2014 Hawkeye – Greyhound Symposium “Year of the Hawkeye”: POSTEX
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E-2 Hawkeye’s entry into Fleet operations. Over the course of those fifty-years the aircraft has radically changed and grown in capabilities and mission focus, while visually remaining much the same as the first E-2A . From Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, it has been a part of every conflict and some notable special missions. Developed as a purpose-built AEW platform to guide carrier-based fighters to intercept Soviet missile carrying bombers, it counts a multitude of missions that include battle management, post-disaster relief (air traffic control), SAR, counter-narcotics, and ASUW, to name but a few. In its forthcoming iteration, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, it will be a centerpiece in Navy’s integrated fires plan. And for good measure, this was also the 50th Anniversary of the first flight of the C-2 Greyhound.
So how do you recognize 50 years of service? Well – you certainly throw a celebration – and this year’s Hawkeye – Greyhound Ball and Hawkeye – Greyhound Week in October will feature the 50 year celebration!
…And that it did. With well over 250-plus active duty, Reserve, retired and industry attendees, this year’s Hawkeye-Greyhound Symposium was one of the largest ever. A joint East-West Coast effort between the Hawkeye-Greyhound Association (HGA) (East) and the VAW-VRC Foundation (West), the Symposium featured a day of panels and presentations on the current and “to be” state of the aircraft and community, among many other events. Guest speakers included CAPT Drew Basden(CACCLW), RADM “Mike” Shoemaker (CNAL) with opening remarks, CAPT John Lemmon (PMA-231), Mr. Bart LaGrone (Northrop Grumman), ADM William “Shortney” Gortney (USFFC) who was the keynote guest speaker, RADM Matt Klunder (ONR) and a flag panel with RADM’s Klunder, Shelanski (N81), Cloyd (USFFC) and Stearney (NWDC) at day’s end to close out the session. The presentations made by CAPT Basden, CACCLW and CAPT Lemmon, PMA-231 are attached below. Some key takeaways:
- Group II E-2C’s to be retired and the remaining E-2C’s necked down to a common H2K configuration that will be compatible with E-2D. Sunset for the E-2C: 2024
- Next two E-2D squadrons from the East Coast (VAW-121 then VAW-126) but deploy with west coast CSGs. E-2C’s deploy with east cost CSGs. Community needs to be also thinking about E-2Ds in expeditionary settings.
- No official decision on the C-2’s replacement — yet. Regardless of the platform chosen, however, the VAW-VRC community will retain the mission.
- UCLASS is the next community asset – ours to develop, support and exploit. UCLASS Fleet Introduction Team stands up in Oct 2015
- The E-2 program is the biggest program in our resource sponsor’s portfolio (N2/N6)
- E-2D now a program of record – 1.4B annually for procurement, R&D and O&MN. 75 a/c total with 50 already contracted for under multi-year procurement. 5 x a/c per squadron and IFR is coming (only for E-2D). The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is “a revolution in Naval Air and the Navy itself.”
All in all, a very productive, successful effort with special thanks to the HGA and VAW/VRC leadership and our corporate sponsors – Aero Simulation (silver), Honeywell (silver), L-3/Randtron (gold), Boeing/Bell (platinum), Northrop Grumman Corporation (platinum), Lockheed Martin (platinum) and Rockwell Collins (silver); for making this happen.