The Navy plans to send an E-2/C-2 detachment to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) to conduct Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) operations beginning Monday, June 16. The operations will continue through June 27. This will be the first squadron detachment since the Navy began conducting FCLPs at Wallops last November.
About 200 aviators, air crew and maintenance personnel, along with eight aircraft, from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 (VAW 120), will travel from Naval Station Norfolk to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and remain there for the duration of these operations (about 11 days). All of these personnel will reside in off-base local area accommodations. FCLP operations conducted to date have involved E-2/C-2 aircraft flying out of and returning to Naval Station Norfolk, with ground and support personnel remaining in Norfolk.
During this time frame, the Navy will conduct both day and night FCLPs. The flight schedule has been posted at this link: http://www.cnic.navy.mil/content/dam/cnic/cnrma/pdfs/Flight_Schedule.pdf. This will be the only time a detachment will be sent to Wallops for FCLP operations this summer.
Landing an aircraft on the flight deck of an underway aircraft carrier is one of the most complex and demanding tasks required of any pilot. FCLP is the foundation of carrier aviation, providing aviators with critical real world training before landing on an aircraft carrier. Before any carrier aviator – no matter how experienced – can fly to a carrier, he or she must successfully complete multiple day and night FCLP periods at a properly equipped airfield ashore. FCLP training at Wallops is only approved for Navy E-2C/D and C-2A turboprop aircraft.