VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - Point Mugu spotters pointed their long camera lenses towards the sky on Wednesday morning to photograph E-2 Hawkeye pilots doing touch and go landings on the runway at Naval Base Ventura County.
Jacob Green of Greenie Photography said, "It is just incredible to see these planes fly with a dish on top, it looks like it couldn't even make it in the sky, but these guys and girls of the Navy fly this plane to perfection and it is just incredible to see the squadrons we have at Mugu flying in and out everyday and to see what they do with speed and agility, it is just a great looking aircraft."
Former NBVC Commander Paul Grossgold misses flying them. Grossgold served as E-2 Hawkeye commander in Norfolk, Virginia before his time at Pt. Mugu.
"The latest version of the Hawkeye is the E-2 D. It represents an enormous leap in technology from the old E-2C that I flew. The E-2D is the commanding control and battle management of our carrier strike groups, and they also integrate fully with out Air Force, Army, Marine and even with our allied air forces. The partnership between the Hawkeye community in Ventura County is strong, and getting stronger and I am just so excited about the future of the community at Pt. Mugu, and I'll tell ya, I wish I could start all over again."
Little kids like the aircraft, too.
The Taniguchi family watched the planes with their two-year-old son, Leo, at Missile Park.
"Every time the planes come over at our house, he always looks up and he goes Mom it's a plane and he wants to go outside and see what is flying overhead, he gets really excited," said Kaili Taniguchi.
The aircraft made by Northrop Grumman has served in Vietnam and Desert Storm, and is still being used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Green said he is impressed by, "It's surveillance capabilities and mission priority capabilities for support of fighters jets and the carrier battle groups out at sea."
Photographer Gregg Erickson said he plans to make Pt. Mugu Aircraft Spotters t-shirts for the people and fans who enjoy watching and photographing the planes.
All the spotters including Fred Villela and Ron Tsui (Line Up and Wait Aviation) like to share their photos on social media.
NBVC Public Affairs Officer Melinda Larson said, "Happy Birthday Hawkeye equals 60 years of faithful service to the Navy."
Larson thinks the Hawkeye squadrons will celebrate the occasion with cake and ice cream.