U. S. Navy/Marine Aircraft

Part 6 of 8 VFC & CNATRA


Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)


A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983) Operation Evening Light and Eagle Claw - 24 April 1980


Book - ISBN NO.


EBook - ISBN NO.



Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)


Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to 1980)


















































































































































































































































U. S. Navy/Marine Aircraft

Part 1 of 8 CVW, VFA, VMFA, VMA & VMFA(AW)

Part 2 of 8 CACCLW, VAW, VAQ & VMAQ


Part 4 of 8 TACAMO, FLELOGSUPPRON, CFLSW, VR & Cnic // Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans

Part 5 of 8 VRC & VS

Part 6 of 8 VFC & CNATRA

Part 7 of 8 Naval Training Aircraft Photos; UAV Squadrons; COMOPTEVFOR, VX / HX - Air Test and Evaluation Squadron, CPRW-2, CPRW-5, CPRW-10, CPRW-11 and VP

Part 8 of 8 VT




Current VFC-12

F/A-18B of VFC-12 landing on the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in 2005





An EA-18G Growler of VX-31 overflies Ridgecrest, California as it returns to NAWS China Lake at the conclusion of a test mission





The first EA-18G at the roll-out ceremony on 3 August 2006



The Boeing EA-18G Growler is an American carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, a specialized version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet. The EA-18G will replace the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowlers in service with the United States Navy. The Growler's electronic warfare capability is primarily provided by Northrop Grumman. The EA-18G began production in 2007 and entered operational service in late 2009 (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EA-18G_Growler).


Data from Boeing brochure,[49] U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F fact file[50]


General characteristics


 Crew: Two

 Length: 60 ft 1.25 in (18.31 m)

 Wingspan: 44 ft 8.5 in (13.62 m) (including wingtip-mounted pods)

 Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)

 Wing area: 500 ft (46.5 m)

 Empty weight: 33,094 lb (15,011 kg)

 Loaded weight: 48,000 lb (21,772 kg) (recovery weight)

 Max. takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,964 kg)

 Powerplant: 2 General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans

o Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62.3 kN) each

o Thrust with afterburner: 22,000 lbf (97.9 kN) each

o Internal fuel capacity: 13,940 lb (6,323 kg)

o External fuel capacity: (3 x 480 gal tanks): 9,774 lb (4,420 kg)




 Maximum speed: Mach 1.8[50] (1,190 mph, 1,900 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)

 Range: 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s[50]

 Combat radius: 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km) for interdiction mission[51]

 Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (2,070 mi, 3,330 km) (range without ordnance)

 Service ceiling: >50,000 ft (15,000 m)

 Wing loading: 92.8 lb/ft (453 kg/m)

 Thrust/weight: 0.93




 Guns: None

 Hardpoints: 9 total: 6 under-wing, and 3 under-fuselage with a capacity of 17,750 lb (8,050 kg) external fuel and ordnance

 Notes: The two wingtips missile launcher rail for AIM-9 Sidewinder, found on the E/F Super Hornet, have been replaced with AN/ALQ-218 detection pods, 6 removable under wing mounted hard points (inboard pylons will carry 480 gal fuel tanks, mid-board pylons will carry AN/ALQ-99 High Band Jamming Pods, and outboard pylon reserved for AGM-88 HARM missiles), 2 multi-mode conformal fuselage stations (AIM-120 AMRAAM), 1 centerline fuselage removable hardpoint, for AN/ALQ-99 Low Band Jamming Pod.

o Weapons employment: Currently, Phase I of the Growler will carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM for self-protection at the two conformal fuselage stations and AGM-88 HARM missiles. The 20 mm M61A1 cannon has been removed and replaced by a pod of electronic boxes that control the AN/ALQ-218 and assist with the coordination AN/ALQ-99 jamming attacks.

o According to the possible weapon configurations which were revealed, EA-18G would also be capable of performing "time-sensitive" strike missions, carrying AGM-154 JSOW under wings, or multi-sensor reconnaissance missions with SHARP and AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR on centerline and left conformal weapon stations, respectively.




Raytheon AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar


Related development


 McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet


Ref. 49 - "EA-18G Capabilities". Boeing.



Ref. 50 - F/A-18 fact file. US Navy, 26 May 2009.



Ref. 51 - "F/A-18 Hornet". FAS.org.





A late production F-5E Tiger II for the U.S. Air Force, differentiated by the longer dorsal spine



The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic fighter aircraft, designed and built by Northrop. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_F-5).





Specifications (F-5E Tiger II)

General characteristics


 Crew: 1

 Length: 47 ft 4 in (14.45 m)

 Wingspan: 26 ft 8 in (8.13 m)

 Height: 13 ft 4 in (4.08 m)

 Wing area: 186 ft (17.28 m)

 Airfoil: NACA 65A004.8 root, NACA 64A004.8 tip

 Empty weight: 9,558 lb (4,349 kg)

 Loaded weight: 15,745 lb (7,157 kg)

 Max. takeoff weight: 24,722 lb (11,214 kg)

 Powerplant: 2 General Electric J85-GE-21B turbojet

o Dry thrust: 3,500 lbf (15.5 kN) each

o Thrust with afterburner: 5,000 lbf (22.2 kN) each

o * Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0200

o Drag area: 3.4 ft (0.32 m)

o Aspect ratio: 3.86

o Internal fuel: 677 U.S. gal (2,563 L)

o External fuel: 275 U.S. gal (1,040 L) per tank in up to 3 tanks




 Maximum speed: 917 kn (1,060 mph, 1,700 km/h, Mach 1.6)

 Range: 760 nmi (870 mi, 1,405 km)

 Ferry range: 2,010 nmi (2,310 mi, 3,700 km[91])

 Service ceiling: 51,800 ft (15,800 m)

 Rate of climb: 34,400 ft/min (175 m/s)

 Lift-to-drag ratio: 10.0




 Guns: 2 20 mm (0.787 in) M39A2 Revolver cannons in the nose, 280 rounds/gun

 Hardpoints: 7 total (only pylon stations 3, 4 and 5 are wet-plumbed): 2 wing-tip AAM launch rails, 4 under-wing & 1 under-fuselage pylon stations with a capacity of 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:


o Rockets:


 2 LAU-61/LAU-68 rocket pods (each with 19 /7 Hydra 70 mm rockets, respectively); or

 2 LAU-5003 rocket pods (each with 19 CRV7 70 mm rockets); or

 2 LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4 Zuni 127 mm rockets); or

 2 Matra rocket pods (each with 18 SNEB 68 mm rockets)




 4 AIM-9 Sidewinders or 4 AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile

 2 AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles


 Bombs: A variety of air-to-ground ordnance such as the Mark 80 series of unguided bombs (including 3 kg and 14 kg practice bombs), CBU-24/49/52/58 cluster bomb munitions, napalm bomb canisters and M129 Leaflet bomb, and laser guided bombs of Paveway family.




 up to 3 150/275 U.S. gallon Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for ferry flight or extended range/loitering time.

 2 GPU-5/A 30mm cannon pods (fitted only on Thai F-5s)




Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153 radar on early batch of F-5E[92]


 Emerson Electric AN/APQ-159 radar on later production F-5E[92]

AN/AVQ-27 Laser Target Designator Set (LTDS), for F-5B and F-5F only.[93]


Related development


 Northrop T-38 Talon

 Canadair CF-5

 Grumman X-29

 HESA Saeqeh

 Northrop F-20 Tigershark

 Northrop YF-17

 SSBD Demonstrator


Ref. 91 - "Card 3." Recognition Study Cards U.S. and Foreign Aircraft (Device 5E14H. LSN 6910-LL-C006462: 55 Cards). Orlando, Florida, USA: Naval Training Equipment Center, Department of the Navy, 1982.


Ref. 92 - parsch, Andreas. "AN/APQ Equipment Listing." Designation-Systems.net, 1 July 2007.



Ref. 93 - "AN/AVQ-27 LTDS". Jane's. Retrieved: 17 February 2011.Fighter Squadron Composite, Naval Reserve Squadron



Fighter Squadron Composite, Naval Reserve Squadron


Fleet Fighter Composite squadrons provide adversary simulation for fleet squadrons. All VFC squadrons are from the Navy Reserve (Ref. List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons - Wikipedia & Navy web site).


Navy Home / Facebook

Public History Web Site

VFC-12 / VFC-12

VFC-13 / VFC-13

VFC-111 / VFC-111

VFC-12 / VFC-12



FA-18 C

NAS Oceana

Comm. 1 Sep 1973 Present

VFC-13 / VFC-13

Vfc13 insigia.jpg



NAS Fallon

Images for VFC-13 navy

Comm. 1 Sep. 1973


VFC-111 / VFC-111




NAS Key West

Comm. Nov. 2006


Composite squadrons provide adversary simulation for fleet squadrons. All VFC squadrons are from the Navy Reserve (Ref. List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons - Wikipedia & Navy web site).

Index for Histories/Command Operations Reports submitted by VFC-12 - http://www.history.navy.mil/sqdhist/vfc/vfc12.htm


The "Fighting Omars" of Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12) is currently the US Navy Reserve's premier adversary squadron providing threat tactics training to all Navy Fighter and Strike Fighter squadrons. A vital element in ensuring combat readiness to deploying squadrons, VFC-12 maintains its vigilance as the "Threat Experts" by providing graduate level threat air simulations and in-depth threat lectures (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).


VFC-12 is based at NAS Oceana and reports to Commander Tactical Support Wing, a component of Commander, Naval Air Reserve Force (COMNAVAIRESFOR). The "Fighting Omars" represent NAS Oceana's only Naval Reserve squadron, and is manned by selected reservists, full time reservists (FTS) and active duty personnel.

The squadron's radio callsign is "Ambush" and their tailcode is AF. Squadron aircraft wear a unique adversary blue camouflage paint scheme.


3 distinct squadrons have been designated VC-2. The third of these was redesignated VFC-12 and is the main subject of this article. Officially, the US Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons if a new squadron is formed with the same designation[1]. Often, the new squadron will assume the nickname, insignia, and traditions of the earlier squadrons.


First VC-12


The first Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve was originally commissioned VC-12 on 6 October 1943 at NAS Sand Point, Seattle, Washington. The squadron operated the F4F "Wildcat" and TBM-1 "Avenger" aboard USS Card (CVE-11) in the western Pacific until the carrier changed homeport to Norfolk, Virginia in 1944. In the Atlantic theater, VC-12 flew combat missions against German U-boats, logging 34 engagements. On 7 June 1945, VC-12 was decommissioned (Ref. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-12).


Second VC-12


On 6 July 1948, Carrier Air Early Warning Squadron TWO was commissioned at NAS Norfolk, Virginia. The squadron was re-designated Fleet Composite Squadron Twelve on 1 September 1948 (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).


On 1 September 1948, Carrier Air Early Warning Squadron Two, based at NAS Norfolk, was redesignated Fleet Composite Squadron Twelve. VC-12 operated TBM-3 "Avengers" from Atlantic Fleet carriers. During the Korean War, VC-12 saw combat while operating from USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31). The second VC-12 was decommissioned on 9 September 1953 (Ref. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-12).


VC-12 operated TBN "Avengers" from most of the Atlantic Fleet carriers active at the time. The squadron continued to distinguish itself in battles aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard in the Korean theater of operations. VC-12 was again decommissioned on 29 September 1953 (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).


On 1 September 1973, at NAF Detroit, Michigan, the current squadron was commissioned as VC-12, the Navy's first Reserve Fleet Composite Squadron. The squadron employed the single seat A-4 Skyhawk and dual seat TA-4Js in providing multiple support services, including air intercept and dissimilar air combat maneuvering (ACM) training for Atlantic and Pacific fleet units (Ref. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-12 & http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).

In 1975, VC-12 moved to its current home at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Flying the A-4 "Super Fox" VC-12 was re-designated Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12) in 1988 to more accurately describe the squadron's mission of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).


In June 1988, VC-12 was redesignated Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12) to more accurately describe the squadron's mission of Dissimilar Air Combat Training.


In 1994 the unit transitioned to the A-B models of the F/A-18 Hornet (Ref. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-12).


Also in 1994, the squadron assumed the leadership role for the successful transition to an all Reserve Navy Adversary program. Although the twin engine supersonic "Hornet" fulfills both fighter and attack missions for the Navy, in VFC-12, they are distinctly painted to provide a realistic threat simulator and enhance dissimilar air combat training. Because of its maneuverability and superior weapons system, the "Hornet" makes an extremely lethal adversary capable of simulating the most sophisticated fourth generation threat aircraft. This ability distinguishes VFC-12 as the only dedicated fourth generation adversary squadron in the Navy today (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).


The fleet support VFC-12 provides is best illustrated in the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP). This intense three week training exercise allow Strike Fighter aircrew to hone their war fighting skills against a creditable adversary prior to deploying in face of real threats. In FY97, the Fighting Omars conducted 7 SFARPs locally and with detachments to NAS Fallon flying 975 sorties and 1,346 flight hours. In addition to the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness program, VFC-12 supports the F-14 and F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadrons locally and with detachments to NAS Key West. In total, VFC-12 flew 2,122 sorties and 2897.6 hours in direct adversary support in FY97. To maintain the robust professional fleet support, the squadron also flew 493 hours of indirect support for a total of 3,390 hours in FY97.


VFC-12 was awarded the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1992 and 1998. VFC-12 was awarded the Noel Davis Trophy for squadron readiness for 1980, 1984, 1985, 1995 and 1998. In January 1989, the "Fighting Omars" received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for sustained superior performance from 1 April 1987 to 31 March 1988. In 1998, VFC-12 was awarded the Battle "E", Noel Davis award for recognition as the best squadron in category for Carrier Air Wing Twenty. Also in 1998, Commander Naval Air Reserve Force recognized VFC-12 with an Aviation Safety Citation for achieving another year of Class A mishap free flying conducting what has historically been the most dynamic and demanding of all flying - Air Combat Maneuvering (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).


In 2004, the A's were upgraded to the A+, which included upgraded mission computers and weapons capabilities. In 2006, VFC-12 traded these F/A-18 A+ models (which had low arrested landing fatigue life) for F/A-18C's from VFA-87 (Ref. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-12).




The VFC-12 "Fighting Omars" mission is to provide tactical Dissimilar Air Combat Training for US Navy, Marine Corps and other aviation units when tasked. The Omar configured F/A-18 "Hornet" has the one-to-one thrust to weight ratio on "Bogey CAP" (combat air patrol) and the exceptional tactical performance present in today's threat arena. Donning both a Kola peninsula and desert deceptive paint scheme, VFC-12 F/A-18s actually take on the appearance of MiG-29 Fulcrums and provides 4th generation adversary air-to-air threat presentations that our forces may encounter. All the adversary training VFC-12 provides to the fleet is vital to the Navy's combat readiness and capacity to project power from the sea; but nowhere is it more essential than in the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP), which trains operational fleet F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadrons at Oceana and with detachments to NAS Key West. SFARP is an intense three week training exercise, conducted by the Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic that allows fleet Strike Fighter aircrews to hone their war fighting skills against a creditable adversary prior to deploying (Ref. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-12 & http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).


The "Omars" often average more than 200 days a year on detachments.


The intense and realistic training aircrew receive during this 3 week exercise hone the air-to-air skills of a squadron preparing for a six month carrier battle group deployment. The "walk before you run" approach re-enforces the tactical undergraduate level of training received during their initial F-14/F/A-18 instruction but rapidly progresses to graduate level training on the latest fleet tactics.


The unique challenge of VFC-12's mission has made the Fighting Omars one of the most if not the most sought after aviation duty assignments in the Navy. Because of this distinction, only the best of the best fly as adversary instructor pilots in VFC-12. The squadron is made up of all "Cruise Veteran" F-14 or F/A-18 pilots hand picked for their tactical aerial acumen and are graduates of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). Although highly skilled and qualified in the art of aerial combat, all newly assigned pilots must complete a thorough flight and academic syllabus. This in-depth syllabus not only hones their tactical abilities but develops their teaching skills as adversary instructor pilots. As the "threat experts" they not only have to be an authority on the latest Fleet Strike Fighter tactics, but the current threat tactics as well. It takes skill and discipline to properly simulate the capabilities and tactics of potential adversaries; often having to restrict the full capabilities of the Hornet from the standpoint of aerodynamic performance and weapon systems. The syllabus qualifies an Instructor Under Training (IUT) through a series of Level classifications from Level I to Level IV with upgrades from each level only after the successful completion of Standardization Check Flights. Only upon attainment of a Level IV qualification can a pilot lead the complex graduate level missions in the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program. On the average, it takes about twelve months to attain this qualification.


The "Fighting Omars" of Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12) represent NAS Oceana's only Naval Reserve squadron. The key element to the VFC-12's success is its people. Composed of selected reservists, full time reservists (TARS) and active duty personnel, the "Omar Team" flying the F/A-18 Hornet has a unique synergy which remains focused on providing the Fleet the best and most professional support available in the world (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm).

Ref. 1 - http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-12.htm

Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC-13) Saints is a US Navy fighter squadron that provides adversary training for U.S. Navy air wings at NAS Fallon, Nevada.

VFC-13 uses "Bogey" as its main radio callsign.


VFC-13 was established as Fleet Composite Squadron THIRTEEN (VC-13) on 1 September 1973[1] at NAS New Orleans, Louisiana when the US Navy reorganized the US Naval Reserve and the Naval Air Reserve Force (NAVAIRESFOR). The squadron first flew the Chance-Vought F-8 Crusader, and had 17 officers and 127 enlisted men within its ranks, most were former members of VSF-76 and VSF-86. In April 1974, they made the transition to A-4 Skyhawks.


The "Fighting Saints" of VFC-13 can trace their origins back to 1946, when VF-753 was commissioned flying F6F-5 "Hellcats." Today's squadron was formed on Sept. 1, 1973, at NAS New Orleans during the reorganization of the U.S. Naval Reserve.



As the demand for west coast adversary services and other fleet support missions increased, the squadron was permanently transferred to NAS Miramar, arriving there in February 1976. That summer, a transition was made from the A-4L to the more reliable two-seat TA-4J. The year 1983 marked the return of the single seat aircraft to VFC-13 and the arrival of the A-4E.


Initially, the squadron operated the Chance Vought F-8H "Crusader" with a complement of 17 officers and 127 enlisted men, former members of VSF-76 and VSF-86. In April 1974, the "Saints" made the transition to the single-seat A-4L "Skyhawk" (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-13.htm).

The demand for west coast adversary squadrons and other fleet support missions resulted in the squadron relocating to NAS Miramar, California, arriving there in February 1976. That summer, a transition was made from the A-4L to the more reliable two-seat TA-4J (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-13 & http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-13.htm).




The year 1983 marked the return of the single seat aircraft to VFC-13 and the arrival of the A-4E.


The "Fighting Saints" provide a formidable dissimilar adversary threat. In recognition of that primary mission assignment, VC-13 was proudly redesignated as Fighter Squadron Composite Thirteen (VFC-13) April 22, 1988.[2]


In 1988, the squadron returned to strictly single-seat aircraft when they transitioned to the A-4E, and in 1989 they upgraded to the more powerful A-4F (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-13).





Two VFC-13 A-4Fs at NAS Fallon in June 1993 (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-13).


October 1993 marked the end of an era when VFC-13 made the transition to the single-seat, two engine F/A-18 "Hornet." This change further enhanced the squadron's ability to perform its adversary mission by providing an even more capable and realistic threat aircraft (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-13.htm).


VFC-13 provides adversary training for regular Navy fleet and replacement squadrons and air wings, reserve fighter and attack squadrons, USAF and USMC units, and Canadian forces. The Fighting Saints have received two consecutive CNO Safety Awards, the Golden Wrench Maintenance Award and in 1994, a Battle "E" award (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-13.htm).


Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 127, the Navy's last active-duty adversary squadron at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, NV, was disestablished on 23 March 1996. The adversary role performed by the "Desert Bogeys" at NAS Fallon since 1987 was assumed by the "Fighting Saints" of Fighter Squadron Composite 13. While VFA-127 flew both F-5s and F/A-18s in the adversary role, VFC-13 only flies F-5s. Most of the Hornets from VFA-127 were transferred to the reserve force.


Most of the Hornets from VFA-127 were transferred to the reserve force. VFA-127's history goes back to July 24, 1961, when an advance party of one officer and 17 enlisted men arrived at the newly commissioned Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA, as the nucleus of a Jet Instrument Training Unit. Designated as Detachment ALPHA -- the first unit to conduct scheduled flying from the jet air station -- its primary mission was all-weather jet instrument training for fleet replacement pilots and fleet squadron pilots of the Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet. The detachment was redesignated Attack Squadron (VA) 127 on June 15, 1962. It was again redesignated VFA-127 on March 1, 1987, in keeping with its new role as the Pacific Fleet adversary squadron responsible for training naval strike fighter pilots in air-to-air combat. In October 1987, the squadron moved to NAS Fallon, making VFA-127 the only Navy squadron permanently based in Nevada (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-13.htm).


VFC-13 transferred to NAS Fallon in April 1996 and also made the transition to F-5E Tiger II's, supported by McDonnell Douglas contract maintenance.


When Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action resulted in the transfer of NAS Miramar back to the US Marine Corps and its redesignation as MCAS Miramar, the Navy relocated the Naval Fighter Weapons School, or TOPGUN, to NAS Fallon, Nevada as part of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-13).


In the Summer of 1997 VFC-13 provided adversary support to CVW-1 at NAS Fallon and accumulated over 780 flight hours and 720 sorties in fleet support from January through March. April through June 1997, VFC-13 supported CVW-9, VFA-131, VFA-136, VFA-125, and VFA-106 (Ref. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-13.htm).




In January 2006, VFC-13 established a permanent detachment of 12 aircraft at NAS Key West, Florida for East Coast training. Subsequently, in the fall of 2006, the VFC-13 Key West detachment was re-designated as a separate squadron, VFC-111, with an assignment of one F-5F and 10 F-5N. In parallel, the eleven aircraft strength of VFC-13 at NAS Fallon was increased to 17 F-5s.


VFC-13 provides adversary training for Navy and Marine Corps Active and Reserve fleet and replacement squadrons, carrier air wings and Marine aircraft groups, USAF units, to include Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, and Canadian Forces. The Fighting Saints have received two consecutive CNO Safety Awards, the Golden Wrench Maintenance Award, and in 1994, the Battle "E" award.


The unit's mix of 23 F-5E, F-5F and F-5N aircraft are all painted in a variety of colorful adversary schemes of blue, gray, or brown camouflage (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-13).




The Saints are manned with 69 Navy personnel including 33 enlisted and 36 officers. The 33 enlisted personnel provide critical operations, administrative, safety and training support to the squadron. Maintenance support is for the F-5E and is provided by civilians who work for the Sikorsky Corporation. The 40-member officer wardroom includes 25 Selected Reserve (SELRES), 5 Regular Navy and 10 Full Time Support (FTS) officers. These three elements of the Saints combine to fly over 5,000 adversary sorties per year in support of US Navy Fighter squadrons and their air wings, as well as USAF, USMC and Canadian forces (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VFC-13 & http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vfc-13.htm).


Ref. 1 http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq6-1.htm#lineages

Composite Fighter Squadron 111 (VFC-111) Sundowners is a US Navy Reserve adversary squadron based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida (USA). Currently, it operates 18 Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of which 17 are single-seater F-5Ns and the remainder being a twin-seater F-5F, which was dubbed "FrankenTiger" and is one of only three in service with the USN, being a product of grafting the older front half fuselage of the F-5Fs into the back half fuselage of the newer low-hours F-5Es acquired from the Swiss Air Force.[1]


VFC-111 was originally known as Fighter Composite Squadron 13 (VFC-13) Detachment Key West, which was established in January 2006. VFC-13 Det Key West was redesignated as VFC-111 in November 2006.


A former Swiss F-5N in service with VFC-111.


VFC-111 assumed its 'Sundowner' insignia, callsign, and traditions from the VF-111 Sundowners, a famous U.S. Navy fighter squadron, that was disestablished as a fleet F-14 Tomcat squadron at then-NAS Miramar, CA in 1995. Officially, in contrast with the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons[2].


VFC-111 F-5N at NAS Key West, 2008.


The Sundowners operate as part of the U.S. Navy Reserve's fleet adversary program, providing dissimilar air combat training to fleet strike fighter and Marine fighter attack squadrons, as well as U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard fighter squadrons.


Ostensibly assigned to the Navy Reserve's Tactical Support Wing, VFC-111 is actually an Active-Reserve Integration (ARI) unit composed of both Regular Navy and Navy Reserve personnel. In this capacity, it has assumed the adversary role of a since deactivated active duty squadron at NAS Key West known as Fighter Squadron 45 (VF-45). VFC-111's unique location at NAS Key West, Florida, home of the Navy's Strike Fighter Air Readiness Program (SFARP), eliminates costly adversary detachments and also provides a significant portion of adversary support to all F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS) in the Navy and Marine Corps, i.e., Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) at NAS Oceana, VA; Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) at NAS Lemoore, CA; Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101) at MCAS Miramar, CA; and more recently with Electronic Attack Squadron 129 VAQ-129 at NAS Whidbey Island, WA following that squadron's stand-up of EA-18G Growler training.


Ref. 1 - Ted, Carlson. "One-Eleven Heaven" Air Forces Monthly (Key Publishing), Issue 283, October 2011, pp. 48. ISSN 09557091. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Forces_Monthly


Ref. 2 - http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq6-1.htm

References include List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons at Wikipedia; others and navy web sites all linked herto.


CNATRA [Chief of Naval Air Training]