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List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons

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List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons

This is a list of United States Navy aircraft squadrons. Deactivated or disestablished squadrons are listed in the List of Inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons. Navy aircraft squadrons are typically composed of several aircraft (from as few as two to as many as several dozen), the officers who fly them and the men and women that maintain them. Most squadrons also have a number of other administrative support personnel. Some of the activities listed are not technically "squadrons", but they all operate U.S. Navy aircraft in some capacity.

Squadrons and their history are listed in the Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons (DANAS).

Squadron organization

Navy squadron organizational chart. (Click the diagram to enlarge it)

Active duty squadrons are typically commanded by a Commander. Second in command is the Executive Officer (XO), also a Commander. The XO typically assumes command of the squadron after approximately 15 months. There are typically four functional departments - Operations, Maintenance, Safety/NATOPS, and Administration - each led by a Lieutenant Commander functioning as the Department Head. Within the departments are Divisions (each typically headed by a Lieutenant) and Branches (headed by a Lieutenant, junior grade or a Chief Petty Officer).

Reserve squadrons are also commanded by a Commander, with another Commander as the XO who will also assume command after approximately 15 months. However, reserve squadron demographics are typically older and more senior in rank than their active duty squadron counterparts. Department Heads in reserve squadrons are typically senior Lieutenant Commanders, although some may be recently promoted Commanders. Where this difference in maturity level becomes more apparent is at the Division Officer level. Since most officers in reserve squadrons previously served on active duty in the Regular Navy in a flying status for eight to ten or more years, they are typically already Lieutenant Commanders, or achieve that rank shortly after transferring to the Navy Reserve. As a result, Lieutenants are a minority and Lieutenants, junior grade, practically non-existent in reserve squadrons. As a result, Divisions are typically headed by Lieutenant Commanders and Branches by Lieutenants, Senior Chief Petty Officers or Chief Petty Officers.

Types of squadrons

Navy aircraft are classified by Type (rotary wing, fixed wing), Model (e.g. SH-60), and Series (e.g., SH-60B versus SH-60F).

Squadrons can be categorized in a number of ways: Active versus Navy Reserve, land-based versus sea-based, destroyers and submarines are administratively grouped by "squadrons".

Active squadrons are those in the regular US Navy. Reserve squadrons are in the US Navy Reserve and are manned by a combination of full-time and part-time reservists. For the most part, there is no way to know by the squadron's name alone whether it is an active or reserve squadron. There are Reserve elements of many Active squadrons, and active duty personnel serving in many Reserve squadrons. In general, reserve squadrons share the same missions as their active counterparts, although there are Reserve missions (e.g., Adversary and Fleet Logistics Support) that have no Active counterpart.

At any one time, the US Navy has approximately 600 aircraft that are associated with particular ships. There are also several thousand additional Navy aircraft that are capable of shipboard operations, but are not associated with a ship. The Navy also has several hundred land-based aircraft that are not capable of shipboard operations.

Squadrons are listed here by type (fixed/rotary wing) and by mission.

Squadron names

Navy aircraft squadrons can be properly referred to by three different names. The names can give an indication of the squadron's mission and type of aircraft.

  • The Formal name (e.g., Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHT SIX) indicates the mission.
    • A subset of the formal name is a Navy acronym format in capital letters, e.g., STKFITRON EIGHT SIX
  • The Informal name (e.g., VFA-86) also indicates the type and mission, as each of the letters has a meaning. In this case, "V" stands for fixed wing, "F" stands for fighter, and "A" stands for attack.
  • Nickname – e.g., "Sidewinders".

Fixed Wing Squadrons

Most Navy fixed wing squadron informal names start with the letter "V". An exception to this was the use of "RVAH" to denote Reconnaissance Attack Squadrons which operated the North American RA-5C Vigilante RA-5C Vigilante during the 1960s and 1970s.

Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare

A typical Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron consists of four Boeing EA-18G Growlers. The primary mission of the Growler is Electronic Attack (EA), also known as Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) in support of strike aircraft and ground troops by interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining tactical electronic intelligence within the combat area. Navy Electronic Attack squadrons carry the letters VAQ (V-fixed wing, A-attack, Q-electronic). Most VAQ squadrons are carrier based, however a number are "expeditionary", deploying to overseas land bases. When not deployed (either on land or carrier), they are home-ported at NAS Whidbey Island. Two exceptions are VAQ-141 (forward deployed to NAF Atsugi, Japan) and Reserve VAQ-209 based at Andrews AFB, Md [1]

Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VAQ-129
Vikings
EA-6B EA-18G
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-130
Zappers
EA-18G
CVW-3
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-131
Lancers
EA-6B
CVW-2
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-132
Scorpions
EA-18G
Expeditionary
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-133
Wizards
EA-18G
CVW-9
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-134
Garudas
EA-6B
CVW-8
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-135
Black Ravens
EA-18G
Expeditionary
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-136
Gauntlets
EA-18G
Transition
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-137
Rooks
EA-18G
CVW-1
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-138
Yellowjackets
EA-18G
Expeditionary
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-139
Cougars
EA-18G
CVW-14
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-140
Patriots
EA-18G
CVW-7
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-141
Shadowhawks
EA-18G
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
VAQ-142
Gray Wolves
EA-6B
CVW-11
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-209
Star Warriors
EA-18G
Reserve Tactical Support Wing
NAS Whidbey Island

Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Each Carrier Airborne Early Warning squadron usually consists of four E-2C Hawkeyes, The Hawkeye's primary mission is to provide all-weather airborne early warning, airborne battle management and command and control (C2) functions for the carrier strike group and Joint Force Commander. Additional missions include surface surveillance coordination, air interdiction, offensive and defensive counter air control, close air support coordination, time critical strike coordination, search and rescue airborne coordination and communications relay. The E-2 Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound are built on the same airframe and have many similar characteristics. For this reason, both aircraft are trained for in the same Fleet Replacement Squadron.[2]

E-2C Hawkeye
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VAW-112
Golden Hawks
E-2C
CVW-9
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-113
Black Eagles
E-2C
CVW-2
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-115
Liberty Bells
E-2C
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
VAW-116
Sun Kings
E-2C
CVW-17
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-117
Wallbangers
E-2C
CVW-11
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-120
Grey Hawks
E-2C/D
C-2
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NS Norfolk
VAW-121
Blue Tails
E-2C
CVW-7

NS Norfolk
VAW-123
Screwtops
E-2C
CVW-1

NS Norfolk
VAW-124
Bear Aces
E-2C
CVW-8

NS Norfolk
VAW-125
Tigertails
E-2D
CVW-17

NS Norfolk
VAW-126
Seahawks
E-2C
CVW-3

NS Norfolk

Strike Fighter

A Strike Fighter Squadron consists of either ten F/A-18C Hornets, twelve F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, and in future, ten F-35C Lightning IIs.[3][4] Training squadrons (known as fleet replacement squadrons) have many more aircraft. The Hornet is an all-weather aircraft that is used for attack and fighter missions. In its fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support. The F/A-18 is also used for SEAD and aerial refueling.[5] The F-35C is a fifth-generation strike fighter that is replacing the Navy's F/A-18 Hornets and will serve alongside the Super Hornet.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

according to USN Fact File[6]
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-2
Bounty Hunters
F/A-18F
CVW-2

NAS Lemoore
VFA-11
Red Rippers
F/A-18F
CVW-1

NAS Oceana
VFA-14
Tophatters
F/A-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-22
Fighting Redcocks
F/A-18F
CVW-17

NAS Lemoore
VFA-25
Fist of the Fleet
F/A-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-27
Royal Maces
F/A-18E
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-31
Tomcatters
F/A-18E
CVW-8

NAS Oceana
VFA-32
Swordsmen
F/A-18F
CVW-3

NAS Oceana
VFA-41
Black Aces
F/A-18F
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-81
Sunliners
F/A-18E
CVW-17

NAS Oceana
VFA-86
Sidewinders
F/A-18E
CVW-2

NAS Lemoore
VFA-97
Warhawks
F/A-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-102
Diamondbacks
F/A-18F
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-103
Jolly Rogers
F/A-18F
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-105
Gunslingers
F/A-18E
CVW-3

NAS Oceana
VFA-106
Gladiators
F/A-18A/B/C/D/E/F
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NAS Oceana
VFA-115
Eagles
F/A-18E
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-122
Flying Eagles
F/A-18A/B/C/D/E/F
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NAS Lemoore
VFA-136
Knighthawks
F/A-18E
CVW-1

NAS Oceana
VFA-137
Kestrels
F/A-18E
CVW-2

NAS Lemoore
VFA-143
Pukin' Dogs
F/A-18E
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-147
Argonauts
F/A-18E
CVW-11

NAS Lemoore
VFA-151
Vigilantes
F/A-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-154
Black Knights
F/A-18F
CVW-11

NAS Lemoore
VFA-192
Golden Dragons
F/A-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-195
Dambusters
F/A-18E
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-211
Checkmates
F/A-18F
CVW-1

NAS Oceana
VFA-213
Black Lions
F/A-18F
CVW-8

NAS Oceana

F/A-18C Hornet

"F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-15
Valions
F/A-18C
CVW-8

NAS Oceana
VFA-34
Blue Blasters
F/A-18C
CVW-2

NAS Oceana
VFA-37
Ragin Bulls
F/A-18C
CVW-3

NAS Oceana
VFA-83
Rampagers
F/A-18C
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-87
Golden Warriors
F/A-18C
CVW-8

NAS Oceana
VFA-94
Mighty Shrikes
F/A-18C
CVW-17
NAS Lemoore
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-113
Stingers
F/A-18C
CVW-17

NAS Lemoore
VFA-131
Wildcats
F/A-18C
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-146
Blue Diamonds
F/A-18C
CVW-11

NAS Lemoore

F-35 Lightning II

VFA-101 received its first F-35C at Eglin AFB, 22 June 2013.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-101
Grim Reapers
F-35C
Fleet Replacement Squadron
Eglin Air Force Base

Fleet Air Reconnaissance

EP-3E Aries II
E-6B Mercury

Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE is the Navy's only land-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance squadron. The 13 aircraft in the Navy's inventory are based on the Orion P-3 airframe and provide fleet and theater commanders worldwide with near real-time tactical SIGINT. With sensitive receivers and high-gain dish antennas, the EP-3E exploits a wide range of electronic emissions from deep within targeted territory.

Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadrons THREE and FOUR provide communications relay and strategic airborne command post missions. They provide survivable, reliable, and endurable airborne command, control, and communications between the National Command Authority (NCA) and U.S. strategic and non-strategic forces. The TACAMO ("Take Charge and Move Out") mission links the NCA with naval ballistic missile submarine forces during times of crisis. The aircraft carries a very low frequency communication system with dual trailing wire antennae. The E-6B is a dual-mission aircraft, capable of fulfilling the airborne strategic command post mission and is equipped with an airborne launch control system (ALCS), which is capable of launching U.S. land based intercontinental ballistic missiles.[7]

Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron SEVEN is the E-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron, providing initial and requalification training for pilots, aircrews, and maintainers. It operates E-6B's on loan from VQ-3 and VQ-4, having returned its leased Lauda Air 737-600.

Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VQ-1
World Watchers
EP-3E
NAS Whidbey Island
VQ-3
Ironman
E-6B
Tinker AFB
VQ-4
Shadows
E-6B
Tinker AFB
VQ-7
Roughnecks
E-6B
E-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron
Formerly Naval Training Support Unit (NTSU)
Tinker AFB

Fleet Fighter Composite

F-5s.
Fleet Fighter Composite squadrons provide adversary simulation for fleet squadrons. All VFC squadrons are from the Navy Reserve.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFC-12
Fighting Omars
F/A-18C
Reserve
NAS Oceana
VFC-13
Saints
F-5
Reserve
NAS Fallon
VFC-111
Sundowners
F-5
Reserve
NAS Key West

Fleet Logistics Support

C-20.
C-130.
C-40A.
Fleet Logistics Support squadrons operate Navy unique airlift aircraft on a worldwide basis to provide responsive, flexible, and rapidly deployable air logistics support required to sustain combat operations from the sea. During peacetime, squadrons provide air logistics support for all Navy commands as well as provide continuous quality training for mobilization readiness. Fleet Logistics Support squadrons have no counterpart in the Regular Navy. They represent 100% of the Navy's medium and heavy intra-theater airlift, and operate year-round, around the world providing the critical link between deployed seagoing units and air mobility command logistics hubs. VR-1 provides dedicated airlift support to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps. All VR squadrons are from the Navy Reserve.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VR-1
Star Lifters
C-20D
C-37B
Reserve
Andrews AFB
VR-46
Eagles
C-9
Reserve
NAS Fort Worth
(Deactivation scheduled for Summer 2012)
VR-48
Capital Skyliners
C-20G
Reserve
Andrews AFB
VR-51
Windjammers
C-20G
Reserve
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VR-52
Taskmasters
C-9
Reserve
McGuire AFB
(Relocated from NAS Willow Grove in Mar 2011)
VR-53
Capital Express
C-130T
Reserve
Andrews AFB
VR-54
Revelers
C-130T
Reserve
NAS New Orleans
VR-55
Minutemen
C-130T
Reserve
NAS Point Mugu
VR-56
Globemasters
C-40
Reserve
NAS Oceana
VR-57
Conquistadors
C-40
Reserve
NAS North Island
VR-58
Sunseekers
C-40
Reserve
NAS Jacksonville
VR-59
Lone Star Express
C-40
Reserve
NAS Fort Worth
VR-61
Islanders
C-9
Reserve
NAS Whidbey Island
VR-62
VR-62 NOMADS Logo
Nomads
C-130T
Reserve
NAS Jacksonville
(Relocated from NAS Brunswick in 2009)
VR-64
Condors
C-130T
Reserve
McGuire AFB
(Relocated from NAS Willow Grove in Mar 2011)
Formerly VP-64 – redesignated 18 Sep 2004

Carrier Fleet Logistics Support

C-2A Greyhound

There are two Carrier Fleet Logistic Support squadrons - one on each coast. VRC-30 is based at Naval Air Station North Island, VRC-40 is based at Naval Station Norfolk. These squadrons send two-plane detachments with each deploying aircraft carrier. The C-2A Greyhound, more commonly referred to as a "COD" (short for Carrier onboard delivery), is used to deliver high priority parts, supplies, people, and mail to/from the carrier and shore sites near the carrier operating area.

Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VRC-30
Providers
NAS North Island
VRC-30 Det 1
Hustlers
C-2
CVW-14
VRC-30 Det 2
Roughnecks
C-2
CVW-2
VRC-30 Det 3
Crusaders
C-2
CVW-11
VRC-30 Det 4
Pure Horsepower
C-2
CVW-9
VRC-30 Det 5
Providers
C-2
CVW-5
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VRC-40 Det 1
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-3
VRC-40 Det 2
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-1
VRC-40 Det 3
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-7
VRC-40 Det 4
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-17
VRC-40 Det 5
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-8

Patrol

P-3C Orion

Maritime patrol aircraft are used primarily for reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare. Volume 2 of the Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons contains comprehensive histories over 150 patrol squadrons. Its Appendix 7 details the lineage of every VP, VPB, VP(H), and VP(AM) squadron from 1922 through the late 1990s.

P-8A Poseidon.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VP-1
Screaming Eagles
P-3C
NAS Whidbey Island
VP-4
Skinny Dragons
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VP-5
Mad Foxes
P-8A
NAS Jacksonville
VP-8
Tigers
P-3C
NAS Jacksonville
VP-9
Golden Eagles
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VP-10
Lancers
P-3C
NAS Jacksonville
VP-16
War Eagles
P-8A
NAS Jacksonville
VP-26
Tridents
P-3C
NAS Jacksonville
VP-30
Pro's Nest
P-3C
P-8A
FRS
NAS Jacksonville
VP-40
Fighting Marlins
P-3C
NAS Whidbey Island
VP-45
Pelicans
P-3C
P-8A
NAS Jacksonville
VP-46
Grey Knights
P-3C
NAS Whidbey Island
VP-47
Golden Swordsmen
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VP-62
Broadarrows
P-3C
Reserve
NAS Jacksonville
VP-69
Totems
P-3C
Reserve
NAS Whidbey Island
VPU-2
[1]
Wizards
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay

Training

There are three types of fixed wing training squadrons - Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced - that train Student Naval Aviators to become United States Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Some United States Air Force pilots are also trained in Navy squadrons. Likewise, some Student Naval Aviators receive some of their training at USAF training squadrons. Navy training aircraft are typically painted orange and white.

T-34C Turbo Mentor
Navy T-6B Texan IIs out of NAS Whiting Field[8]
T-45 Goshawk
T-6A Texan II
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VT-2
Doerbirds
T-6B
Primary
NAS Whiting Field
VT-3
Red Knights
T-6B
Primary
NAS Whiting Field
VT-4
Warbucks
T-39
NFO Intermediate, Cadre Status
NAS Pensacola
VT-6
Shooters
T-6B
Primary
NAS Whiting Field
VT-7
Eagles
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Meridian
VT-9
Tigers
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Meridian
VT-10
Wildcats
T-6A
NFO Primary/Intermediate
NAS Pensacola
VT-21
Redhawks
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Kingsville
VT-22
Golden Eagles
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Kingsville
VT-27
Boomers
T-6B
Primary
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-28
Rangers
T-34C
Primary
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-31
Wise Owls
T-44
Advanced Multi-engine
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-35
Stingrays
TC-12
Advanced Multi-engine
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-86
Sabrehawks
T-39
T-45C
NFO Advanced Jet
NAS Pensacola

Other

Some of these organizations are not technically "squadrons", however they have custody of and routinely fly Navy aircraft.

Blue Angels
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
Blue Angels
F/A-18A/B/C/D
C-130T
NAS Pensacola
NAF El Centro
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Strike U
Topgun
Topdome
F/A-18A/B/C/D/E/F
F-16
E-2C
MH-60S
NAS Fallon
Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific
F/A-18
NAS Lemoore
Pacific Missile Range Facility
RC-26D
Barking Sands

Helicopter Squadrons

Helo Master Plan

US Navy helicopters are used for antisubmarine warfare, antisurface warfare, mine warfare, combat search and rescue, special operations, and vertical replenishment missions. The USN helicopter community, in accordance with the "Helicopter Master Plan", is currently undergoing a transformation to reduce costs and infrastructure. The plan calls for expanding warfighting capabilities, modernizing the force, necking down from eight to three aircraft types, and consolidating force structure where possible. This plan is also leading to the renaming of many squadrons.[9] All Navy helicopter (or rotary wing) squadrons' informal names start with the letter "H".

Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron

The Mine Countermeasures Squadrons are each made up of 16 MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters. The primary mission of the Sea Dragon is Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM). The MH-53 can operate from carriers and other warships and is capable of towing a variety of mine hunting/sweeping countermeasures systems.[10] The MH-53E Sea Dragon is also a capable heavy-lift asset, with three powerful turboshaft engines and a maximum take-off weight of 69,750 pounds (31,640 kg). This gives the Sea Dragon the capability to carry an impressive amount of cargo, personnel or equipment over long distances. The Sea Dragon remains in service as the Navy's only heavy-lift helicopter.

An MH-53 delivers aid in Sumatra following the 2004 Tsunami.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HM-14
Vanguard
MH-53E
NS Norfolk
HM-15
Blackhawks
MH-53E
NS Norfolk

Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadrons

Helicopter Anti-Submarine squadrons are composite squadrons usually made up of four to six SH-60F Seahawks and two to four HH-60H Seahawks. Both Aircraft are Carrier-Based. The SH-60Fs primary mission is Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) defense of the inner zone, which includes detection, classification and destruction of hostile submarines. HH-60Hs primary mission is combat search and rescue (CSAR), Naval Special Warfare support (NSW) and anti-surface warfare (ASUW).[11]

A SH-60F assigned to HS-11 releases flares
A HH-60H from HS-11 prepares to take off with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit in tow.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HS-11
Dragonslayers
SH-60F
HH-60H
CVW-1
NAS Jacksonville

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrons

The Sea Combat Squadron combines both the strike capability of the Helicopter Anti-submarine wing and the cargo capability of the Helicopter Combat Support wing into its primary mission. Over the next decade all HC and HS squadrons will transition to Sea Combat Squadrons upon receiving the MH-60S.[12]

An MH-60S Knighthawk conducts vertical replenishment (VERTREP)
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HSC-2
Fleet Angels
MH-60S
FRS
Formerly HC-2
Formerly HU-2
NS Norfolk
HSC-3
Merlins
MH-60S
FRS
Formerly HC-3
NAS North Island
HSC-4
Black Knights
MH-60S
Formerly HS-4
CVW-2
NAS North Island
HSC-5
Nightdippers
MH-60S
CVW-7
NS Norfolk
HSC-6
Indians
MH-60S
Formerly HS-6
CVW-11
NAS North Island
HSC-7
Dusty Dogs
MH-60S
Formerly HS-7
CVW-3
NS Norfolk
HSC-8
Eightballers
MH-60S
Formerly HS-8
CVW-9
NAS North Island
HSC-9
Tridents
MH-60S
Formerly HS-3
CVW-8
NS Norfolk
HSC-12
Golden Falcons
MH-60S
Formerly HS-2
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
HSC-14
Chargers
MH-60S
Formerly HS-14
NAS North Island
HSC-15
Red Lions
MH-60S
Formerly HS-15
CVW-17
NAS North Island
HSC-21
Blackjacks
MH-60S
Formerly HC-11
Expeditionary
NAS North Island
HSC-22
Sea Knights
MH-60S
Expeditionary
NS Norfolk
HSC-23
Wild Cards
MH-60S
Expeditionary
NAS North Island
HSC-25
Island Knights
MH-60S
Formerly HC-5
Expeditionary
Andersen AFB
HSC-26
Chargers
MH-60S
Formerly HC-6
Expeditionary
NS Norfolk
HSC-28
Dragon Whales
MH-60S
Formerly HC-8
Expeditionary
NS Norfolk
HSC-84
Red Wolves
HH-60H
Formerly HCS-4
Reserve and Active
NS Norfolk
HSC-85
Fire Hawks
HH-60H
Formerly HCS-5/HC-85
Reserve and Active
NAS North Island

Helicopter Anti-Submarine (Light) Squadrons

Anti-Submarine Light squadrons each operate between six and fifteen SH-60B LAMPS III helicopters. The SH-60Bs primary mission is to provide fully mission capable detachments aboard cruisers, destroyers, and frigates assigned to the Fleet. These detachments are an integral part of the ships weapon system, extending the ships under-sea and anti-ship warfare capabilities beyond the horizon. As of 2003 all Helicopter Anti-Submarine (Light) Squadrons are scheduled to be redesignated Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons. This change will reflect the switch to the MH-60R Seahawk and the squadrons new multi-mission capability.[13]

A SH-60B attached to HSL-47 lowers a rescue swimmer.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HSL-49
Scorpions
SH-60B
NAS North Island
HSL-60
Jaguars
SH-60B
Reserve
NS Mayport

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons

An MH-60R prepares to conduct sonar dip operations.

Helicopter Maritime Strike squadrons operate the MH-60R Seahawk. The first operational fleet squadron to receive the Romeo is HSM-71 in fiscal year 2008. The new squadron designation was created to reflect the MH-60Rs multi-mission capabilities. Eventually all Anti-submarine (Light) squadrons will transition to the MH-60R and be redesignated HSM.[14]

Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HSM-35
Magicians
MH-60R, MQ-8B
Expeditionary
Actived May 2, 2013.[15]
NAS North Island
HSM-37
Easyriders
MH-60R
Expeditionary
MCAS Kanehoe Bay
Formerly HSL-37
HSM-40
Airwolves
MH-60R
FRS
NS Mayport
Formerly HSL-40
HSM-41
Seahawks
MH-60R
FRS
NAS North Island
Formerly HSL-41
HSM-46
Grandmasters
MH-60R
Expeditionary
NS Mayport
Formerly HSL-46
HSM-48
Vipers
MH-60R
Expeditionary
NS Mayport
Formerly HSL-48
HSM-51
Warlords
MH-60R
Expeditionary
NAF Atsugi
Formerly HSL-51
HSM-70
Spartans
MH-60R
CVW-8
NAS Jacksonville
HSM-71
Raptors
MH-60R
CVW-9
NAS North Island
HSM-72
Proud Warriors
MH-60R
CVW-7
NAS Jacksonville
Formerly HSL-42
HSM-73
Battle Cats
MH-60R
CVW-17
NAS North Island
Formerly HSL-43
HSM-74
Swamp Fox
MH-60R
CVW-3
NAS Jacksonville
Formerly HSL-44
HSM-75
Wolfpack
MH-60R
CVW-11
NAS North Island
Formerly HSL-45
HSM-77
Saberhawks
MH-60R
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
First LAMPS deployment aboard carrier[16]
Formerly HSL-47
HSM-78
Blue Hawks
MH-60R
CVW-2
NAS North Island

Helicopter Training Squadrons

The United States Navy's Helicopter Training Squadrons provide advanced helicopter flight instruction to all Navy, US Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard helicopter flight students as well as international students from several allied nations. Students who successfully complete the program earn the right to wear the coveted "Wings of Gold."[17]

TH-57 training helicopter from HT-8 makes a landing aboard the Navy Helicopter Landing Trainer (HLT) IX-514
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HT-8
Eightballers
TH-57
NAS Whiting Field
HT-18
Vigilant Eagles
TH-57
NAS Whiting Field
HT-28
Hellions
TH-57
NAS Whiting Field

UAV Squadrons

Fleet Composite squadrons' primary missions include providing fixed wing and helicopter services to the Fleet in support of the United States and Allied operational training exercises and operating the Navy's only operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This aircraft is utilized primarily in reconnaissance missions. Tactical employment of this unique asset primarily supports both Battle Group deployments and Amphibious Warfare Operations.[18]

Unmanned Reconnaissance Helicopter Squadrons

The Unmanned Reconnaissance Helicopter Squadrons' mission is to support Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance demands for conventional forces and special forces. They will be used by HSM and HSC Expeditionary detachments to support Littoral Combat Ship operations and will also be used by unmanned detachments on other aviation capable navy ships.[19] The aviation platforms will consist of the MQ-8B, flown by SH-60 aviators, and the MQ-8C Fire-X, flown by enlisted operators.[20]

A US Navy MQ-8B with the BRITE Star II electro-optical/infrared payload at Webster Field, NAS Patuxent River, Maryland
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HUQ-1
TBD
TBD
MQ-8
FRS[19]
NAS North Island

Unmanned Patrol Squadrons

Unmanned maritime patrol aircraft are used for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.

MQ-4C Triton.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VUP-11
TBD
TBD
MQ-4C Triton
To be established in 2015[21]
VUP-19
TBD
Big Red
MQ-4C Triton
NAS Jacksonville
NAS Point Mugu (detachment)
To be established in 2014[22]

Test and Evaluation

Test and Evaluation squadrons test everything from basic aircraft flying qualities to advanced aerodynamics. VX-1 and VX-9 report to the Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR).

VX-23 jets.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
USN Test Pilot School
Various
NAS Patuxent River
VX-1
Pioneers
P-3C
MH-60R
MH-60S
SH-60F
EP-3E
E-6B
KC-130J
E-2C
RQ-4
P-8A
Evaluation of airborne
anti-submarine warfare
and maritime anti-surface warfare
weapons
NAS Patuxent River[23]
VXS-1
Warlocks
P-3
C-12
formerly NRL's Flight Support Detachment
Scientific Development
NAS Patuxent River[23]
VX-9
Vampires
F/A-18A/A+/A++/B/C/D/E/F
EA-18G
AV-8B
EA-6B
AH-1Z
UH-1Y
and other variants
Operational Weapons Test
NAWS China Lake
VX-20
Force
E-2C
P-3C
C-130
C-2A
E-6B
T-34C
Force Warfare Aircraft Test
NAS Patuxent River[24]
HX-21
Blackjack
AH-1Z
UH-1Y
MH-60R
MH-60S
MV-22B
AH-1W
UH-1N
VH-3A
CH-53E
TH-57C
SH-60F
Rotary Wing Aircraft Test
NAS Patuxent River[25]
VX-23
Salty Dogs
F-35B/C
F/A-18A/A+/A++/B/C/D/E/F
EA-6B
EA-18G
T-45
Strike Aircraft Test
NAS Patuxent River
VX-30
Bloodhounds
C-130
P-3 All Variants
S-3B
F/A-18A/A+/A++/B/C/D/E/F
Weapons Test
NAS Point Mugu
VX-31
Dust Devils
F/A-18A/A+/A++/B/C/D/E/F
EA-18G
NEA-18G
P-3
C-130
AV-8
TAV-8B
T-39
AH-1Z
UH-1Y
and other variants
Weapons Test
NAWS China Lake

See also

References

  1. ^ "EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  2. ^ "E-2 Hawkeye early warning and control aircraft". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  3. ^ http://www.cnas.orgs/default/files/publications-pdf/CNAS_CarrierAirWing_white.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.gao.gov/assets/250/243745.pdf
  5. ^ A, C, and E models are single seat. B, D, and F models are two seat.
  6. ^ "F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  7. ^ "E-6B Airborne Command Post (ABNCP)". United States Strategic Command. 
  8. ^ http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=1100&tid=1750&ct=1
  9. ^ "The Helicopter Master Plan".  
  10. ^ "MH-53E Sea Dragon". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  11. ^ "SH-60 Seahawk helicopter". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  12. ^ "Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, Pacific COMHELSEACOMBATWINGPAC". Global Security. 
  13. ^ "Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific". Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific. Global Security. 
  14. ^ "MH-60R Seahawk". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  15. ^ London, Christina. "Navy Drone Squadron First of Its Kind." NBC San Diego, 3 May 2013.
  16. ^ Utz, Curtis A; Mark L Evans; Dale J Gordon (July–August 2005). "The Year in Review 2004" ( 
  17. ^ "Helicopter Training Squadron 8". Global Security. 
  18. ^ "Fleet Composite Squadron SIX". U.S. Navy. Global Security. 
  19. ^ a b OPNAV Notice 5400. 14 August 2012
  20. ^ Stewart, Joshua. "New squadron to deploy, train unmanned helicopter pilots." Navy Times. 30 August 2012.
  21. ^ Burgess, Richard. B. Seapower Magazine. "Navy Plans for Poseidon Crew Control of Triton UAV." August 13, 2013. http://www.seapowermagazine.org/stories/20130813-triton.html.
  22. ^ Stewart, Joshua. "UAV squadron to stand up Oct. 1; 1st since 2007." February 5, 2013. http://www.armytimes.com/article/20130205/NEWS/302050316/.
  23. ^ a b "Naval Air Station Patuxent River Base Guide". DCMilitary.com. Comprint Military Publications. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  24. ^ "VX-20 Aircraft Platforms". Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO. United States Navy. 2006-06-10. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  25. ^ Carlson, Ted (Spring 2005). "HX-21 - Blackjack". Wings of Gold (Association of Naval Aviation). Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
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