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Flight deck crewmen perform a preflight check on a VAK-208 Skywarrior aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on 15 September 1985. (Click the image to enlarge it)

VAK-208, nicknamed the Jockeys, was a U.S. Navy Tactical Aerial Refueling Squadron based at NAS Alameda, California. It flew the KA-3B Skywarrior, affectionately known as the Whale because of its large size. The squadron was established on 30 July 1970 as a Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron, VAQ-208, and was redesignated VAK-208 on 1 October 1979.[1]

The squadron was established as part of a reorganization intended to increase the combat readiness of the Naval Air Reserve Force. It was to provide electronic warfare, aerial refueling, pathfinding and carrier onboard delivery service to the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets and other units around the world. During its lifetime it provided these services to numerous operations in places such as Kuwait, Israel, Cyprus and France, and was embarked on many different aircraft carriers. Its electronic warfare capability was removed in 1979, when it became primarily a tanker squadron.[1]

VAK-208 was disestablished on 30 September 1989.[1]

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This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons.

  1. ^ a b c Grossnick, Roy A. (1995). Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, Volume 1, Chapter 4: Tactical Aerial Refueling Squadron Histories (VAK). Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2014-02-03.