“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always remember,” says Gaylon Nunn of Lynden’s Help Desk in Seattle. Gaylon was one of 14 people recently invited aboard the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier on a Distinguished Visitor (DV) embark. He was flown from Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) in San Diego to the carrier while the crew was conducting training operations at sea. “We flew out to the ship aboard a Navy C-2 Greyhound transport plane making a cable-arrested landing on the ship’s flight deck. The landing wasn't at all like landing at SeaTac,” Gaylon explains. “It was quite violent and took about three seconds to go from around 130 knots to 0. The seating on the C2 is backwards, and there are no windows, so the anticipation before landing was a little tense.”
Once onboard, Gaylon viewed flight operations, visited the bridge, Primary Flight Control and had the opportunity to eat with crew members and officers.
“I was surprised when they took us right out on the flight deck where we were only feet away from where jets were taking off. They also took us to the stern where jets were landing. We were standing right next to where the arresting cable was paying out. Sparks were flying!” he says.
Gaylon’s trip also included meeting pilots of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 Black Aces and touring the weapons control and war planning rooms. His two-day adventure ended with a catapult launch off the bow of the ship back to the station in San Diego. “The launch nearly knocked my wind out,” he says.
Before leaving the ship, Gaylon passed out information about Lynden’s transportation and logistics capabilities to the ship’s officers along with Lynden baseball caps which was fitting since he was given a cap from the John C. Stennis. “It was eye opening for me to see how the men and women of the US Navy work to protect our freedom,” he says of his trip.
(Bow of the ship)
(Group photo - Gaylon is on the far right)
*Photos courtesy of Gaylon Nunn