What can I say? NAS Jax has been home for quite a long time. I transferred here from Maine in 1985. Sure was a switch...from snow drifts and sub-zero temperatures to sunny beaches and palm trees. My first command at NAS Jax was CPW-11 (the VP wing). I was there from 1985 to 1989. My shore tour was only supposed to be 36 months, but I was involuntarily extended one year. It broke my heart. When it came time to go shopping for new orders, I was very disappointed. Instead of moving across the street to Hanger 1000, the detailer gave me four choices to stay in Jacksonville: CV-59 USS Forrestal, CV-60 USS Saratoga, HSL-42 or HS-15. He thought I was crazy when I turned down his offer of VP orders. VP-23 in Brunswick, Maine! My old squadron! I ended up with orders to HS-15.
I spent four and a half years at Helantisubron Fifteen. I made two cruises on the USS Forrestal (CV-59), and the last cruise on the Saratoga (CV-60). I had extended there to transition from H-3's the SH-60 helicopter. In March of 1994 I transferred to NS Mayport, at HSL-46 and spent three very short years of shore duty there, with the SH-60B. Then in July of 1997, it was back to NAS Jax and the Red Lions again. This time around, I've made one cruise, on the USS Eisenhower (CVN-69) and will make the work-ups for the next cruise on the USS Washington (CVN-73). Then it's over to Hangar 30, and VP-30........