A little love for the fleet workhorse


A lengthy post-availability at-sea period just ended for the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, which blitzed through sea trials, flight deck certification, carrier quals, and 3M (Maintenance Material Management) inspections following nine months of shipyard work that ended in mid-June.

During that time, Ike’s primary lifelines to shore were the reliable Carrier On-Board Delivery planes that deliver mail to ship and shore and carry personnel and spare parts back and forth. Filling the bill for Ike was Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 out of Naval Station Norfolk’s Chambers Field.

A VRC-40 COD aircraft performs an arrested landing aboard the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower Aug. 17. // U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

It goes without saying that CODs “deliver the mail.” According to VRC-40’s website, the squadron’s detachments deliver more than 3 million pounds of letters and packages every year and tally more than 1,000 arrested landings like the one pictured above.

They’re not very sexy, it’s not the most comfortable ride and it’s not much fun when you get stuck in the pattern because the flight deck is busy or fouled and you can’t even see out the window. But they’re not built for comfort. They get the job done. Personally, I love ’em. There’s nothing routine about an arrested landing or cat shot, and CODs get you safely to ship and shore. The squadron, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last July, says it recently completed its 20th straight year free of Class A mishaps. Impressive, to say the least.


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  1. It’s about time I see sometime about the CODs get some recognition! I served 7 long, hard years at VRC 30; but I wouldn’t change a thing. Can’t wait to get back.


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