February 9th 2012 saw AeroResource visiting Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island. Mark Forest was able to get up close with the colourful C-2A Greyhounds of VRC-30 “Providers”; a Pacific based Fleet Logistics Support Squadron.
VRC-30 can trace its history back to June 1943, beginning service as VR-5 flying, amongst others, the Douglas R4D Skytrain. In October 1966, VR-5 became VR-30 “Alameda Detachment” before in October 1978 VR-30 was decommissioned and VRC-30 was commissioned. By late 1981 the squadron had fully transitioned to the C-2A Greyhound and by 1994 took sole control of Pacific fleet C-2 operations, which it still does up to this day.
Awards and Mission Statement
2011 was a very successful year for VRC-30, with the squadron seeing awards such as the COMNAVAIRPAC Battle Efficiency Award and the COMPACFLT Retention Excellence Award.
Commanding Officer Joel “Vegas” Becker commenting on what these awards means to the squadron:
The squadron has a real sense of what they do for the Navy. Every person in the squadron understands that if we don’t do what we need to, the ships, and ultimately the Navy, cannot do what America needs it to do. It was the pride and professionalism that the squadron has in getting the job done correctly; which is what we strive for day in and day out. It validates the hard work. Receiving these awards lets them know that their hard work does not go unnoticed, and what they do is important in accomplishing the mission
Over the course of the year, they flew nearly 5000 flight hours, transported over 15,000 visitors and had four detachments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Odyssey Dawn and Tomodachi.
In completing their tasks, VRC-30 maintains their primary mission focus of:
Providing fully manned detachments, ready to deploy in support of Fleet operations around the globe.
Delivering high priority cargo and logistics to the Pacific Fleet Aircraft Carriers.
Fully training pilots, aircrew and maintenance staff in order to deploy.
Supporting Special Naval Warfare operations.
The C-2A Greyhound
A twin engine cargo aircraft that is designed to land on aircraft carriers and a derivative of the E-2 Hawkeye that replaced the C-1 Trader in the Carrier On-board Delivery role (COD) during the mid 1960’s.The prototypes maiden flight being November 18th 1964 with 2 aircraft in use for test purposes. Production of the C-2A began during 1965.
The whole fleet of 36 C-2A aircraft is currently undergoing a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) to increase its operating service life from 15,000 landings and 10,000 flight hours to 36,000 landings and 15,000 flight hours. The modifications are: Structural Enhancements, aircraft Rewire Avionics Systems improvements and a new eight-bladed NP2000 propeller system which was introduced from 2010 onwards. The first upgrade left the Naval Air Depot (NADEP) at NAS North Island in September 2005.
The C-2A Greyhound provides logistics support to Carrier Strike Groups. Its primary mission is the transport of high-priority cargo, mail and passengers between carriers and naval bases. The C-2A can deliver a combined payload of 10,000 pounds over a distance of 1,300 nm. The interior cabin can readily accommodate cargo, passengers and Priority cargo such as aircraft engines that can be transported from shore to ship in a matter of hours. The large cargo ramp/door and a powered winch allow straight-in cargo loading and unloading for fast turnaround on land or at sea. The C-2A’s in-flight ramp open capability allows supplies and troops to be dropped from any location. A unique feature of the C-2A is the on board Auxiliary Power Unit that provides engine-starting capability and ground power self-sufficiency at remote locations throughout the globe.
VRC-30 currently has 15 aircraft assigned and 5 Carrier Air Wing (CVW) detachments (Det) around the Pacific region.
Det 1 CVW-14 USS Ronald Reagan
Det 2 CVW-2 USS Abraham Lincoln
Det 3 CVW-11 USS Nimitz
Det 4 CVW-9 USS John C Stennis
Det 5 NAS Atsugi, Japan
AeroResource would like to offer their sincere thanks to the Public Affairs Office of NAS North Island and the staff of VRC-30 and especially CDR Joel Becker for both tours of the facility and squadron’s aircraft. Thanks are also due to Chapman, J.Astley and I.French for co-ordination and background work for our journalist’s visits.