Maintenance Department (AIMD)
Maintenance played a primary role in insuring that the ship was prepared always to cope with life at sea. Though the maintenance of the ship was important, it was also necessary that the embarked aircraft be prepared to fulfill the second half of the carrier's mission. The responsibility of the maintenance of the embarked aircraft went to the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department or as it was known by the crew, AIMD.
The department was the most diversified aboard ship. The problems encountered by the men of AIMD ran the gamut from broken screws to complicated electronic problems. It was necessary for the department to be divided into many different shops. There were shops for electronic maintenance; shops that dealt with structure and skeletal problems of aircraft; and shops that repaired the equipment used in the other shops.
AIMD had organizational changes while I was aboard. I first reported aboard V6 Division of the ship's Air Department. V6 personnel were integrated into the Carrier Air Wing IMA when it came on board preparing for deployment. After Coral Sea returned from her 3rd Vietnam Combat Cruise, the air wing IMA was was no longer on board and AIMD was formed. The V6 Division of the Air Department became the AIMD Department as it is known today.
Between deployments there was also major changes in the avionics shop where I worked. In addition to support for the Grumman Aircraft Corporation E-2A, test equipment to support the Grumman attack aircraft A-6A was installed. The E-2A Avionics Shop was in the same location as the A-6A Avionics Shop and shared much of the same test equipment. I was trained on both the avionics and test systems for both aircraft and then worked to support repair of both aircraft systems and test equipment in the combined E-2A/A-6A Avionics Shop.
The photo at left was taken in the E-2A Avionics Shop where I worked repairing the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) computer of the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) used in the aircraft. The photo at right, taken at the control unit (Semi-Automatic Checkout Equipment, SACE) for the test bench shown left. Basically, they are two ends of the same hot bench mock-up used to diagnose computer components.
Don't you just love the Navy acronyms? I do! That is why I used the moniker "WESPACMAC" for myself back-in-the-day. Also, you cannot tell due to the legacy black and white images but my ball cap is bright red like my below deck ship's company snipe shipmates as opposed to the airdale squadron sailors I worked with due to my Aviation Electronic Technician (AT) rate. Navy airdales associate with green not red.