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Around The Fleet

In COD We Trust

Celebrating 50 years of service to our country

A 6,000 foot runway is usually an adequate landing space for aircraft that weighs less than 200,000 pounds - and the C-2A clocks in at just fewer than 58k.

The only thing is, the main mission of the C-2A is to deliver parts, people and mail to deployed carriers throughout the fleet. The average length of those runways? 300 feet. This seems more impossible than Santa fitting down a chimney. And this landing miracle may need to happen multiple times a day.

The crew of the carriers relies on it. These aircraft and their crews are the unsung heroes of naval aviation, delivering more than a million pounds of high priority cargo and thousands of passengers to carriers at sea every year, for the past 50 years.

Since the inception of these workhorses, referred to as CODs (Carrier Onboard Delivery), the aircraft has undergone plenty of changes. Recently it has underwent a Service Life Extension Program increasing operating service life from 15,020 landings and 10k flight hours to 36k landings and 15k flight hours.

"There are 35 C-2As in existence - and we are the only Navy that operates an Aircraft of this type around the world," said Cmdr. Chad White, commanding officer for the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.

It takes quite a team to keep these CODs up and running. A dedicated maintenance crew both at the shore command and attached to the carriers, a reliable support staff and capable pilots.

"The hours of operation can vary between six and 13 hours per day depending on what the mission is," said Lt. Gordon Mohl, a C-2A Greyhound pilot. "Taking cargo from the shore to the ship and back normally takes six to seven hours. The longer days are usually caused by distinguished visitor embarks."

And since the COD can't fly at night, these are days starting at first light, and the maintenance teams must stay diligent doing a full troubleshoot of the aircraft after every landing.

"The C-2A is the life blood of the strike wing of carrier battle groups," said CMDCM Shannon Williamson, VRC-30 command master chief. "We supply people, parts and personnel to the aircraft wing, which is a vital part of a carrier strike group."

The C-2A has been vital since its first flight on Nov. 16, 1964. Its self-sufficiency in remote areas provides an operational versatility found in no other cargo aircraft. It can deliver a combined payload of 10k pounds over a distance in excess of 1000 nautical miles. Like Santa, without all the hype.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) aircraft
Contractor: Grumman Corporation
Unit Cost: $38.96 million
Propulsion: Two Allison T56-A-425 turboprop engines; 4,600 shaft horsepower each
Length: 56 feet 10 inches (17.3 meters)
Height: 17 feet 2 inches (5.28 meters)
Wingspan: 80 feet 7 inches (24.56 meters)
Weight: Max. Gross, take-off: 57,500 lbs (26,082 kg)
Airspeed: Cruise - Approximately 260 knots true airspeed speed; Max - Approximately 343 knots
Ceiling: 30,000 feet (9,144 meters)
Range: 1,000 nautical miles (1150.77945 statute miles)
Crew: Four

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