Thu, Mar 09, 2006
Counting Down To The Last Flights Of The F-14
Six squadrons from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 will return to Naval
Station Norfolk and Naval Air Station Oceana March 9 and 10
following their six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf aboard the
aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The remainder of
CVW-8’s squadrons will return to their homebases of Naval Air
Station (NAS) Jacksonville, FL and NAS Whidbey Island, FL.
The "Tomcatters" of Fighter Squadron (VF) 31 and the "Black
Lions" of Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 will close a chapter in the
history of naval aviation, by completing the final combat
deployment in the F-14D Tomcat aircraft. VF-213 will almost
immediately begin to transition to the F/A-18F "Super Hornet,"
while VF-31 will remain operational until September 2006 when they
will fly the last Tomcat in the Navy’s inventory from NAS
VF-31 will continue to operate the F-14D with CVW-8 throughout
the spring and summer aboard Theodore Roosevelt during the
ship’s readiness and sustainment period. They will begin
their transition to the F/A-18E "Super Hornet" in October.
Also returning will be the "Valions" of Strike Fighter Squadron
(VFA) 15 and the "War Party" from VFA-87, both flying the F/A-18C
Hornet, and the "Bear Aces" from Airborne Early Warning Squadron
(VAW) 124 with their E-2C Hawkeyes, and Fleet Logistics Support
Squadron (VRC) 40, Detachment 1, the "Rawhides" flying C-2A
During CVW-8’s deployment in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom and the global war on terrorism, their aircraft flew
exactly 10,000 sorties and logged nearly 30,750 mishap-free flight
hours. Of these, 3,300 flight hours were flown over Iraq delivering
52 bombs and air-to-ground missiles in support of coalition troops
on the ground.
The E-2C Hawkeyes provided airborne command and control while
the C-2A Greyhounds provided logistics support by delivering mail,
parts and personnel from the ship.
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