VF-202

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Fighter Squadron 202
Vf202.jpg
VF-202 insignia
Active 1 July 1970 - 31 December 1994
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Type reserve fighter squadron
Part of Reserve Carrier Air Wing 20
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Dallas
Nickname "Superheats"

The Fighter Squadron VF-202 Superheats was an aviation unit of the United States Naval Reserve based at Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas (USA). It was established in 1970 as part of Reserve Carrier Air Wing 20 (CVWR-20) and disestablished in 1994. During its service VF-202 could be identified by the tail code "AF-2XX".

History[edit]

A VF-202 F-8H landing on USS John F. Kennedy in 1971.

VF-202 was established on the 1 July 1970 out of reserve fighter squadron VF-53D2. The squadron first flew the Vought F-8H Crusader and transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II in 1976. Later the squadron was upgraded to the F-4S. Eleven years later VF-202 transitioned to the Grumman F-14A Tomcat, receiving their first aircraft on 27 March 1987. Due to the squadron's reserve status the transition took longer than for an active unit, not being concluded until May 1988, when VF-202 carrier qualified with their new planes on board the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66).

A VF-202 F-4S making the last landing of a U.S. Navy F-4 aboard a carrier on 18 October 1986.
VF-202 F-8H Crusader IIs at Dallas NAS in 1975
VF-202 F-14 tail markings

VF-202 was equipped with two TARPS Pods (Tactical Aerial Recon Pod System) giving the squadron an extra task after the North American RA-5C Vigilante and RF-8G Crusader had been phased out. 1988 saw the squadron take part in the Reconnaissance Air Meet at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, along with several other F-14 squadrons, including VF-124. Even with the force reduction after the end of the Cold War and continuing budget cuts one would have expected that the TARPS capable squadron would not be disestablished. However, due to the high airframe time of VF-202's F-14s had, it was decided to disestablish VF-202 and make their F14 sister squadron VF-201 TARPS capable. VF202 was accordingly disestablished on 31 December 1994 and its aircraft redistributed to active duty F-14 squadrons.

Squadron Awards[edit]

  • Naval Reserve Tailhook Squadron of the Year ~ 1981
  • Noel Davis Battle"E" Award ~ 1981, 1982, 1985, 1989
  • Chief of Naval Operations Safety "S" Award ~1981, 1984, 1987, 1990
  • CVWR-20 Retention Excellence Award ~ 1988, 1989 1992
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation ~ 1988, 1989
  • COMNAVAIRESFOR "Readiness through Safety Award" ~1989
  • Worldwide Reconnaissance Air Meet (RAM) Best Navy/Marine Corps Team ~ 1990

In 1994 VF202 received the highest CWTPI score in COMFITWINGLANT history. As cited by inspectors as "the most professional squadron ever observed".

See also[edit]

References[edit]