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Old 05-12-2019, 02:30 AM   #1
Nealius
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Default One CAG, but multiple CAG Birds? How does this work?

I've recently been wondering about "CAG Birds" and the CAG, as something isn't quite making sense to me.

As I understand it, CAG is the commander of the airgroup, i.e. the entire CVW. That's one person. But I noticed that every single squadron in the CVW appears to have a CAG Bird. Tomcats and Hornets obviously have CAG birds, so that's a possible four CAG birds, and I've also seen E-2 CAG birds, S-3 CAG birds, VAW CAG birds, and that makes another three.

So how is it possible to have multiple CAG birds in a CVW but only one CAG?
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:07 AM   #2
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The term usually given to a “x00” plane in a given squadron is “Color Bird” and while the CAG may be from that squadron, he doesn’t have to be to be in that squadron’s Color Bird.

Such aircraft are usually intended to be a point of pride for the squadron it represents.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:19 AM   #3
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So only one x00 plane is the "true" CAG Bird while the others are just Color Birds?
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:41 AM   #4
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As far as I know, some VFA's not only have a CAG bird (Commander Air Group), but also a CO bird (Commanding Officer) which is x01.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:22 PM   #5
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A good example of this is the VF-31 "Tomcatters"

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Old 05-13-2019, 02:38 AM   #6
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Also, just because a bird has the CAG and DCAG names on the canopy doesn't mean that they're the CAG's personal birds. Similarly, CO birds are not only flown by the CO. All birds in a squadron can be flown by any aviator, and it all depends on which birds are "up" and what the flight schedule requires.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:43 AM   #7
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Yes, the FPP mentioned that, but it's not really relevant as we're talking about the aircraft paintjobs, not who flew them.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomtomgo View Post
As far as I know, some VFA's not only have a CAG bird (Commander Air Group), but also a CO bird (Commanding Officer) which is x01.
Hey please correct me if I'm wrong but I think CAG stands for Carrier Air Group and not Commander Air Group.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:11 AM   #9
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Carrier Air Group was the old WWII nomenclature. When they became Carrier Air Wings the CAGs retained the name "Commander, Air Group."

According to Wikipedia, anyway.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:55 PM   #10
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The official term now is CVW for Carrier (CV) Air Wing (W), but "CAG" is an expression steeped in tradition. The US Navy is nothing if not traditional. The Air Wing commander is still personally referred to as "CAG" and his deputy as "DCAG."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealius View Post
Yes, the FPP mentioned that, but it's not really relevant as we're talking about the aircraft paintjobs, not who flew them.
I clarified this because you asked about multiple birds for a single CAG. Again, steeped in tradition.
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