Death Rattlers Return Home, Get New Stuff

| March 3, 2021

An F/A-18C Hornet

An F/A-18C Hornet, from the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, launches off the flight deck of the USS Nimitz (CVN 68).  (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles DeParlier)

Someone has a sense of humor here: I did not know until this morning that the Navy has a Rear Admiral named James Kirk. And the flattop is named for ADM Chester Nimitz. And in other news, the Enterprise was retired in 2012 and has been scrapped.

There are so many lame jokes I could throw in here….

Most important is that the F-18s flown by this squadron are being replaced with F-35s, which are essentially stealth fighters.  https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/03/02/after-36-years-marines-f-18-hornets-have-completed-their-final-carrier-deployment.html

From the article:  Rear Adm. James Kirk, Nimitz Carrier Strike Group’s commander, said last week that, despite flying the oldest jets on the carrier, the Marines “met the mark,” Seapower Magazine reported.

“Those maintainers did a great job, and those Marine pilots executed those missions,” Kirk added.

VMFA-323 supported missions in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and East Africa during the deployment. The strike group also operated alongside other carriers in the South China Sea.

The squadron has worked alongside the Navy for decades. It supported the Battle of Okinawa under the command of Adm. Chester Nimitz in 1944, according to the Marine Corps, and began preparing for the first of many carrier-based operations two years later.

The Death Rattlers also supported Marines fighting in the famous Battle of Chosin Reservoir from the flight deck of the escort carrier Badoeng Strait during the Korean War. – article

But they’re home now, and will be abandoning the F-18s in exchange for taking on a newer stealth fighter, the F-35, for use in future missions.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Navy

Comments (8)

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  1. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Refreshing to read a positive article about upgrading gear for our aviators and the often unsung heroes of the maintenance teams.

    The fact that Admiral James Kirk is making the announcement is somehow even more entertaining as you suggest.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Thanks, VOV.

      I hope you’ve had a good winter. Spring is coming and I thought something positive might be appropriate.

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        It’s been a wild ride over the last year if I’m honest about it…

        Apologized to AW1ED for being largely AWOL for much of it…

        Haven’t been doing much of the social media thing…

        Working on my cycling over the winter, trying to put in at least 50 miles a week…and getting ready for what I hope will be a decent sailing season this year…also took some time to re-acquaint my fingers with the piano…something I had sort of stopped altogether when my mom passed.

        • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

          Nice to read the words of some familiar writers and offer a few opinions again, hope everyone here has been mostly well also…

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          I’m hoping this year will be better for everyone. But don’t worry about being in absentia when you can’t avoid it.

  2. KoB says:

    For sure give those maintainers an attaboy/girl. And keep a few of them around on a retainer. We may need to pull those F18s out of mothballs one day. And we’d play hell building some more. We still got room at D/M don’t we?

  3. Radioactive G-Spot says:

    I was stationed on the TR (CVN-71) back in the day when the F/A-18 replaced the A-6 & the F-14. The Boobyprise (CNV-65) has been retired, now the 18 is going away. Crikey, I’m starting to feel old. OTOH, I’m glad to hear our boys (and girls) are getting upgrades.

  4. OAE CPO USN Ret says:

    Captain James Kirk when he took command of USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000)