Scoop Deck blogger Lance M. Bacon just completed a 24-hour embark aboard the carrier Harry S Truman. This is the play-by-play.
Cmdr. William Bulis is Truman’s new Air Boss. He’s the one who keeps the chaos under control. (Photo by Lance M. Bacon)
We’re one deck above the bridge, and six stories above the flight deck, in a tight space called “Pri Fly” (short for Primary Flight Control). This is the nerve center for flight ops on the carrier. From his chair the Air Boss, Cmdr. William Bulis, controls the launches, landings and patterns of aircraft flying near the ship. He also controls all movements on the flight deck, which remains one of the most dangerous places on earth.
A host of commanders are hovering inside Pri Fly. Some are ensuring their guys get squeezed in the rotation. Others are checking the qualification status of their pilots. The Air Boss, who is fairly new to the crew, is taking their requests in stride and making this look easy. So easy, in fact, that he is giving Scoop Deck a crash course (no pun intended) with every spare 30 seconds that he can find in the cycle.