ABECS "AW" Willy Gaines

CPO, USS Independence CV-62, USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71, USS Nimitz CVN-68, USN

    I am a Senior Chief Petty Officer with 20 yrs Naval service. My rating is Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Launch and Recovery Equipment) Catapults and Arresting Gear onboard Aircraft Carriers. The (AB's) that I have met over the entire span of My career have been some of the finest men and women that America has to offer to the defense of this great Nation. All the names are all the same, the faces all blend together but the determination and unity will never be matched in any Rating in the Navy or any other branch of the Armed Forces. At 0400 shooting No-Loads or tearing down a CRO Valve after 20 hours of flight operations and then re-reeving then starting all over with little or no sleep. The re-spot and the emergency pull forward, the gas soaked purple shirts and the blue shirt with chocks and chains. All grubby and all with a watchful eye to the next intake exhaust that will eat them or blow them over the side in a blink of an eye. There is no feeling or experience in the world as to stand on the flight deck of a carrier crouched down between two catapults and feel your heart quiver from the noise and power from twin afterburners of the F-14 tomcat as it is launched into the air in two seconds. To all who shall read this, sleep well at night because no matter what conflict should arise the AB's of the U.S. NAVY are at the tip of the spear ... turned into the wind ... all four cats up! Waiting for the green deck!

----- ABECS(AW) Willy Gaines

         ( email address given no longer valid )

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