(ANNAPOLIS, Md.)–USNA Sports PIO– Navy Athletics and Under Armour unveiled a special, naval-aviation-themed uniform today that the Navy football team will wear for the Dec. 11 game against Army at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA will air nationally on CBS at 3:00 PM EST.
Using one of the most famous Navy career paths as an inspiration, the 2021 “Fly Navy” uniform highlights classic American symbolism and the most utilized multirole fighter jet in air carrier aviation, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Unmatched across the globe, America’s fleet of 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers can deploy up to 44 of these strike fighters at a time; and with a massive arsenal of diverse firepower, the Super Hornet will remain the backbone of the carrier air wing well into the future.
Prominently featured on the shoulder of the jersey and right side of the helmet is the U.S. military aircraft national insignia, the “roundel,” which adorns aircraft piloted by all branches of the military. The left side of the helmet is emblazoned with a F/A-18 Super Hornet, which is exclusively operated by naval aviators. The Super Hornet, along with the F-35C Lightning II, represents the U.S. Navy’s fleet of strike fighter aircraft. The F/A-18 Super Hornet is also the jet flown by the Navy’s elite flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels.
On the back of the helmet, three wings are featured which comprise the naval aviation career field: Single Anchor, Navy Pilot; Double Anchor, Navy Flight Officer; AC, Air Crew.
Featured on the left upper chest is the Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet patch. Based at Naval Air Station Oceana, this wing encompasses over 16 operational fighter squadrons. Each squadron consists on average of 10-12 aircraft, 22 officers, and 190 enlisted personnel. The Strike Fighter Wing’s mission is to provide U.S. Atlantic Fleet commanders with combat-ready strike fighter squadrons which are fully trained, properly manned, well maintained, and supported.
The 2021 Army-Navy helmet shells were each hand-painted to depict an accurate representation of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and its steel plating. This monochrome color palette is accented by the red, white, and blue colors drawn from the United States military aircraft roundel.Every detail of these custom masterpieces is color-matched to the uniform, tying the ensemble together in a meaningful and visually accurate way. Each helmet took an average production time of three hours, for a total timeline that spanned nearly six months.
Responsibilities of a naval aviator may include searching for underwater threats, delivering payloads of incredible firepower or critical manpower, and executing strategic aerial maneuvers anywhere from the stratosphere to just hundreds of feet above the sea.
Naval aviators fly some of the most innovative and high-tech aircraft in the world, providing vital attack, defense, and logistic support to the Fleet and controlling and maintaining all internal and external aircraft systems. Navy pilots and Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) are important components in an exclusive, world-class group of naval officers.
On average, 300 Naval Academy graduates are selected each year to commence naval aviation training in order to become Navy pilots and flight officers.