MISSION AND HISTORY OF NAVAL AVIATION
Today's naval aircraft have come a long way from
the Wright Brothers' flying machine. These modern
and complex aircraft require a maintenance team that is
far superior to those of the past. You have now joined
this proud team.
You, the Airman Apprentice, will get a basic
introduction to naval aviation from this training
manual. In the Airman manual, you will learn about the
history and organization of naval aviation; the design of
an aircraft, its systems, line operations, and support
equipment requirements; and aviation safety, rescue,
crash, and fire fighting.
In this chapter, you will read about some of the
historic events of naval aviation. Also, you will be
introduced to the Airman rate and different aviation
ratings in the Navy. You will find out about your duties
as an Airman. Leadership and training are going to
become an everyday part of your life while you are in
the Navy. With your basic naval training completed,
you have a chance to experience some of the other types
of training available to you. Leadership is an important
aspect of any military organization. Leadership and
teamwork go hand-in-hand, starting right here in the
THE MISSION OF NAVAL
overall mission of naval aviation.
Other countries look upon the United States as the
leader of the free world. This accomplishment comes
partly through our military strength achieved through
sea power. The ability to fight in World War II, the
Korean War, and the Vietnam War came directly from
the Navy's sea power.
The mission of naval aviation is to support our
naval forces. This support helps keep vital sea lanes
open and denies their use to enemy forces in time of
war. To accomplish this task, naval aviation has a
primary function. The primary function of naval
aviation is to closely coordinate with other naval forces
in maintaining command of the seas. Accomplishing
this task takes five basic operations:
Eyes and ears of the fleet. Naval aviation has
over-the-horizon surveillance equipment that provides
vital information to our task force operation.
Protection against submarine attack. Anti-
submarine warfare operations go on continuously for
the task force and along our country's shoreline. This
type of mission includes hunter/killer operations to be
sure of task force protection and to keep our coastal
Aid and support operations during amphibious
landings. From the beginning to the end of the
operations, support occurs with a variety of firepower.
Providing air cover and support is an important
function of naval aviation in modern, technical warfare.
Rapid logistic support for ground forces.
Logistic support aircraft strongly support the mobility
of the ground forces. Providing logistic support aircraft
is another required function of naval aviation.
Search and rescue operations. During sea
missions, the possibility of a downed aircraft or man
overboard always exists. Search and rescue helps
reduce the number of lives lost.
As you can see, naval aviation plays many critical
roles in the support of the Navy's mission. The overall
mission of the United States Navy depends on the use
of highly complex aircraft.
What is the mission and primary function of
THE HISTORY OF NAVAL AVIATION
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize some
of the important events in naval aviation.
The Navy's interest in airplanes as a naval weapon
dates back to 1898. Several naval officers became
members of an interservice board. Their job was to
observe and investigate the military possibilities of the
new flying machine. In 1908 and 1909, naval officer
observers were present at the public demonstrations
staged by the Wright brothers.