Red Storm Rising After Action Report
"Calm Before the Storm"
This mission is pretty simple: Leave port without hitting anything and transit to the local OPAREA for ASW exercises.
USS Reuben James (FFG 57) prepares for a pre-dawn underway from U.S. Naval Base - Norfolk.
A pair of F-14 Tomcats overfly the base.
With one long and three short blasts of the ship's whistle, Reuben James carefully backs away from the pier.
Our trusty navigator has plotted a course to the Virginia Capes OPAREA.
We have to keep our speed down near the Navy piers.
A beautiful sunrise.
Clear of the Navy piers, we are free to increase speed. Hampton, Virginia is in the background.
This sailboat driver is either a fool or has no fear.
Where are the babes in bikinis?
A Marine Corps Chinook helicopter departs Naval Air Station - Norfolk.
Our SPS-49 air search radar immediately detects the helo. Note the numerous surface contacts.
The lookouts keep a close watch on the civilian traffic.
Here's a fishing boat. We'll be seeing more of him, later.
Another merchant vessel, probably headed for Newport News.
The radio crackles to life:
This is fishing boat Katie Belle. We're five miles west of Cape Henry.
We have a bad fire on board and need help now!
The fire is out of conrol.
Reuben James to the rescue!
This commuter plane's passengers have a bird's eye view.
Reuben James quickly closes the distance.
Maneuvering carefully to bring the fishing boat alongside. It wouldn't do to run her over.
The view from Katie Belle. Reuben James must be the most beautiful Navy ship these fishermen have ever seen!
The fishermen are transferred on board.Our corpsman has given
first-aid, but one of the civilians has serious burns and
must be evacuated immediately to hospital ashore. We'll launch our helo ASAP and fly the injured man to NAS Norfolk.
Reuben James moves away from the fishing boat in case it explodes.
After setting 'Green Deck', the helo prepares for launch.
The fishing boat is still burning fiercely.
Approaching NAS Norfolk.
The helo has arrived at NAS Norfolk. The injured fisherman is expected to survive.
It's mission of mercy accomplished, our helo returns to Reuben James.
A commercial airliner departs Norfolk International Airport.
The helo is on final approach.
The last few feet are the tricky part.
The helo shuts down its engines.
The rotor blades are folded in preparation for entering the hangar.
There she goes!
Reuben James at flank speed to make it to the OPAREA in time.