Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

Providing Prowler Support from the Sands of Southwest Asia

Providing Prowler Support from the Sands of Southwest Asia

By Chief Journalist (SW) Douglas H. Stutz, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia Public Affairs.

Southwest Asia -- (NNS) November 15, 2002 -- The desert sun of the Arabian Peninsula has a tendency to shine bright, high and hot over the yardarm most days. Yet the personnel of the forward-deployed Expeditionary Logistics Unit (ELU) 2 know that professionally, they got it made in the shade.

An EA-6B "Prowler" from the "Rooks" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron One Three Seven (VAQ-137) circles USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) for its final approach. The "Rooks" are part of Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) deployed on the nuclear aircraft carrier in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Dave Adams

Although hundreds of miles from the nearest body of water, the approximately 60 personnel of ELU-2 are literally as ship shape in the sun-baked sand as any forward-deployed force could hope.

To a man, members of ELU-2 will state that their mission is crucial. They provide sustained intermediate level maintenance and logistical support to Expeditionary EA-6B Prowler squadrons. That support allows them to carry out the vital aerial electronic warfare protection needed for coalition aircraft conducting missions in support of Operation Southern Watch (OSW).

"Our troops have the ability to see their hard work translated into an airborne combat asset," said ELU-2 unit commander, Lt. Cmdr. Charles G. Murphy, from the Spokane, Wash., area. "Seeing that final product able to conduct the mission is very gratifying for our Sailors. The Prowler is our premier platform for enemy suppression and OSW can’t do any missions without them."

"All of our troops know that all the jobs they do out here are necessary and essential to every mission," echoed Master Chief Avionics Technician (AW/SW) Anthony Glavick. "Our troops are proud to provide the finest support available. We are all very aware that every time the Prowlers fly in support of OSW missions, they will most likely be shot at. They carry out their responsibilities with a fine-tuned sense of dedication and determination."

The Sailors of ELU-2, who find themselves and their particular branch of the service numbering only a handful amongst the Air Force and Army, and even British peers, don’t mind being part of the "waterless Navy." They have heard most of the good-natured quips that come their way.

"Although we miss sailing the world’s oceans, life and working conditions are pretty good here in the desert," Glavick noted.

But on the far side of ELU-2’s makeshift Navy pier in the desert are highly functional, rapidly deployable, state-of-the-art mobile maintenance facility vans. The vans house ELU-2’s nine divisions of gear, equipment and supplies.

The van concept originated six years ago as a viable method to provide intermediate level maintenance support of EA-6B’s operating from many remote land base locations.

Resembling a boxed maze complex from the outside, stepping inside the connecting linked vans is almost like being within the skin of a ship.

Besides being able to ensure the vans are air conditioned and operational, the spaces are stringently kept as dust and debris free as possible. That’s not an easy task when the outside temperature can peak well over 120 degrees for weeks at a stretch, along with constant head winds swirling sand and the elements around the far corner of "Dry Dock" Boulevard.

"The elements can be difficult at times," said Murphy. "When the temperatures soar, they can play havoc with our sophisticated avionics equipment, no matter how much we try to keep them cool. We have certain pieces of avionics gear that will shut down if the inside ambient temperature of the vans reach above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. We are always looking for ways to improve on keeping our gear, and our troops, as cool as possible."

A typical six-month deployment for ELU-2 is unique. Not only do they spend half the time supporting OSW, but they also spend the remaining time at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, or Sembach, Germany, in support of Operation Northern Watch.

According to Glavick, another distinctive feature of ELU-2 is that it is truly a prime example of being a mobile expeditionary unit.

"We can be packed up and ready to move in less than four days," Glavick said. "We have a big footprint of responsibility here. However, if need be, we can certainly move and relocate to conduct our support operations anywhere we are needed."

ELU-2 continues to add not just a footnote to the combat readiness of OSW, but an entire chapter by combining professionalism with a commitment to readiness, and about as far from a shoreline as a Sailor could possibly be.


Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).