(Mike Pyle aboard the USS Harry Truman in a classified location)
Over the weekend our very own Mike “Quicksand” Pyle was a guest on the USS Harry Truman, one of the Navy’s nuclear powered aircraft carriers. He brought back some phenomenal photos and stories. Here’s what he had to say about his adventure.
Where were you guys?
The USS Harry Truman somewhere in the Atlantic (location undisclosed). They were in simulated war. So everything was classified. No communications. No email, no phone calls.
What was that like?
It was an awesome experience. I learned a lot about life on the sea as a sailor.
You have long hours of work and a short time to sleep. Each person is designated to a certain area of the ship. For example cooking, cleaning, or maintenance on the ship. Some guys take care of radar or what planes are on deck. There are guys who decide what planes should be coming in and what their purpose is. They had a room with planes on a table that was a model for the deck. They move the planes around according to the plans the commanding officer gives to go blow stuff up.
There were 5,000 people onboard the carrier. We got to meet all of the pilots of the aircrafts.
What was that like?
Very interesting. They seemed to be highly intelligent, well spoken and extremely dedicated to what they do.
Do these guys what the fights?
Yeah. They love it. They were educated fans. They knew who everybody was.
Do the guys on the ship train?
A handful do. I held mits and gave some guys helpful hints on their striking techniques.
What was the highlight of the trip?
We got to go on deck, and were a few feet away from aircraft landing and taking off. It was exhilarating. The power and thrust they have is unexplainable until you stand next to them. The planes go from zero to 200pm when they hit the end of the runway. Steam does it all. They use the water from the ocean. It is a nuclear powered ship. They could be at sea 365 days per year.
Did you sleep on the ship? I stayed in a stateroom. It bunks two guys. I had one to myself. Nothing fancy, but very comfortable.
How was the food? The food was edible.
How long were you there?
Did you guys fly in?
We flew in and landed on the ship. Then flew off of it. We were on a Cod. It was a 35 minute flight from Florida to the USS Harry Truman.
(Mike & company deplane on USS Harry Truman in a super secret location somewhere in the Ocean)
(This is the plane Mike & company flew in on. It is a C2-A Greyhound aka a COD – carrier on delivery system)
Who else went on the trip?
Big John McCarthy, Rich Franklin and sports psychologist Dr. Mike Gervais.
We did autograph signings, signed shirts.
Could you make it in the navy?
No. Too tight quarters, too many rules, not enough sleep. I became a Pro Fighter so I could work on my time as myself.
Did you find you have more respect for what the men and women of the Navy do?
I have great respect for these guys. They’re very hard workers and dedicated to what they do. It is a real character builder. The average age is 21. They’re right out of mommy and daddy’s house. They’re leaning how to be a grownup. It’s tough.
Anything to add in closing?
To the USS Harry Truman, I thank you for welcoming me with open arms during such an important time.