From: "John Randolph" <REMOVEjrandolph0@home.com>
Subject: Re: Russian Fighters Buzz USS Kitty Hawk
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 05:27:32 GMT
Well, it really wasn't that simple. I had the Flag watch in Enterprise in
the Sea of Japan during the 1969 RC-121 shootdown crises. The quickly
assembled task group, which had 4 carriers, was the largest since Halsey's
3rd fleet in WW2. Shortly after the group assembled, the Badgers came out.
They didn't directly overfly but instead circled the flagship at about 70
miles. We made sure that each and every Badger had a section of fighters
(F8s and F4s) as an escort. There were very strict rules of engagement
governing this situation but once a fighter pilot goes off the pointy end,
all control disappears.
A month later the Soviet Union filed an official protest with the U.S.
Government claiming that task group fighters had flown dangerously close in
violation of international agreements. Enterprise was directed to provide a
minute-by-minute plot of the entire episode. In those days the only method
of recording NTDS tracks was through a UHF link, called the B-link, which
was fed to a yellow paper teletype printer. The CIC and IOIC guys spent a
couple of weeks putting together some semblence of a plot. It was something
to see them in the Ops spaces with reams of yellow paper spread all over the
deck. Of course we made sure that our plots never showed a task group
fighter closer than the rules of engagement allowed.
I was also the leader of a section of F4s from Forestall that intercepted
two Bears east of Gibralter on the way home from the 1965/66 Med cruise. We
knew they were coming many hours in advance and the rules were to make the
intercept at exactly 100 miles from the ship and not one mile more or less.
The only rule of engagement that I recall was that we were not to lock on
with the radar. After the intercept, I tucked in under the Bear's wing and
got about as close to his outboard prop as was comfortable. The guys in the
cockpit loved it and kept signalling with a thumbs up. Those pilots were
smooth as silk and favored us with the courtesy of head signals preceding
course and power changes. They gradually descended and flew directly over
the ship at 1500 ft. After a 90/270 turn, they flew back over the ship and
began their climb out heading north. On the way out, I moved in close to
the large plexiglass blister close to the Bear's tail. There was guy in the
blister manning the kind of old tripod camera with a hood. He gave me a
series of hand signals to position me for some photos. When I complied he
gave me a couple of sharp thumbs up and dived under the hood. I sure hope
he got a medal for those photos.
I was also CIC officer on Coral Sea when overflown by Bears on a transit to
WestPac in 1978. Again, we intercepted them exactly at 100 miles.
I also participated in intercepts of Badgers by Midway F3Hs off the Kurils
in 1962. That's a story that I recounted here earlier and involved a game
of deception and the gathering of electronic intelligence.
In no case I was personally involved in or ever heard of did the Soviet
aircraft ever alter course or "skedaddle" as the result of being intercepted
by fleet aircraft.
"Drew Johnson" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> Paul Michael Brown wrote:
> > Short of doing something
> > that violates international law, it is impossible to prevent any
> > in international airspace from flying wherever it chooses to fly.
> I beg your pardon. . but, back when we had a competent CIC, the CAP would
be up and
> the Bear, Badger . . or whatever would find an F-4 or F-14 or FA Teen on
his ass . .
> and the boys might even light him up with 'tone' . . to make him
skeedaddle. You have
> never seen the neat photos of our guys flying wing (under the wings
> missiles) on the Dark Side? I have got to tell you that the Bad Guys
pretty much go
> where the fighters indicate they should <G>
> This could get into a political discussion very quickly. . as the current
> Administration has so weakened our Defense as to be considered traitorous.