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#151

fifty8th

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 5:40 PM

Just watched most of it in a marathon, and taped the parts I missed, and I have to say this was much better than I anticipated it being. It's weird that so much time has gone on since filming, I feel like I know these people and in actuality they have probably changed a lot since,

Someone asked about the colors of the flight deck crew's jerseys and what it meant and I found this link that explain them all.

#152

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 6:51 PM

Other than her sheer lack of a spine and her stupidity, my biggest issue with Tonya was the mouth-breathing. I think she mouth-breathed louder than she spoke. Does pregnancy cause a person to lose the ability to breathe through their nose or does she have a sinus infection?

And McLaughlin and his wife talking about the miscarriage totally broke my heart too. The look on his face as she's explaining the entire miscarriage situation - even though he's smiling through her story, you can tell he feels horrible about her having to depend on others, and about her having to deal with the pain on her own.

#153

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 6:52 PM

Questions (based on my viewing of the shows):
When do they stand around the perimeter of the carrier? is it only coming into American harbors? (That gave me chills to see.) What determines whether they wear their white uniforms or their black uniforms? Is the sole purpose of the carrier to support the pilots/planes? If there are, say, 100 pilots, how does the rest of the 4900 people break down (1000 supervisors/adminsitrators/officers, 500 support staff, 2000 on deck)? I mean, it seems like an awful lot of people to support the planes/pilots based on the 50 or fewer people we saw on deck at a time -- times 12 hour shifts). I can't wrap my brain around 5000 people aboard to support what I think I read earlier being 50 planes. Help me out here.


From my understanding, manning the rails is a sign of respect to the President and is rendered when passing Pearl Harbor, returning home, and at any other port where the Captain deems it appropriate. I know in the Marine Corps different seasons dictate which uniform is worn, maybe it works the same in the Navy?

I tried looking online for a breakdown of # of personnel on board. Mr. Aardvark is in a helicopter squadron. There are about 15 aircraft and they have over 300 Marines just in their unit. Not only does the Nimitz have the aircraft to support, but running a ship that size takes a huge number of support staff. Mr. AV's ship, the Peleliu, carried infantry Marines as well, and with them came their tanks, howitzer's, etc. I imagine the Nimitz must shuttle around a lot of other people besides just the jets.

#154

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 7:36 PM

I caught some of the marathon today and I was wishing I had more time to watch the whole thing. I liked the young man who said after being jumped by about twenty guys his mom told him to go down and talk to a recruiter. And then he got all religious on the boat.....then got it on with a girl in port in Australia! What was funny to me is how the next morning at breakfast he was going on and on how "God will forgive me of my sins...." and the guy next to him is all, "yeah....right!"

I also found it interesting that the ship is clearly 99% male (or close to it) there is so much gossip! Guess the men can dish as good as the ladies, no?

#155

ScarySkierNJ

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 8:39 PM

I really enjoyed the series. Like another poster my husband wanted more details about the ship and the planes but there are plenty of those shows on those topics. I loved the personalities involved and the stories they told. Quality stuff and a big thank you to all those in the military that keep us safe.

#156

willame

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 9:23 PM

Questions (based on my viewing of the shows):
When do they stand around the perimeter of the carrier? is it only coming into American harbors? (That gave me chills to see.) What determines whether they wear their white uniforms or their black uniforms? Is the sole purpose of the carrier to support the pilots/planes? If there are, say, 100 pilots, how does the rest of the 4900 people break down (1000 supervisors/adminsitrators/officers, 500 support staff, 2000 on deck)? I mean, it seems like an awful lot of people to support the planes/pilots based on the 50 or fewer people we saw on deck at a time -- times 12 hour shifts). I can't wrap my brain around 5000 people aboard to support what I think I read earlier being 50 planes. Help me out here.


I'm told that the white/blue determination depends on the season. However, I've wondered if folks in climates where it's cold most of the time or warm most of the time wear blue or white most of the time.

I found this breakdown of the Nimitz-class personnel at the US Navy Fact File: Crew: Ship's Company: 3,200 - Air Wing: 2,480. You can get a better idea of the various functions/departments by looking at individual ship websites. For example, the TR site says, "Navigation Department is one of the smallest departments aboard TR, consisting of 23 Enlisted personnel and 2 Officers. Its primary mission is the safe navigation of TR." The Truman site says,"Reactor Department is HST's third largest department. Four hundred highly skilled and motivated officers, chief petty officers and Sailors operate our two nuclear propulsion plants, providing steam for ship's propulsion, catapult operations, and electric power generation. In addition to producing and distributing the ship's supply of fresh water, Reactor Department also provides steam through an independent system for heating, laundry and galley services."

There are a lot of functions and people that were not featured in the series, but the carrier's purpose is to "project power" by launching aircraft and by serving as command platforms for other ships.

Edited by willame, May 4, 2008 @ 9:28 PM.


#157

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 9:54 PM

I also found it interesting that the ship is clearly 99% male (or close to it) there is so much gossip! Guess the men can dish as good as the ladies, no?

As one sailor put it - 7 hot dogs to every 1 bun.

#158

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Posted May 4, 2008 @ 11:02 PM

I was wishing I had more time to watch the whole thing


The episodes are available for viewing on the website so you don't have to be tied to your PBS station's schedule.


This was a terrific series. I hated to see it end. I really got invested in the crew.

#159

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 12:23 AM

Got my 70 year old aunt who can't bear watching more than 2 hours of anything on tv to catch just about half of it today. I can't speak highly enough of the series. Really well done.

#160

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 9:14 AM

Does anyone know offhand how to make the player on the PBS website bigger? I don't really want to download the whole thing, but I want to rewatch some parts and I hate that tiny little box.

That said, I think this entire series owes itself to their sound guys. I'm serious. The sound of very nearly all the dialogue is *perfect*. There's always such a danger of mumbling and static forcing TPTB and the viewers to rely on subtitles, but not here.

#161

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 10:23 AM

Finaly started watching this over the weekend with my housemates, one of whom was aboard the Nimitz while they were filming. Very interesting to watch it with someone who was there (we're all trying to see if we can see him in any of the footage but it's been tricky - we think we identified the back of his head in a hotel lobby, but the haircuts make it hard to be certain).

Can anyone explain the different colored turtlenecks to me? I saw yellow, red, green, blue...


According to my housemate the colors indicated who did what job on the flight deck. It's easier to identify the groups if they all wear the same bright color, so if you're looking for someone else in your group then you just have to look for a certain colored shirt.

#162

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 10:53 AM

My son wears a green shirt - he's a techie on the aircrew. Recently we watched "The Caine Mutiny" - the one with Bogart. It was filmed in '53 and I noticed the crews onboard a carrier then had all the different colored shirts as well. Must be a time-honored tradition (or a really good idea). Also wanted to mention that my dad was in the Navy during WWII and went thru the "Equator" ritual, so there's another old one - I wonder when that one started? Guess I'll check the Wiki.

#163

iamaluckydog

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 1:07 PM

There are two rituals: one for crossing the Equator, and another one for crossing the International Date Line.

#164

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 3:59 PM

Thank you, Aardvark and williame for your answers. Im still thinking about this series. That was just quality television....

#165

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 6:03 PM

I know in the Marine Corps different seasons dictate which uniform is worn, maybe it works the same in the Navy?


My father's WWII era whites were heavy cotton, his "crackerjack" suit (like the boy on the Crackerjacks box-back when crackerjacks came in boxes) was navy wool. They may use synthetics now, but wool is both flame-retardant and retains heat even when wet. I imagine the whole ship smelled of wet wool though. Pictures of him in the South Pacific, where they worked to make landing strips on islands, show him in wide legged jeans-like denim and chambray shirts.

Regarding Tonya, there was no way she was going to come out of this looking good. She's very inarticulate in comparison to Altice; she should have at least given him updates on her doctor's visits and the state of the pregnancy if she couldn't talk about her feelings. By not telling him she wasn't going to move in with him, she appears to be "stringing him along" , but if she had dumped him while he was deployed, she would have looked just as bad. I honestly believe she couldn't make up her mind, and she delayed making any life decisions until she couldn't delay any more. I think it came down to choosing the one she knew better. She didn't get to know Altice before they got "deeply involved" and the separation made him even more of a stranger.

#166

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 6:13 PM

I thought overall this was a good series, but I think it could have been edited down by at least one or episodes in length (not necessarily topics)

#167

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 7:01 PM

I've been watching some of the deleted scenes on the PBS website. It was interesting to see that at one social gathering they awarded the top three pilots based on observation of their landings. Fravor was 3rd, "The Big" Jacobowski was 2nd, and McLaughlin was first.

Unfortunately, they've gotten rid of some of the interviews, but I saw Brian "Fister" Foster's interviews from the google cache, and he's my favorite now. He talked emotionally about some experiences he'd had on the ground as a marine during the initial Iraq invasion. He was adamant that he risks his life & tries to be the best pilot he can be because he knows that marine lives on the ground depend on it.

I think some of the navy pilots would benefit from that kind of experience. They don't see the consequences after they drop their bombs. I got very irritated at McLaughlin bemoaning not getting to "go to the shows" and Dietrich saying she was disappointed at not getting to drop bombs because it's "fun". It is not a game for Foster.

#168

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 8:09 PM

@pasdetrois

While they dropped all the extra ordnance into the ocean, all I could think about was the marine life getting blasted to smithereens for no good reason.


From a friend who went on a Tiger cruise from Pearl Harbor to San Diego, I learned that they do the best they can to ensure that there are no big animals in the vicinity when they drop the bombs. I guess they use sonar to "drive" them out of the area. I don't know if it's true, but I think the science on it works, so I am inclined to believe it...

@zelmia

I was VERY disturbed by the "garbage" segment. Dumping all that shit into the ocean??? And they're answer is "Well, at least we're not as bad as the cruise ship industry."


My understanding is that anything that goes overboard has to be "biodegradable", which would be all the food garbage and so on. I think that the rationale behind dumping cans and other things like that is that the salt water essentially destroys it in short order. I think I saw that on a Discovery channel show or something.

#169

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 8:15 PM

I'm a Navy veteran, although I was in the sub fleet.

The posters asking about the Blues and the Whites are correct. The Navy has two completely different sets of uniforms: blues for winter and whites for summer. The rules on which you wear when are set by the local commander.

There are two rituals: one for crossing the Equator, and another one for crossing the International Date Line.

There's a third one for crossing into the Arctic circle.

#170

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Posted May 5, 2008 @ 8:57 PM

Unfortunately, they've gotten rid of some of the interviews, but I saw Brian "Fister" Foster's interviews from the google cache, and he's my favorite now. He talked emotionally about some experiences he'd had on the ground as a marine during the initial Iraq invasion. He was adamant that he risks his life & tries to be the best pilot he can be because he knows that marine lives on the ground depend on it.


At least some of this was in the program.

I got very irritated at McLaughlin bemoaning not getting to "go to the shows" and Dietrich saying she was disappointed at not getting to drop bombs because it's "fun".


This stuff upset me. Pilots often get the rap that they engage in long distance killing. Interviews like these only serve to confirm people's worst views.

#171

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 1:48 AM

Yikes, I just watched the video clip on the PBS site of Flight Deck dangers. The file footage of someone being sucked into a jet intake was disturbing to say the least.

#172

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 8:50 AM

I got very irritated at McLaughlin bemoaning not getting to "go to the shows" and Dietrich saying she was disappointed at not getting to drop bombs because it's "fun".

This stuff upset me. Pilots often get the rap that they engage in long distance killing. Interviews like these only serve to confirm people's worst views.

I can see that with Dietrich, but I thought McLaughlin had a good series of interviews where he looked at it from all angles. There was the side of him that was eager to bomb, sort of the adrenaline-junkie side of pilots, but then we get to see him talk about how it's because he's through all this combat and weapon training and he never uses it. He's part of the most highly trained pilots in the world, and he never uses a big chunk of his training. So there's a sort of useless aspect to it. And I know that's fairly common for a lot of military at times. But he tempers all that by his understanding that sometimes it's just the presence of him as well as other pilots and other military that helps to keep the peace or deters greater military action that might end up engaging him. So even though it's frustrating to someone who's highly trained, especially a fighter pilot, he did seem to have a greater understanding of the big picture.

#173

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 9:10 AM

I was amused to see Fravor explain that one of the pilots was different from the rest because... "he's a blue shirt". Presumably meaning he's a Democrat. I thought that was pretty funny until I realized that the "blue shirt" was the same one that had to divert to Baghdad and then never flew again.

And the deleted scene of Altice dealing with a berthing mate who sings "Eye of the Tiger" out loud every night killed me.

#174

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 9:27 AM

I was amused to see Fravor explain that one of the pilots was different from the rest because... "he's a blue shirt". Presumably meaning he's a Democrat. I thought that was pretty funny until I realized that the "blue shirt" was the same one that had to divert to Baghdad and then never flew again.


It thought the blue shirt was the guy who went home. The one who almost did not get out on time and got permission to leave a day early.

This stuff upset me. Pilots often get the rap that they engage in long distance killing. Interviews like these only serve to confirm people's worst views.


I thought most of the pilots came off fine. Especially when they said that they get over not dropping the bombs by knowing that things must be going well on the ground since they don't need them or something like that.

Edited by fifty8th, May 6, 2008 @ 9:30 AM.


#175

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 4:32 PM

It thought the blue shirt was the guy who went home. The one who almost did not get out on time and got permission to leave a day early.

Booher. Yeah, he was the blue state guy. And he'd gotten a number of extensions on his deployment, so he certainly wasn't being punished professionally for his views.

The more I think about the guy who screwed up - it seems he screwed up in a number of different ways. 1) Intentionally staying out even though he knew he was going to get low on fuel & only have one option for refueling 2) Not flying well enough to get the hose in successfully for refueling. It seems a steadier pilot would have been able to do it. 3) Busting a tire during his landing in Baghdad for no apparent reason other than being rattled. He probably deserved to be grounded.

I have a question for navy folks: I was looking at the bios on the PBS website, and it lists the years people have been "in the navy". When do they start counting that time? Is someone "in the navy" after they graduate from flight school? During? After they graduate from Naval Academy (if they went)?

It seemed funny that someone like the female pilot Laurie Coffey who they say has "been in the navy for 12 years" was only being deployed for the first time (a "nugget") during this cruise.

#176

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 6:35 PM

Booher. Yeah, he was the blue state guy. And he'd gotten a number of extensions on his deployment, so he certainly wasn't being punished professionally for his views.


I'm not thinking that was such a good thing for him.

3) Busting a tire during his landing in Baghdad for no apparent reason other than being rattled. He probably deserved to be grounded.


I'm not sure that one can be blamed on him exactly, other than if he did not land there it would not have happened, it may have been his fault but there are also a number of reasons that the tire could have blew.

t seemed funny that someone like the female pilot Laurie Coffey who they say has "been in the navy for 12 years" was only being deployed for the first time (a "nugget") during this cruise.


I thought it was Alex Dietrich that was the nugget and the other female pilot (Laurie Coffey) was not.

Edited by fifty8th, May 6, 2008 @ 6:36 PM.


#177

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 8:57 PM

After they graduate from Naval Academy (if they went)?


I was under the impression that service academy cadets are "in the service" from the day they enter the academy.

#178

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 11:22 PM

The posters asking about the Blues and the Whites are correct. The Navy has two completely different sets of uniforms: blues for winter and whites for summer. The rules on which you wear when are set by the local commander.



I asked about uniforms in warm-weather climates and was told that the commander might choose to have whites worn all year. You see on the series that the Nimitz coming back in November wears white in Hawaii and blue in San Diego.

I have a question for navy folks: I was looking at the bios on the PBS website, and it lists the years people have been "in the navy". When do they start counting that time? Is someone "in the navy" after they graduate from flight school? During? After they graduate from Naval Academy (if they went)?


I believe they start counting from when they're sworn in, even if they don't really seem to be doing anything but going to school. Even if not at the Academy, they still have to report in regularly, obey certain rules, etc. It's not unusual for naval personnel to spend a lot of time on land; they are often at training schools and, depending on the ships to which they're assigned, may spend most of their sea tours on land doing maintenance, equipment upgrades, and testing.

#179

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Posted May 6, 2008 @ 11:56 PM

The Cadets/Mid Shipmen at the Academies are doing much more then going to school. They start school going through what is essentially boot camp. Their vacations are spent attending different training schools. They have a few weeks off here or there and that is it. During the school year they have classes, everyone is required to spend a specific amount of time (I want to say 2 hours a day) participating in a sport, and they have military training. Their schedules are built to overwhelm them and see who can handle the pressure and get through and who falls short. It is insanely intense. I think it was the Discovery Channel that had a series on the Service Academies a few years back. It was interesting to watch.

Time in service is measured from when the person begins boot camp.

It sounds like Booher was stop lost at least once. Which had to suck. It is an unfortunate part of serving in the armed forced right now. I thought that he handled it well, which is to say professionally. Especially since, reading between the lines, he does not agree with the war. If that is the case, flying missions over Iraq while being stop lost was probably very problematic for Booher.

#180

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Posted May 7, 2008 @ 2:24 PM

I really enjoyed this documentary and thought it was worth ordering the series on DVD. I found the personal stories interesting and some were very moving and inspirational. Thanks PBS.

Mr. Christian Garzone had me cracking up whenever he and Philip were on. I also enjoyed watching Mr. Lonnie Fields and his son. That Little Shooter shirt he was wearing was really cute. The Chris Altice guy with his girlfriend Tanya, I thought had an interesting story throughout the series, but it is a common one and happens all the time. This 23 year old man doesn't impress me anymore, now that I have seen how he has let his 15 minutes of "fame" get to his head. He claims to need help getting to California because he suddenly wants to see his daughter since the last episode of the series aired, so he asked all of his "fans" to send him money through his Paypal account to help him get there. This is no lie, he's got the Paypal sign up on his page for people to click on and send money. He says he wants to visit his daughter and see his friends who are still in the Navy and on ship. He's also been auctioning off a couple of his red jerseys from the show and personalized autographed Carrier posters on ebay. In one of his recent "bulletins" on myspace, he thanks a "special new friend" for making it possible to get to California on May 28th. It also reads, "she knows who she is." I'm assuming that this girl, whoever she is on myspace.com, hooked him up with a plane ticket out there. Then in another "bulletin" he asks for a new Sidekick cell phone because his is too slow, and hopes someone can hook him up. Yet, he's still accepting money from strangers. Does that sound a little weird to anyone else, or is it just me?

He's posted next to his picture: "In an era where entertaiment and the media in general, is dominated by plastic pretty people, I think the public is dying for a genuine "everyman", I am that man."

Dude, we appreciate your service and the unfortunate situation you were in (by your own doing) on the show, we really do, but take a slice of humble pie and get over yourself.

In this situation, I think Tanya did what she thought was best for her and her baby. She married the guy we heard about on the show who, as it turns out is a 22 year old Church Ministry Leader, and he's been helping her to raise the little girl for over two years. Again, this is one of those things that happens all the time with many young people in the military. It's kind of a sad how you're old enough to sign on the dotted line and get sent to war, but you're not SMART enough to use protection when having sex.

And thanks to one of the other TWop posters who included a link for an update and photos of the US Marine, Randy Brock, and his beautiful wife and children. It looks like he's doing really well, and I was impressed by how he made the decision to do something positive with his life, despite how rough it was for him as a child.