VF-302

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Fighter Squadron 302
Vf302.jpg
VF-302 Insignia
Active 21 May 1971 - 11 September 1994
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Type reserve fighter squadron
Part of Reserve Carrier Air Wing 30
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Miramar
Nickname "Stallions"

Fighter Squadron 302 (VF-302) was an aviation unit of the United States Naval Reserve in service from 1971 to 1994. The squadron's nickname was Stallions.[1]

History[edit]

VF-302 was activated on 21 May 1971 and assigned to Reserve Carrier Air Wing 30 (CVWR-30) (tail code "ND") at Naval Air Station Miramar, California (USA). From its inception until November 1973 they operated the Vought F-8L Crusader, at this point trading in their Crusaders for McDonnell Douglas F-4B Phantom IIs. Like their sister squadron VF-301, VF-302's time with the B model was short, the squadron moved to the F-4N in January 1975. During their time with the F-4N, VF-302 won the USNR Battle 'E', signifying them as the best fighter squadron in the Naval Reserve.

Phantoms of VF-301 and VF-302 in 1983.
A VF-302 F-14A on the USS Constellation in 1987.

In 1981 they transitioned to the F-4S. VF-302 was based at NAS Miramar, near San Diego, California at hangar number 5. Due to its location near the fuel pits, VF-302 operated the transient flight line along with their own flight line. Hangar 5 was the smallest facility on NAS Miramar but managed to accommodate two other squadrons, her sister squadron VF-301 and VAW-88, which flew the Grumman E-2C Hawkeye in the 1980s.

After four years operating the last F-4 variant, VF-302 began to receive the Grumman F-14A Tomcat in February 1985. VF-302 and VF-301 deployed onto the USS Ranger (CVA-61) in January 1986, performing their first carrier qualifications in the F-14. Two years later the squadron got more carrier experience by spending 12 days on board the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) between 10 and 22 August 1988.

VF-302 F-14 tail markings

1986 had seen VF-302 pick up the TARPS mission, the first reserve squadron to do so. In 1986, only eight months after receiving their first TARPS pod, and then again in 1988 they had the chance to practice these skills as part of the biennial, World Reconnaissance Air Meet (RAM) at Bergstrom AFB in Texas, both times achieving first place victories among all participating USN/USMC squadrons. As well as other TARPS equipped F-14 units the meet allowed VF-302 crews to meet Air Force reconnaissance crews, to train together.

After the end of the Cold War CVWR-30 and VF-302 were disestablished on 11 September 1994.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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