USS New Jersey Visits 177th Fighter Wing

The following day after the Atlantic City Air Show the committee and crew members visiting from the USS New Jersey were granted the chance to visit the 177th Fighter Wing, NJ Air National Guard.

Big thank you to committee trustee Marshall Spevak for organizing the visit! Joining Marshall, were committee members Joe Velez, and chairman Stephen Hutton.

After an orientation session that explained the role and composition of the unit we were taken to meet with two pilots on standby for immediate departure (should the need arise), their F-16s fully fueled and armed. We were able to get up close to the aircraft and the sailors had some great questions for the two pilots.

While we weren’t allowed to take photos at this point their Public Affairs person (Senior Airman Hunter Hires) took the following photo for us of USAF Capt. Patrick “SOJO” Schiffer discussing his aircraft and his mission.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Patrick "SOJO" Schiffer
U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Hunter Hires

After this fantastic Q&A opportunity we were taken to get a photo with a nearby unarmed F-16c Fighting Falcon

mmission Committee and USS New Jersey Sailors Visit 177th Fighter Wing
U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Hunter Hires

Next the crew and committee were in for another treat as we were taken into a highly secure area where two F-16 flight simulators were in place. Every sailor and committee member was given a chance to ‘fly’ an F-16, and in Marshall’s case deplete all his ammunition and require rearming in mid-flight.

Such a unique military experience so unlike anything submariners typically have an opportunity to participate in. At the end of the visit gifts were exchanged and it looks like the beginning of a friendship between the SSN 796 ‘Devil Fish’ and 177th Fighter Wing ‘Jersey Devils’.

A Great Day For An Air Show!

Weather was a little on the warm side but the sky was clear and just right for the Atlantic City Air Show on August 24th. The committee got to the boardwalk a little early, with Steve Hutton making the delivery of our tent, table, weights, and giveaways and Joe Velez and Peter Engelman on station ready to receive. The three of us finally figured out how to put the committee’s new tent up, and it looked fantastic!

Tent graphics designed by Aviate Creative, LLC

We told the sailors they didn’t have to arrive too early, but we set aside the table provided by the city for the crew to sell their t-shirt, ball caps, coins etc. All profits from their sales go towards the submarine’s MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) fund.

The crew looked great as usual and between ourselves and the sailors we attracted a lot of visits from people in the city for the Air Show. We handed out free coasters with our logo on, and gave out trifolds and explained what our role was regarding the boat and her crew. We solicited donations and pointed out that they could visit our web site to make contributions.

Crew members busy answering questions and selling

Not too long into the event we were joined by committee member Timi Lindsay and the four members stayed through until the end of the event, which was at 3:30pm at the conclusion of the Thunderbirds demonstration.

Special thanks to Ed Troche, Bill Aitken, and Joe Velez for getting the committee our new embroidered polo shirts. They turned out great and made the team look that much more professional!

Reception for Atlantic City Air Show

On Tuesday August 23rd the visiting sailors from the USS New Jersey, along with members of the commissioning committee were invited by the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce to attend a reception being given primarily for military participants in the upcoming Air Show. Principal among the attendees were the pilots and support personnel from the USAF Thunderbirds demonstration team – the ‘to be’ highlight performers for the following day’s air show.

So grateful to the AC Chamber of Commerce for putting on this event and for allowing us to be attendees. The following photo doesn’t do justice to the scale of the event, but was the best I could manage:

Atlantic City Air Show Here We Come

Only a few days away from the Atlantic City Air Show and we are ready. Look for us on the boardwalk by ‘Boardwalk Hall’ right next to the tent for the Battleship New Jersey. We’re bringing several crew members up from the new submarine the USS New Jersey to visit Atlantic City and get to know our state.

During the air show we’ll be manning our tent and looking for you to stop by if you’re there to meet us and some of the submarine’s crew. Come and meet us and learn about our mission of supporting the newest USS New Jersey as she readies to join the fleet next year. The sailors will be selling some souvenir items – ball caps, t-shirts, and more… and we will have a few little giveaways too!

We’ve done several of these crew visits now in various parts of NJ to introduce the crew to their namesake state as well as to give our state’s residents a chance to meet the sailors who will be proudly sailing the third US warship named New Jersey.

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