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Photo of several members of the ship's crew look out of the carrier's hangar bay door.
Courtesy of CARRIER
Several members of the ship’s crew look out of the carrier’s hangar bay door.

Meet the Crew header

The captain of the USS Nimitz said, “The heart and soul of a ship is not made of steel — it’s the crew”

The film CARRIER is not the story of a ship, it’s the story of shipmates. The 10-part series focused on eighteen people during a six-month deployment overseas. Their stories provide a personal look at the broader topics of family, faith, discipline, patriotism, and the war on terror.

The crew is divided into two categories: the Air Wing and the Ship’s Company. The aircraft and its personnel are the focus of the Air Wing, which is under the command of the Air Navy Commander. The carrier and its crew are the focus of the ship’s company. See Naval Ranks and Air Wing 11 for more information.

Air Wing Ship’s Company
Photo of Chris Altice Chris Altice

Rank: AOAN
Air Wing: VFA-14

Chris Altice served for three-and-a-half years in the Navy as an E-3/aviation ordnanceman, which was his position during the deployment featured in CARRIER. He separated from the Navy in September 2006 and is currently working and planning to attend college full-time. He was born in West Virginia and resides in Virginia, where he grew up.

Photo of Doug Booher Doug Booher

Rank: LT
Air Wing: VFA-41

Lieutenant Doug Booher has served in the Navy for 12 years and has participated in two deployments. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as a lieutenant with Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41), also known as “The Black Aces.” He grew up in Florida and currently resides in Mississippi.

Photo of Ted Branch Ted Branch

Rank: Captain
Ship’s Company: Command

Captain Ted Branch has earned such major awards as the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as captain and commanding officer of the USS Nimitz and is now serving as rear admiral, after his promotion in 2007. He is currently serving as director of information, plans and security for the chief of naval operations in Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Mississippi.

Photo of Randy Brock Randy Brock

Rank: SSgt
Air Wing: VMFA-232

Randy Brock has served in the Marines for 13 years and has participated in five deployments. He continues to serve as a gunnery sergeant with maintenance control for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232), also known as “The Red Devils,” which was his role during the deployment featured in CARRIER. He was born in Oklahoma, has lived in Texas and Rhode Island and currently resides in California.

Photo of Susan Clapp Susan Clapp

Rank: ENS
Ship’s Company: Operations

Ensign Susan Clapp has served in the Navy since 1989 and has participated in two deployments. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, she served as an ensign O-1E, a limited duty officer and supervisor of the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC). Born in Georgia, she currently resides in Florida.

Photo of Laurie Coffey Laurie Coffey

Rank: LT
Air Wing: VFA-94

Laurie Coffey has served in the Navy for 12 years. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, she was an F/A-18 pilot for Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94), also known as “The Hoboes.” She continues to serve as a lieutenant and instructor pilot for Super Hornet Training Squadron (VFA-106) in Virginia. She is originally from upstate New York.

Photo of Cindi Costa Cindi Costa

Rank: CSSR
Ship’s Company: Supply

Cindi Costa served as a seaman recruit E-1 and culinary specialist. With a desire to be a chef, she joined the Navy and during the deployment featured in CARRIER, she cooked for more than 5,000 crew members. She recently separated from the Navy with an honorable discharge. She grew up in California.

Photo of RADM Peter H. Daly Peter H. Daly

Rank: RDML
Ship’s Company: Command

Rear Admiral Peter H. Daly has served in the Navy for 31 years and has participated in five deployments. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as a one-star rear admiral, commander of Carrier Strike Group 11. He has since been promoted to a two-star rear admiral. He is currently assisting the deputy chief of naval operations for information, plans and strategy and resides in Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Illinois.

Photo of Alex Dietrich Alex Dietrich

Rank: LT
Air Wing: VFA-41

Lieutenant Alex Dietrich has served in the Navy for seven years and has participated in two deployments. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, she served as a lieutenant, junior grade, but was promoted during that deployment to lieutenant. Her combat experience during her second deployment earned her an Air Medal and she hit the milestones of a thousand hours of flight time and one hundred night traps. She is currently on “shore tour,” working as the aide to Vice Admiral Harvey, a three-star admiral who serves as the chief of naval personnel in Washington, D.C.

Photo of Lonnie Fields Lonnie Fields

Rank: LCDR
Ship’s Company: Air V-2

Lieutenant Commander Lonnie Fields has served in the Navy for 13 years. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as lieutenant and V-2 Division officer and was promoted during the deployment to lieutenant commander. He was born and raised in California.

Photo of Brian Foster Brian Foster

Rank: Maj
Air Wing: VFA-41

Major Brian Foster has served in the Marines for 13 years. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as a F/A-18 pilot and was the director of safety and standardization for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232), also known as “The Red Devils.” Currently, he is serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Personnel Exchange Program and is the operations officer for the 409th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Alberta. He grew up in Missouri.

Photo of David Fravor David Fravor

Rank: CDR
Air Wing: VMFA-232

David Fravor has served for 22 years in the Navy and two in the Marines. He has participated in five deployments. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he was commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41), also known as “The Black Aces.” Currently, he works in California for Fidelity Technologies as a simulator instructor, teaching new pilots how to fly the F/A-18. He is a native of Ohio.

Photo of Chris Garzone Christian Garzone

Rank: AN
Ship’s Company: Air V-2

Christian Garzone has served in the Navy for four years. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as an undesignated airman working in Air Department/V-2 Division. He continues to serve in the Navy; his current position is petty officer third class, mass communications specialist (aviation warfare specialist) based out of Japan. He grew up in upstate New York.

Photo of Willie Johnson Willie Johnson

Rank: AA
Ship’s Company: Air V-2

Willie Johnson joined the Navy to escape gang violence in his hometown in California. While on the deployment featured in CARRIER, he worked as an aviation bos’un’s mate on the flight deck. He has left the Navy and is currently pursuing a career in the music industry.

Photo of Justin Knox Justin Knox

Rank: Capt
Air Wing: VMFA-232

Major Justin Knox has served in the Marines for 12 years and will begin his sixth deployment in spring 2008. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as a captain and F/A-18 pilot for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232), also known as “The Red Devils.” Currently, he is an executive officer and forward air controller, 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (1st ANGLICO).

Photo of Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

Rank: LCDR
Air Wing: VFA-94

Lieutenant commander Kevin McLaughlin has served in the Navy for 19 years and has participated in four deployments. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as safety officer and maintenance officer and F/A-18 pilot for Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94), also known as “The Hoboes.” Currently, he is the organizational policy officer working at NORAD and US Northern Command in the plans, policy and strategy directorate. He was raised in California and currently resides in Colorado.

Photo of Shaneka McReed Shaneka McReed

Rank: AN
Ship’s Company: Air V-5

Shaneka McReed served in the Navy for three years. In the deployment featured in CARRIER, she was promoted from airman to third class petty officer. She left the Navy with an honorable discharge and currently lives in Georgia.

Photo of Christopher L. Penton Christopher L. Penton

Rank: CMDCM (AW/SW)
Ship’s Company: Command

Master Chief Christopher L. Penton has served in the Navy for 27 years. During the deployment featured in CARRIER, he served as command master chief and recently served as command master chief liaison for the Center of Career Development. His awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He was born and raised in Louisiana.

 


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