The War Hoover makes history! President gets a trap!


Well-Known Member
I guess he'll be able to join the tailhook association now!

Bush to proclaim end of combat phase in Iraq
By Bill Sammon

President Bush plans to make history today by landing in a small plane on a moving aircraft carrier hundreds of miles from shore to declare an end to the combat phase of the war in Iraq.

The White House downplayed any danger to the president, whose four-person Navy S-3B Viking anti-submarine aircraft will hook onto a steel cable after landing to prevent it from plunging off the flight deck and into the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Bush will be in the co-pilot's seat.
"He is a former pilot," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said of his boss, who once flew jet fighters for the Texas Air National Guard.
"For the sake of the landing, I'm sure he will be doing no piloting," the spokesman deadpanned. "Hope he's not watching today's briefing."
But later in the day, Mr. Bush playfully left open the possibility that he would take the controls of the plane.
"Never can tell what's going to kick in — the urge," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "Let me just say: Stay clear of the landing pattern."
Six hours after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln, which is returning to California after serving in the war, Mr. Bush will give a televised address to the nation on the end of hostilities and the beginning of reconstruction in Iraq. For the first time since Operation Iraqi Freedom began, the White House has asked broadcast TV networks for time to air the 15-minute speech, which begins 9 p.m. EDT.
The president's trip to the carrier comes amid signs that the administration also is winning the larger war against terrorism. The State Department yesterday released its annual report on terrorism, which showed a decline in international terrorist attacks to the lowest level since 1969.
However, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell cautioned that terrorism still "casts its grim shadow across the globe."
"Even as I speak, terrorists are planning appalling crimes and trying to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction," Mr. Powell said. "We cannot and will not relax our resolve, our efforts and our vigil."
Still, the president was described by the White House as "eagerly anticipating" the quasi-victory speech tonight.
"He's very excited about the prospect of being directly with many of the sailors and the Marines who helped make the success of the mission possible," Mr. Fleischer said. "He's also looking forward to addressing the nation from the deck of a moving aircraft carrier.
"That's a wonderful metaphor for the return of our troops from combat back to their families," he added. "It's a very exciting voyage, a very exciting trip, but nowhere near as exciting as the voyage that the sailors and the Marines are taking because they're coming home to see their families."
Although Mr. Bush will pronounce the combat phase of the war over, he will stop short of formally declaring victory. Under the Geneva Convention, such a declaration would obligate the United States to call off its hunt for Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders.
It also would make the United States an "occupying power" — a status the Bush administration is not eager to embrace because it would impose international-law obligations on the American military.
The Geneva Convention also calls for any nation that formally declares victory to release all prisoners of war, a process that U.S. forces have begun.
International legalities aside, Mr. Bush does not want to declare victory at a time when sporadic gunbattles continue to put U.S. troops in harm's way. The president plans to emphasize such dangers in the speech.
"There are pockets of resistance; there continue to be Iraqis who shoot at America's armed forces," Mr. Fleischer said. "The president knows that while major combat operations have ended and while the next phase has begun with the reconstruction of Iraq, there continue to be threats to the security and the safety of the American people, and he will describe that."
Still, Mr. Bush promised weeks ago that he would declare the combat phase of the war over as soon as he received the all-clear signal from Army Gen. Tommy Franks, the overall commander of the war. Gen. Franks relayed that message to the president Tuesday.
Mr. Bush will sleep overnight on the Lincoln as it steams toward San Diego. On Saturday, he will depart on the Marine One presidential helicopter because the ship will then be close enough to shore for a brief chopper ride.
That will be less hazardous than the longer flight and landing of the Navy jet, an S-3B Viking, that will carry Mr. Bush to the aircraft carrier. The plane, which is normally used to hunt submarines and attack other enemy assets, will also carry a Secret Service agent, a pilot and a crew member.
After stopping in San Diego, the Lincoln will continue to its home base of Everett, Wash., ending nine months at sea.
"The president is giving the speech now because of the successful operations that have been carried out, the significant accomplishments in achieving the mission, and because he wants to explain to the American people, having risked lives and treasure in pursuit of our goals in Iraq, what the present results are," Mr. Fleischer said.
He added: "That's something that the president began with a speech to the country about. And he wants to again now bring it to a conclusion with a speech to the country."
So, Chunk...if you'd ever like to get your posterior back in the seat of a S-3, it looks like you'll have to become President!

Yep, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. They are getting rid of the EA-6B as well. The Navy Air inventory will consist of F/A-18 E/F, SH-60R, MH-60S, C-2, & E-2C.
My skipper used to say that the Hornet was like a shark waiting for any dollar to hit the water. It's the future of naval aviation, and that "ain't" good!

The E-2, C-2, S-3 are all supposed to be replaced by the CSA (Common support aircraft). Never happen.

As far as me being president...I'd have to issue an executive order to bring back real ASW and preserve the S-3's. And screw Air Force One...they've had a lock on the presidential ride for too long. From now on...Navy One! Put a tailhook on that 747...I can see it now.

I guess you'll all have to wait until I'm 35!
From now on...Navy One!

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My guess is that would be the callsign for that S-3 for the duration of the President being onboard the aircraft, no? After all, Air Force One isn't "Air Force One" until he's on the bird...same deal with Marine One (ooh rah!).

Does "Commander in Chief" outrank "PIC" or "Mission Commander"? Republicans have had problems with California politics for a long time. Maybe he'll have the plane buzz some Democrats' houses! Just a thought.

I suppose his flight will be escorted by Tomcats or Hornets.

What's next? Hell Week with a BUDS class? Or Airborne training with the 101?

Our base(NAS North Island had a flurry of activity and then we were shut down tight for two hours. The President came in on AF1 and taxied by our hangar to its parking spot at the terminal. Two C-2 Greyhounds left prior to the Pres. with Press Corp and Secret Service. The President hopped aboard the S-3 and seated himself in the cockpit. The flight of two S-3 Vikings started up and taxied out. The "Navy 1" took off first with the wingman following behind. After take off the drifted together in formation and heaed out over the horizon towards the Lincoln. Great show. Earlier this morning VF-31 in a 12 plane flight took off to head back to there base in VA.
Hello All,

With all of those unaccounted for ManPads (Stingers) out there and terrorist still keeping us busy, makes you wonder why they announced the Pres' flight activities a week ahead of time. Heck, who needs Stingers when a couple of Barrett .50 BMG semi-autos would do the job. I bet the Coasties & P3's were real busy sweeping the ocean in that area!

The President hopped aboard the S-3 and seated himself in the cockpit. The flight of two S-3 Vikings started up and taxied out.

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Did he bother suiting up in nomex or did he make the hop in his usual Burlington Coat Factory (cheap, ugly) threads?

EDIT: Looks like he's in full nomex, but wearing Naval Aviator wings...oops.
Watching all that on tv made my afternoon. Pretty darn cool watching a carrier landing (four of them) live on tv. Then to see our President jump out of the S-3 and greet the crew members in full flight gear -awesome. I have nothing but respect for anybody that serves in the military and it's great to see the leadership showing their respects as well. It's got to be one heck of a moral booster for that fine crew that's been out to sea for almost the past year. I have had the rare opportunity to witness a cat launch (from the shore) last year at the Air & Sea show in Ft. Lauderdale, pretty darn impressive.
I guess the news just said that GWB got a little stick time during his flight to the carrier. I wonder how long it has been since he's actually flown. Wonder if he gets any stick time on AF1? If only I were president
>>Wonder if he gets any stick time on AF1? If only I were president<<

I don't think any President has actually piloted AF1 (all flavors). Although, Truman would regularly kick out the First Officer on his planes and he would fly himself. He was the last Presidnet to do so.
I thought it was great seeing the president doing something considered so dangerous, but what I think made it so special, he looked like he had a fabulous time, which I think meant the world to the military. Rumour had it, he asked to fly home in the S-3 too!
From the rumor mill I heard that he originally wanted to fly out to the ship in an F/A-18, but the Secret Service shot that one down real quick, due to the lack of a S.S. agent. That would have been an even cooler entrance for him. To Fly by the ship and bust the sound barrier!
From the rumor mill I heard that he originally wanted to fly out to the ship in an F/A-18, but the Secret Service shot that one down real quick, due to the lack of a S.S. agent. That would have been an even cooler entrance for him. To Fly by the ship and bust the sound barrier!

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So SS was occupying the other two seats in the S-3?

SS doesn't want him flying in an F/A-18 due to lack of an agent? What, they don't trust their own presidentially commissioned military officers?

That's crap.

There as the a/c commander flying, Pres. Bush as the co-pilot, another pilot in the back(emergency purposes) and a S.S. agent. It's pretty tight in there too! Just ask Chunk, he flew as a sensor operator on those thing before his job became obsolete.
The real reason they chose the S-3 is this: it is a single-pilot aircraft with dual controls and four seats. The Pres can sit up front and have a great ride while being able to stash a spare pilot in the back. You can stash a spare pilot in a COD or an E-2, but those are two-pilot aircraft and just not sexy enough. The EA-6B would have worked, but the spare pilot is useless because he can't get to the controls. In the S-3, you can change seats while flying. It's a pain in the ass, but totally doable. That's how I got stick time in it. I always kept interesting reading material in my helmet bag for any COTAC (front right seat) who wanted to give me some stick time. He would be entertained while I was flying and not ask for his seat back so quickly. Usually magazines like the Economist, NY Times book review, etc. etc.

There's room enough for 205cm skis in the avionics tunnel! I found that out on a ski trip...err, navigation training flight to Colorado.

They had a SS agent in the SENSO seat (my seat, back left) and another pilot in the TACCO seat (back right) least that makes the most sense to me where they'd sit, but I know that was the makeup of the crew.

I certainly don't think the SS agent went because they didn't trust the aircrew, probably because there was the "extra" seat. Who knows, maybe he had the football with him as well.

Not much of a way to protect the guy of front while strapped into an ejection seat.