List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons

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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[edit]

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[edit]

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, fixed wing versus rotary wing (helicopter) vs Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and by mission. Unlike the USAF, US Army, and USMC, the US Navy does not typically refer to other organizations (such as maintenance or medical units) as "squadrons". An exception to this is that US Navy 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.[citation needed] There are also several thousand additional Navy aircraft that are capable of shipboard operations, but are not associated with a ship.[citation needed] The Navy also has several hundred land-based aircraft that are not capable of shipboard operations.[citation needed]

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

Squadron names[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Vikings
EA-6B EA-18G
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-130
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 130 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Zappers
EA-18G
CVW-3
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-131
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 131 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Lancers
EA-6B
CVW-2
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-132
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 132 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Scorpions
EA-18G
Expeditionary
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-133
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 133 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Wizards
EA-6B
CVW-9
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-134
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 134 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Garudas
EA-6B
CVW-8
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-135
VAQ-135 (Logo).jpg
Black Ravens
EA-18G
Expeditionary
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-136
VAQ-136.png
Gauntlets
EA-18G
Transition
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-137
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 137 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Rooks
EA-18G
CVW-1
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-138
VAQ-138 insignia.jpg
Yellowjackets
EA-18G
Expeditionary
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-139
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 139 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Cougars
EA-18G
CVW-14
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-140
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 140 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Patriots
EA-6B
CVW-7
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-141
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 141 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Shadowhawks
EA-18G
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
VAQ-142
VAQ142 new logo.gif
Gray Wolves
EA-6B
CVW-11
NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-209
Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 209 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Star Warriors
EA-6B
Reserve Tactical Support Wing Andrews AFB

Carrier Airborne Early Warning[edit]

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
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Golden Hawks
E-2C
CVW-9
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-113
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 113 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Black Eagles
E-2C
CVW-2
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-115
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 115 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Liberty Bells
E-2C
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
VAW-116
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Sun Kings
E-2C
CVW-17
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-117
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Wallbangers
E-2C
CVW-11
NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-120
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 (US Navy) - insignia.gif
Grey Hawks
E-2C/D
C-2
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NS Norfolk
VAW-121
Vaw121s.jpg
Blue Tails
E-2C
CVW-7

NS Norfolk
VAW-123
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Screwtops
E-2C
CVW-1

NS Norfolk
VAW-124
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 124 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Bear Aces
E-2C
CVW-8

NS Norfolk
VAW-125
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Tigertails
E-2D
CVW-17

NS Norfolk
VAW-126
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Seahawks
E-2C
CVW-3

NS Norfolk

Strike Fighter[edit]

A Strike Fighter Squadron consists of twelve F/A-18C Hornets, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, or F-35C Lightning IIs. 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.[3] 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[edit]

according to USN Fact File[4]
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-2
Strike Fighter Squadron 2 (United States Navy - insignia).gif
Bounty Hunters
FA-18F
CVW-2

NAS Lemoore
VFA-11
Vfa-11.png
Red Rippers
FA-18F
CVW-1

NAS Oceana
VFA-14
Tophatters.jpg
Tophatters
FA-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-22
VFA-22 insignia.gif
Fighting Redcocks
FA-18F
CVW-17

NAS Lemoore
VFA-25
VFA-25.jpg
Fist of the Fleet
FA-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-27
VFA-27insignia.jpg
Royal Maces
FA-18E
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-31
Felix VF-31 logo.svg
Tomcatters
FA-18E
CVW-8

NAS Oceana
VFA-32
Vf32swordsmen.jpg
Swordsmen
FA-18F
CVW-3

NAS Oceana
VFA-41
Vf41blackaces.gif
Black Aces
FA-18F
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-81
VFA-81insignia.png
Sunliners
FA-18E
CVW-17

NAS Oceana
VFA-86
Strike Fighter Squadron 86 (US Navy) patch 1987.png
Sidewinders
FA-18E
CVW-2

NAS Lemoore
VFA-102
Diamondbacks.jpg
Diamondbacks
FA-18F
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-103
Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Jolly Rogers
FA-18F
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-105
Vfa-105.jpg
Gunslingers
FA-18E
CVW-3

NAS Oceana
VFA-106
VFA-106 insignia.jpg
Gladiators
FA-18A/B/C/D/E/F
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NAS Oceana
VFA-115
Vfa115 logo.jpg
Eagles
FA-18E
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-122
Strike Fighter Squadron 112 (United States Navy - Insignia).gif
Flying Eagles
FA-18A/B/C/D/E/F
Fleet Replacement Squadron
NAS Lemoore
VFA-136
Strike Fighter Squadron 136 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Knighthawks
FA-18E
CVW-1

NAS Oceana
VFA-137
VFA-137 insignia.jpg
Kestrels
FA-18E
CVW-2

NAS Lemoore
VFA-143
Vf143dog.jpg
Pukin' Dogs
FA-18E
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-147
VFA-147 Argonauts.jpg
Argonauts
FA-18E
CVW-11

NAS Lemoore
VFA-151
Vfa151.gif
Vigilantes
FA-18E
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-154
Vf154knight.jpg
Black Knights
FA-18F
CVW-11

NAS Lemoore
VFA-195
VFA-195.JPG
Dambusters
FA-18E
CVW-5

NAF Atsugi
VFA-211
Strike Fighter Squadron 211 (US Navy) patch.jpg
Checkmates
FA-18F
CVW-1

NAS Oceana
VFA-213
Strike Fighter Squadron 213 (US Navy) - insignia.jpg
Black Lions
FA-18F
CVW-8

NAS Oceana

F/A-18C Hornet[edit]

"F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 

Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-15
Vfa15valions.jpg
Valions
FA-18C
CVW-8

NAS Oceana
VFA-34
VFA-34insignia.jpg
Blue Blasters
FA-18C
CVW-2

NAS Oceana
VFA-37
Vfa-37.png
Ragin Bulls
FA-18C
CVW-3

NAS Oceana
VFA-83
Vfa 83 squadron patch.jpg
Rampagers
FA-18C
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-87
Vfa87goldenwarriors.jpg
Golden Warriors
FA-18C
CVW-8

NAS Oceana
VFA-94
VFA-94 insignia.jpg
Mighty Shrikes
FA-18C
CVW-17
NAS Lemoore
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-97
Vfa97.jpg
Warhawks
FA-18C
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore
VFA-113
Vfa113logo.gif
Stingers
FA-18C
CVW-17

NAS Lemoore
VFA-131
VFA-131 insignia.jpg
Wildcats
FA-18C
CVW-7

NAS Oceana
VFA-146
Strike Fighter Squadron 146 (United States Navy) (insignia).gif
Blue Diamonds
FA-18C
CVW-11

NAS Lemoore
VFA-192
Vfa192 2009 patch.jpg
Golden Dragons
FA-18C
CVW-9

NAS Lemoore

F-35 Lightning II[edit]

VFA-101 received its first F-35C at Eglin AFB, 22 June 2013.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VFA-101
Fighter Squadron 101 (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Grim Reapers
F-35C
Fleet Replacement Squadron
Eglin Air Force Base

Fleet Air Reconnaissance[edit]

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.[5]

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
Vq1.jpg
World Watchers
EP-3E
NAS Whidbey Island
VQ-3
Vq3 logo.jpg
Ironman
E-6B
Tinker AFB
VQ-4
Vq4 logo.jpg
Shadows
E-6B
Tinker AFB
VQ-7
Vq7.jpg
Roughnecks
E-6B
E-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron
Formerly Naval Training Support Unit (NTSU)
Tinker AFB

Fleet Fighter Composite[edit]

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
VFC12.jpg
Omars
FA-18 C
Reserve
NAS Oceana
VFC-13
Vfc13 insigia.jpg
Saints
F-5
Reserve
NAS Fallon
VFC-111
Vfc-111.png
Sundowners
F-5
Reserve
NAS Key West

Fleet Logistics Support[edit]

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
Vr1.jpg
Star Lifters
C-20D
C-37B
Reserve
Andrews AFB
VR-46
Vr46.jpg
Eagles
C-9
Reserve
NAS Fort Worth
(Deactivation scheduled for Summer 2012)
VR-48
Vr48.jpg
Capital Skyliners
C-20G
Reserve
Andrews AFB
VR-51
Vr51 insig.jpg
Windjammers
C-20G
Reserve
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VR-52
Vr52.jpg
Taskmasters
C-9
Reserve
McGuire AFB
(Relocated from NAS Willow Grove in Mar 2011)
VR-53
Vr53.gif
Capital Express
C-130T
Reserve
Andrews AFB
VR-54
Vr54.jpg
Revelers
C-130T
Reserve
NAS New Orleans
VR-55
Vr55.jpg
Minutemen
C-130T
Reserve
NAS Point Mugu
VR-56
Vr56.jpg
Globemasters
C-40
Reserve
NAS Oceana
VR-57
Vr57 insig.jpg
Conquistadors
C-40
Reserve
NAS North Island
VR-58
Vr58 insig.jpg
Sunseekers
C-40
Reserve
NAS Jacksonville
VR-59
Vr59b&w.jpg
Lone Star Express
C-40
Reserve
NAS Fort Worth
VR-61
Vr-61.jpg
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
VR-64.jpg
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[edit]

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
Vrc30 logo.jpg
Providers
NAS North Island
VRC-30 Det 1
Logo det1.gif
Hustlers
C-2
CVW-14
VRC-30 Det 2
Logo det2.gif
Roughnecks
C-2
CVW-2
VRC-30 Det 3
Logo det3.gif
Crusaders
C-2
CVW-11
VRC-30 Det 4
Logo det4.gif
Pure Horsepower
C-2
CVW-9
VRC-30 Det 5
Logo det5.gif
Providers
C-2
CVW-5
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VRC-40 Det 1
Vrc-40.jpg
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-3
VRC-40 Det 2
Vrc-40.jpg
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-1
VRC-40 Det 3
Vrc-40.jpg
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-7
VRC-40 Det 4
Vrc-40.jpg
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-17
VRC-40 Det 5
Vrc-40.jpg
Rawhides
C-2
CVW-8

Patrol[edit]

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
Vp-1.jpg
Screaming Eagles
P-3C
NAS Whidbey Island
VP-4
Vp-4 logo.jpg
Skinny Dragons
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VP-5
Vp-5 insig.jpg
Mad Foxes
P-8A
NAS Jacksonville
VP-8
Vp-8 logo.jpg
Tigers
P-3C
NAS Jacksonville
VP-9
Insignia of Patrol Squadron 9 (United States Navy).jpg
Golden Eagles
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VP-10
VP-10 patch.jpg
Lancers
P-3C
NAS Jacksonville
VP-16
Vp16.jpg
War Eagles
P-8A
NAS Jacksonville
VP-26
Vp26 insig.jpg
Tridents
P-3C
NAS Jacksonville
VP-30
Vp30.jpg
Pro's Nest
P-3C
P-8A
FRS
NAS Jacksonville
VP-40
Vp40 insig.jpg
Fighting Marlins
P-3C
NAS Whidbey Island
VP-45
Vp45.jpg
Pelicans
P-3C
P-8A
NAS Jacksonville
VP-46
VP-46.png
Grey Knights
P-3C
NAS Whidbey Island
VP-47
Vp47 insig.jpg
Golden Swordsmen
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VP-62
VP-62.png
Broadarrows
P-3C
Reserve
NAS Jacksonville
VP-69
Vp69 insig.jpg
Totems
P-3C
Reserve
NAS Whidbey Island
VPU-2
[1]
Wizards
P-3C
MCAS Kaneohe Bay

Training[edit]

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[6]
T-45 Goshawk
T-6A Texan II
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
VT-2
VT-2.png
Doerbirds
T-6B
Primary
NAS Whiting Field
VT-3
Vt3 insig.jpg
Red Knights
T-6B
Primary
NAS Whiting Field
VT-4
Vt-4 patch.jpg
Warbucks
T-39
NFO Intermediate, Cadre Status
NAS Pensacola
VT-6
Vt6 insig.jpg
Shooters
T-6B
Primary
NAS Whiting Field
VT-7
Vt7 insig.jpg
Eagles
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Meridian
VT-9
Vt9.gif
Tigers
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Meridian
VT-10
TRARON10.jpg
Wildcats
T-6A
NFO Primary/Intermediate
NAS Pensacola
VT-21
Vt21a insig.jpg
Redhawks
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Kingsville
VT-22
VT-22 logo.png
Golden Eagles
T-45
Intermediate Tailhook, Advanced Jet
NAS Kingsville
VT-27
Vt27a insig.jpg
Boomers
T-6B
Primary
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-28
VT-28.png
Rangers
T-34C
Primary
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-31
Vt31 b insig.jpg
Wise Owls
T-44
Advanced Multi-engine
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-35
VT-35.png
Stingrays
TC-12
Advanced Multi-engine
NAS Corpus Christi
VT-86
VT-86 logo.png
Sabrehawks
T-39
T-45C
NFO Advanced Jet
NAS Pensacola

Other[edit]

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 Insignia.svg
Blue Angels
FA-18
C-130
NAS Pensacola
NAF El Centro
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Nsawc logo.jpg
Strike U
Topgun
Topdome
FA-18
F-16
E-2C
MH-60S
NAS Fallon
Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific
Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific.gif
FA-18
NAS Lemoore
Pacific Missile Range Facility
RC-26D
Barking Sands

Helicopter Squadrons[edit]

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.[7] All Navy helicopter (or rotary wing) squadrons' informal names start with the letter "H".

Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron[edit]

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.[8] 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
HM-14 Insignia.jpg
Vanguard
MH-53E
NS Norfolk
HM-15
HM-15 Insignia.jpg
Blackhawks
MH-53E
NS Norfolk

Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadrons[edit]

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).[9]

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
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 11 (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Dragonslayers
SH-60F
HH-60H
CVW-1
NAS Jacksonville

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrons[edit]

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.[10]

An MH-60S Knighthawk conducts vertical replenishment (VERTREP)
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HSC-2
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 2 (United States Navy - insignia).gif
Fleet Angels
MH-60S
FRS
Formerly HC-2
Formerly HU-2
NS Norfolk
HSC-3
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 3 (United States Navy - insignia).gif
Merlins
MH-60S
FRS
Formerly HC-3
NAS North Island
HSC-4
Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 (US Navy) patch 2012.png
Black Knights
MH-60S
Formerly HS-4
CVW-2
NAS North Island
HSC-5
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 5 (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Nightdippers
MH-60S
CVW-7
NS Norfolk
HSC-6
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6 (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Indians
MH-60S
Formerly HS-6
CVW-11
NAS North Island
HSC-7
Hs-7.jpg
Dusty Dogs
MH-60S
Formerly HS-7
CVW-3
NS Norfolk
HSC-8
HSC-8.gif
Eightballers
MH-60S
Formerly HS-8
CVW-9
NAS North Island
HSC-9
HSC-9 Patch with transparent background.GIF
Tridents
MH-60S
Formerly HS-3
CVW-8
NS Norfolk
HSC-12
HSC-12 emblem.jpg
Golden Falcons
MH-60S
Formerly HS-2
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
HSC-14
Hs14 insig.jpg
Chargers
MH-60S
Formerly HS-14
NAS North Island
HSC-15
HSC-15 Red Lions Crest.JPG
Red Lions
MH-60S
Formerly HS-15
CVW-17
NAS North Island
HSC-21
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 21 (United States Navy - insignia).gif
Blackjacks
MH-60S
Formerly HC-11
Expeditionary
NAS North Island
HSC-22
HSC-22 Seaknights insignia.jpg
Sea Knights
MH-60S
Expeditionary
NS Norfolk
HSC-23
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 23 (US Navy - Insignia).gif
Wild Cards
MH-60S
Expeditionary
NAS North Island
HSC-25
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 25 (United States Navy - insignia).gif
Island Knights
MH-60S
Formerly HC-5
Expeditionary
Andersen AFB
HSC-26
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 26 (United States Navy - insignia).gif
Chargers
MH-60S
Formerly HC-6
Expeditionary
NS Norfolk
HSC-28
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 28 (United States Navy - insignia).gif
Dragon Whales
MH-60S
Formerly HC-8
Expeditionary
NS Norfolk
HSC-84
Red Wolfes logo.jpg
Red Wolves
HH-60H
Formerly HCS-4
Reserve and Active
NS Norfolk
HSC-85
NEW FIREHAWK small.jpg
Fire Hawks
HH-60H
Formerly HCS-5/HC-85
Reserve and Active
NAS North Island

Helicopter Anti-Submarine (Light) Squadrons[edit]

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 schedule 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.[11]

A SH-60B attached to HSL-47 lowers a rescue swimmer.
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HSL-37
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 37 (light) (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Easyriders
SH-60B
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
HSL-48
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 48 (light) (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Vipers
SH-60B
NS Mayport
HSL-49
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 49 (light) (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Scorpions
SH-60B
NAS North Island
HSL-60
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 60 (light) (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Jaguars
SH-60B
Reserve
NS Mayport

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons[edit]

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.[12]

Squadron Name Insignia Nickname Aircraft Notes
HSM-35
HSM 35 Logo.jpg
Magicians
MH-60R, MQ-8B
Expeditionary
Actived May 2, 2013.[13]
NAS North Island
HSM-40
HSM-40 Logo.gif
Airwolves
MH-60R
FRS
NS Mayport
Formerly HSL-40
HSM-41
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41 (US Navy - Insignia).gif
Seahawks
MH-60R
FRS
NAS North Island
Formerly HSL-41
HSM-46
HSM 46 Logo.png
Grandmasters
MH-60R
Expeditionary
NS Mayport
Formerly HSL-46
HSM-51
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 51 (light) (United States Navy - insignia).jpg
Warlords
MH-60R
Expeditionary
NAF Atsugi
Formerly HSL-51
HSM-70
HSM-70 emblem.jpg
Spartans
MH-60R
CVW-8
NAS Jacksonville
HSM-71
HSM-71.gif
Raptors
MH-60R
CVW-9
NAS North Island
HSM-72
HSM 72 Logo.png
Proud Warriors
MH-60R
CVW-7
NAS Jacksonville
Formerly HSL-42
HSM-73
HSM 73 Logo.jpg
Battle Cats
MH-60R
CVW-17
NAS North Island
Formerly HSL-43
HSM-74
HSM-74 Squadron Patch.jpg
Swamp Fox
MH-60R
CVW-3
NAS Jacksonville
Formerly HSL-44
HSM-75
HSM-75 Squadron Logo.jpg
Wolfpack
MH-60R
CVW-11
NAS North Island
Formerly HSL-45
HSM-77
HSM77 Insignia.jpg
Saberhawks
MH-60R
CVW-5
NAF Atsugi
First LAMPS deployment aboard carrier[14]
Formerly HSL-47
HSM-78
HSM 78 Logo.GIF
Blue Hawks
MH-60R
CVW-2
NAS North Island

Helicopter Training Squadrons[edit]

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."[15]

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
Helicopter Training Squadron 8 (US Navy - Insignia).jpg
Eightballers
TH-57
NAS Whiting Field
HT-18
Helicopter Training Squadron 18 (US Navy - insignia).jpg
Vigilant Eagles
TH-57
NAS Whiting Field
HT-28
HT-28patch.gif
Hellions
TH-57
NAS Whiting Field

UAV Squadrons[edit]

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.[16]

Unmanned Reconnaissance Helicopter Squadrons[edit]

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.[17] The aviation platforms will consist of the MQ-8B, flown by SH-60 aviators, and the MQ-8C Fire-X, flown by enlisted operators.[18]

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[17]
NAS North Island

Unmanned Patrol Squadrons[edit]

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[19]
VUP-19
TBD
Big Red
MQ-4C Triton
NAS Jacksonville
NAS Point Mugu (detachment)
To be established in 2014[20]

Test and Evaluation[edit]

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
Tps.jpg
Various
NAS Patuxent River
VX-1
VX1.gif
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[21]
VXS-1
Vxs-1.jpg
Warlocks
P-3
C-12
formerly NRL's Flight Support Detachment
Scientific Development
NAS Patuxent River[21]
VX-9
VX-9- logo.png
Vampires
FA-18 All Variants
EA-18G
AV-8
EA-6B
AH-1Z
UH-1Y
and other variants
Operational Weapons Test
NAWS China Lake
VX-20
VX20.gif
Force
E-2C
P-3C
C-130
C-2A
E-6B
T-34C
Force Warfare Aircraft Test
NAS Patuxent River[22]
HX-21
HX 21 Rotary wing test.jpg
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[23]
VX-23
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-23 (insignia).JPG
Saltydogs
F-35
FA-18
EA-6B
EA-18G
T-45
Strike Aircraft Test
NAS Patuxent River
VX-30
Vx-30 logo.jpg
Bloodhounds
C-130
P-3 All Variants
S-3B
FA-18
Weapons Test
NAS Point Mugu
VX-31
Vx-31 logo.jpg
Dust Devils
FA-18
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[edit]

References[edit]

  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. 
  3. ^ A, C, and E models are single seat. B, D, and F models are two seat.
  4. ^ "F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  5. ^ "E-6B Airborne Command Post (ABNCP)". United States Strategic Command. 
  6. ^ http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=1100&tid=1750&ct=1
  7. ^ "The Helicopter Master Plan". Federation of American Scientists. 
  8. ^ "MH-53E Sea Dragon". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  9. ^ "SH-60 Seahawk helicopter". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  10. ^ "Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, Pacific COMHELSEACOMBATWINGPAC". Global Security. 
  11. ^ "Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific". Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific. Global Security. 
  12. ^ "MH-60R Seahawk". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 
  13. ^ London, Christina. "Navy Drone Squadron First of Its Kind." NBC San Diego, 3 May 2013.
  14. ^ Utz, Curtis A; Mark L Evans; Dale J Gordon (July–August 2005). "The Year in Review 2004" (PDF). Naval Aviation News (United States Navy): 37. 
  15. ^ "Helicopter Training Squadron 8". Global Security. 
  16. ^ "Fleet Composite Squadron SIX". U.S. Navy. Global Security. 
  17. ^ a b OPNAV Notice 5400. 14 August 2012
  18. ^ Stewart, Joshua. "New squadron to deploy, train unmanned helicopter pilots." Navy Times. 30 August 2012.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Stewart, Joshua. "UAV squadron to stand up Oct. 1; 1st since 2007." February 5, 2013. http://www.armytimes.com/article/20130205/NEWS/302050316/.
  21. ^ a b "Naval Air Station Patuxent River Base Guide". DCMilitary.com. Comprint Military Publications. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  22. ^ "VX-20 Aircraft Platforms". Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO. United States Navy. 2006-06-10. Retrieved 2008-12-01. [dead link]
  23. ^ Carlson, Ted (Spring 2005). "HX-21 - Blackjack". Wings of Gold (Association of Naval Aviation). Retrieved 2008-12-01. [dead link]