VFA-22

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Strike Fighter Squadron 22
VFA-22 Redcocks.jpg
VFA-22 Insignia
Active July 27, 1948
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Type Fighter/Attack
Role Close air support
Air interdiction
Aerial reconnaissance
Part of Carrier Air Wing 17
Garrison/HQ NAS Lemoore
Nickname Fighting Redcocks
Motto "You Can't Beat A Redcock" (YCBAR)
Mascot Rhode Island Red Rooster
Engagements Korean War
Vietnam War
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Desert Fox
Operation Enduring Freedom
Commanders
Current
commander
Commander "Killer" Callari
Aircraft flown
Fighter F/A-18F Super Hornet

VFA-22, Strike Fighter Squadron 22, also known as the "Fighting Redcocks", are a United States Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore. Their tail code is NA and their radio callsign alternates between "Beef" and "Beef Eater".

History[edit]

A VA-22 Det. R A-4B from the USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) in 1963

Strike Fighter Squadron 22 was originally commissioned as Fighter Squadron 63 at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia in 1948, the squadron was re-designated as Attack Squadron 22 in July 1959 after the decommissioning of VF-22 in 1958. The first Redcock aviators flew the F8F Bearcat. Later, Redcocks flew the F4U Corsair, F9F Panther, F9F Cougar, FJ-4 Fury, A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair II, and the F/A-18C Hornet. Today, the 220 enlisted men and women and 40 officers of VFA-22 are based in NAS Lemoore, California, and have completed the transition from the single seat F/A-18E Super Hornet to the twin-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Over the years, the squadron completed three combat deployments during the Korean War and six combat deployments during the Vietnam War, where it participated in Operation Pocket Money.

1980s[edit]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, VA-22 embarked with Carrier Air Wing 15 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. While deployed aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in April 1988, while in the Persian Gulf, VA-22 aircraft participated in sinking the Iranian Frigate Sahand which fired missiles at two American A-6 Intruders.

1990s[edit]

In 1993, the Fighting Redcocks deployed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) to the Persian Gulf and participated in Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the United Nations Southern no-fly zone sanctions over Iraq. Before returning home from deployment, the squadron diverted to the coast of Somalia and provided air support during Operation Continue Hope.

A-7E of VA-22 stationed aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in 1981

In December 1998, VFA-22 led the only Carrier Air Wing 11 air strike of Operation Desert Fox.

2000s[edit]

In October 2001, VFA-22 was the first on the scene with USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) to perform strikes against Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom . In 2003, VFA-22 deployed with Carrier Air Wing 9 on board the "Carl Vinson" on an extended eight month Western Pacific deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In July, 2004, VFA-22 transitioned to F/A-18E Super Hornets, and in January, 2006, deployed with Carrier Air Wing 14 on board the USS Ronald Reagan for six months in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

In early 2007, VFA-22, made a surge deployment with Carrier Air Wing 14 and USS Ronald Reagan to the Pacific Ocean with a mixed unit of F/A-18E and F/A-18F as the unit was in the middle of transitioning to the two seater.[1] By the end of 2007, VFA-22 had transitioned to the F/A-18F Super Hornet.[2]

A VFA-22 F/A-18F Super Hornet onboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in 2007.

On 18 May 2008, the carrier and its strike group departed Naval Air Station North Island for a scheduled deployment to an undisclosed location.[3]

On May 28, 2009, VFA-22 and Carrier Air Wing 14 deployed with USS RONALD REAGAN(CVN-76) on a deployment to the 7th and 5th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.[4]

2010s[edit]

In 2010, The squadron re-located from Carrier Air Wing Fourteen to Carrier Air Wing Seventeen sporting the CVW-17 "AA" tailcode, and are now attached to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]