USN Pilot Recalls C-2A Greyhound Ops Aboard French Charles de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier

C-2 Charles De Gaulle


C-2 Charles De Gaulle
C-2A on the flight deck of Charles de Gaulle on Jan. 6, 2016. (All photos, credit score: Second Petty Officer LUU Cindy, French Navy, until in any other case acknowledged)

A U.S. Navy pilot went aboard Charles de Gaulle with the C-2A Greyhound to doc flight ops aboard ‘The Solely Overseas Plane Provider We Can Land On’.

“I filmed this video in 2016 when my squadron (VRC-40) spent a day aboard France’s solely plane provider, the Charles de Gaulle (R91),” says our buddy Rob Roy a former Naval Aviator who flew the Greyhound with the “Rawhides” of VRC-40.

His cool clips filmed throughout his profession flying the sort, present an unprecedented take a look at the C-2’s blue water operations inside and out of doors the cockpit. You examine those we’ve already commented, exhibiting Rob not even blinking on method to the provider, performing a bolter and a waveoff, or his first SHB (“Shit Sizzling Break”), though you will discover many extra on his Youtube channel here.

“Whereas I didn’t get an opportunity to do any flying on or off the ship, I used to be lucky sufficient to be given full entry to their flight deck and allowed to movie whereas we performed joint flight operations.”

The C-2A Greyhound taxies on the flight deck of Charles de Gaulle subsequent to the Marine Nationale Rafale jets.

The footage and images you will discover on this article dates again to January 2016, when the VRC-40 C-2A COD (Carrier On Board Delivery) planes flying from Manama, Bahrain, carried out entice landings and cat photographs aboard French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle working within the Persian Gulf, maintaining the observe that had began the 12 months earlier than, when VRC-40 Det. 1 Greyhounds landed on the provider and French Rafales operated from the flight of USS Carl Vinson

“The airplane you see touchdown and taking off within the video is a U.S. Navy C-2A Greyhound, additionally nicknamed the COD (provider onboard supply). I flew the Greyhound for a number of years and have landed on a couple of completely different American plane carriers, but it surely was unimaginable to have the ability to see the flight deck operations of the Charles de Gaulle first hand.”

“The French Navy doesn’t personal any C-2s, however they do fly the E-2 Hawkeye, which has the identical wingspan and really comparable dimensions and flight traits to the C-2.”

“French Navy plane provider Charles de Gaulle is a CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Restoration) sort plane provider, which is the one method we’re capable of do joint ops with them and never different ships just like the Queen Elizabeth class plane carriers within the Royal Navy.”

View from the C-2A Greyhound about to land (Picture credit score: Rob Roy)

“One other humorous factor that occurs within the video is I mispronounce the identify of the French fighter jets.  They’re Dassault Rafales and are pronounced “Ra-fal,” not “Raphael” just like the teenage mutant ninja turtle or the Italian painter . Rafale means “gust of wind” or “burst of fireside” in a extra army sense. Clearly I meant no disrespect by it and even regarded up the proper spelling earlier than I recorded the audio, however I didn’t suppose I’d mispronounce it so severely in order to nearly jeopardize American overseas relations with the French! And what’s extra ironic is that I’m really fluent in Spanish and communicate many phrases in numerous languages, however by some means butchered this phrase so poorly. And being because it’s a broadcast video on YouTube, I can’t edit the audio and re-do the voiceover, however I want I might, ha!”

The USN C-2A about to carry out a contact and go on Charles de Gaulle.

“My time spent on the Charles de Gaulle is one thing I’m very grateful to have skilled and don’t have anything however respect and admiration for the French Sailors we met that day – they have been very welcoming and past skilled.  And though I by no means bought to see the world-class and fully-stocked bar they’ve under deck, the French did ship us flying off with a number of freshly made baguettes, which was a pleasing shock!”

Rob at work on Charles de Gaulle.

Solely 15 C-2A nonetheless in service.

The U.S. Navy deliberate to retire the last 15 Greyhounds by 2026, changing them with 38 CMV-22B Ospreys. The transition to the brand new COD plane was already accomplished on the West Coast, when the Osprey was grounded following the crash that concerned a USAF CV-22B off the coast of Yakushima Island, Japan, on Nov. 29, 2023. The worldwide standdown was ordered after preliminary investigation data indicated a possible materiel failure brought about the CV-22B crash, killing 8 crew members.

C-2A preparing for a cat shot from Charles de Gaulle on Jan. 6, 2016.

Following the grounding, the U.S. Navy surged the final C-2A Greyhound squadron, Fleet Logistics Help (VRC) 40, to swap out the embarked CMV-22 with the C-2 with a view to proceed to fulfill the Provider Onboard Supply mission. The C-2As changed the brand new CMV-22B Osprey, with the East Coast’s VRC-40 flying the COD mission for the West Coast carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Naval Air Techniques Command lifted the grounding order on its V-22 Osprey fleet on March 8 easing the stress on the final Greyhounds.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, protecting aviation, protection, battle, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with completely different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Pressure, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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