guess they have 3 beacons on board, bow, stern, and middle), and within a few minutes it was shut off.  Just as we were about to go, the XO asked us if we wanted a tour of the ship...the cadets, already proud of their performance got a bonus!

Seems that ship is on the radar quite a bit :)

Did I mention that it's a pain to get on and off a ship?  There's protocol you know :)
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: RogueLeader on April 12, 2007, 07:13:45 PM
Doesnt change the fact that its a great story.
No kidding, It's absolutely funny.
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: afgeo4 on April 16, 2007, 07:41:02 AM
Repeat offenders. Wonderful! I'll mark my calendar for the next time they dock here. Glad to know they knew what to do this time and how to shut it down. The beacon set off on my mission was the main middle one.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: RiverAux on July 14, 2007, 07:13:41 PM
A somewhat related story from CAP News Online:


Emergency signals interrupt Va. squadron's meeting

Newport News Composite members trace signals to destroyer, helicopter at naval station
July 13, 2007


VIRGINIA -- Newport News Composite Squadron members were participating in an aviation safety program recently when they got a taste of the real thing after being advised of and then tracking down emergency signals emtting from malfunctioning equipment on, respectively, a destroyer and a helicopter at Naval Station Norfolk, the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports in an article written by 1st Lt. Richard Hartung, a squadron member.
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: Downeast on June 26, 2009, 06:38:53 PM

Now I don't know if this mission was all that and a bag of chips, but I sure won't forget it.

Yes, but did you at least get a FIND ribbon out of it?
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: DC on June 26, 2009, 08:54:04 PM
Wow, two year thread bump, quoting a 3 1/2 year old post!  :clap:
Title: Re: USS Iwo Jima and how CAP embarassed the US NAVY!!
Post by: afgeo4 on July 16, 2009, 07:18:53 PM

Now I don't know if this mission was all that and a bag of chips, but I sure won't forget it.

Yes, but did you at least get a FIND ribbon out of it?

Yes, in fact I did.