What it's like to run a carrier as the 'Top Gun' sequel films onboard

Entertainment

VIDEO: The official trailer for 'Top Gun: Maverick'

Editor's Note: This article by Amy Bushatz originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT -- Loose lips sink ships, but do they reveal too much about the hugely anticipated "Top Gun" sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," filmed onboard in February?

Not on this carrier, they don't. Although sailors here dropped a few hints about spotting movie stars around the ship as it was docked in San Diego for the film shoot, no cats — or Tomcats — were let out of the bag.

"I can't talk about that," said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, who commands the Roosevelt.


What they would talk about, however, was the challenge of balancing the film crew's needs with training aboard the ship, which was not put on hold during the shoot.

"It was amazing — two weeks of very, very difficult work because we were training at the time, taking care of our mission and, on top of that, supporting the filming," Sardiello said. "It was very rewarding to sailors looking back on it to be a part of it."

Balancing filming with training meant adding another level of complication to operations aboard the carrier.

"They fit into our operations. We set the bounds and the constraints for them to achieve their objectives at the same time," Sardiello said. "Another layer of coordination, another team member, to make sure they were doing what they needed to do safely, meet our training objections and to help them capture what the Navy is providing them."

Just what the service is providing is supposed to be under wraps, but an F-14 Tomcat, reportedly borrowed from the San Diego Air and Space Museum, was spotted by onlookers on the carrier's deck during the February shoot.

The iconic Tomcat was left out of the group photo with the cast and crew proudly displayed on Sardiello's office table here. The photo is, however, signed by Tom Cruise, "Top Gun Maverick," according to the inscription.

Down in flight deck control, Lt. Cmdr. Alex Diaz said his major challenge was organizing the flight deck around the needs of training and aircraft background shots sought by the film crew.

"At that stage, if you're making Top Gun 2, me being a flight decker my whole career, you had me at 'hello,'" he said, adding that the command and film crew coordinated the schedule carefully. "They didn't expect you to go from filming into launching aircraft. There was a gap big enough to be able to fit both requirements."

Still, filming a movie brought a few unexpected situations for some of the sailors onboard.

"We supported the film crew. We used radios for stuff I thought we'd never use radios for [like], 'We need them to hair and makeup,'" said Lt. Cmdr. Julie Holland, the ship's public affairs officer.

This article originally appeared on Military.com

More articles from Military.com:

SEE ALSO: 8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Top Gun'

WATCH NEXT: Who Exactly Was The Bad Guy In 'Top Gun'?

A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.

Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.

"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."

Read More
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra

Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.

However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:

Read More

Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.

Read More
Protesters and militia fighters gather to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces), outside the main gate of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. (Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani)

With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.

"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Read More
U.S. Army Soldiers, assigned to the East Africa Response Force (EARF), 101st Airborne Division, board a C-130J Super Hercules, assigned to the 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, on January 5, 2020. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez)

The Defense Department has remained relatively tight-lipped regarding the brazen Jan. 5 raid on a military base at Manda Bay, Kenya, but a new report from the New York Times provides a riveting account filled with new details about how the hours-long gunfight played out.

Read More