Hello, I’m Jessica Williams, curator of history and collections at the Intrepid
Museum. We’re continuing our series, “Conducting a Mission” with a look at how
intrepid crew supported pilots on their flight missions.
At this point in our series, the airplane has taken off from Intrepid’s flight
deck. The ship’s air boss stationed in the island and primary flight control,
controls the airplane when it is close to the ship- about five miles away.
Once the airplane is in the air, much of the coordination takes place below
decks. Let’s go visit some of those spaces.
Here we are on the gallery deck. Many of Intrepid’s command and control functions
were located in this part of the ship.
This is the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center, or CATCC.
From this space, Intrepid’s air controllers helped direct departing aircraft.
Once the airplanes were far enough away from the carrier, the Combat Information
Center took over. CATCC would take over again when the airplane was
ready to land.
The Combat Information Center, or CIC, for short, was Intrepid’s information
hub. The men who worked here gathered intelligence from a variety of sources-
aircraft, other vessels, the ship’s lookouts, just to name a few.
Among the most important sources of information was radar.
Sailors tracked friendly and enemy ships and aircraft using radar sets.
In CIC men gathered information from all of these sources, which gave
them a picture of what was happening around Intrepid.
All of this intelligence was vital for Intrepid’s pilots.
CIC would be in contact with pilots who were flying combat missions, giving them
During the Vietnam War, for example, men in CIC provided direction for pilots
flying into enemy territory.
The men in CATCC and CIC were vital for the success of Intrepid’s aviators.
Stay tuned for our next and final episode, “Recovering the Plane”, go
to IntrepidMuseum.org for more behind the scenes videos
and to learn more about Intrepid’s involvement in the Vietnam War, be sure to
check out our new exhibition “On the Line: Intrepid in the Vietnam War”.