Thread: Final Countdown
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 06:57
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere flat
Age: 63
Posts: 3,712
Shortly after the film was released, a Shackleton squadron possibly caused a Final Countdown moment on another of the USN's finest. The said Squadron was on a deployment to St Mawgan to take part in the two week JMC off the SW Approaches, and was to give continuous AEW cover to the blue task group (yes - that Sqn). One of the crews decided that they would play the "War" properly, and the captain insisted that the transit out was as covert as possible - two hours at 150 feet, radar off. Also at the brief, the crew was told to look out for a Kresta II which was following one of the task groups. An hour into the transit, the captain, who fancied himself as a bit of a recognition expert, suddenly declared that he had visual on the Kresta II.."Lets go and take a photograph". The Navigator, who was an ex-AEOp and did know about ship recognition wandered up to the flight deck for a look...."Doesn't look lie a Kresta to me". Meanwhile, the Shackleton accelerated towards the ship which grew bigger - very slowly. More ships appeared and suddenly the sky was filled with two F14s followed by a Prowler as they tried to fly at the Shackleton's speed but stayed well above! The penny dropped with the Captain. "Oops its a Carrier Battle Group - never mind let's still go for a look". "Not a good idea skip - its a carrier and they are flying - not good to burst the circuit". Meanwhile, the F14s continued to circle above as the Prowler decided to drop down to try to formate on the Shackleton - now slowed down again. The mission crew flicked through a few radio frequencies to try to contact the shadowing aircraft to hear a surreal transmission back to the ship "I don't know Sir... I think its a Liberator". Discretion took over, and a 90 right slowly began to open the range again at 160 kts. Low level transits to the Fleet didn't happen again that exercise.
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