Vice Adm. McCabe was assigned to Carrier Air Wing Eleven while awaiting class starting date in the F-4 Fleet Replacement Squadron. Due to combat losses, he was assigned directly to VF-114 as a replacement. He flew over 150 combat missions and shot down a MIG-21 during the 1972 Vietnam deployment in USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Ranger (CV 61).
In 1973, Vice Adm. McCabe was selected to join the first operational F-14 Squadron, VF-124, as a Flight Instructor. Vice Adm. McCabe returned to VF-2 where he served as Operations Officer during the first F-14 deployment on board Ranger. In 1981, Vice Adm. McCabe reported to the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) where he served as Operations Officer and Executive Officer. In 1984, Vice Adm. McCabe was assigned to Carrier Wing Two as Operations Officer, where he made deployments in Kitty Hawk and Ranger.
In March 1986, Vice Adm. McCabe reported to VF-21 assuming command in September 1987. In April 1989, Vice Adm. McCabe assumed command of VF-124 in March 1990. During this tour the "Gun Fighters" successfully introduced the F-14D. Vice Adm. McCabe was then assigned to the National War College, graduating in June 1992.
In December 1992, he assumed command of Carrier Air Wing Fourteen. During the 1994 USS Carl Vinson/CVW-14 deployment the Air Wing successfully introduced several weapon systems to the fleet, including the E-2 Group II, F/A-1891 C/MSI, AMRAAM, JTIDS and GBU-24N.
In August 1994, Vice Adm. McCabe was assigned as Chief of Staff for Commander, Third Fleet. In May 1996, Vice Adm. McCabe reported to Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., where he served as the Deputy for Current Operations, Operations Directorate. Following a tour as Head, Aviation Plans and Requirements Branch (N880) on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff, Vice Adm. McCabe assumed command of Carrier Group Three in July 1999. After one year in Carrier Group Three, Vice Adm. McCabe returned to Washington, D.C., this time as Director, Air Warfare (N88), in July 2000.
In May 2003, Vice Adm. McCabe returned home to San Diego and assumed command as Commander, Third Fleet.
Vice Adm. McCabe has been awarded the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement and several campaign and unit awards.
Updated: 14 February 2005