|Fighter Squadron Composite 111 (VFC-111)|
VFC-111 Squadron Insignia
|Active||November 2006 - present|
|Country||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Navy|
|Motto||Illegitimi Non Carborundum|
|CDR David Faehnle|
Fighter Squadron Composite 111 (VFC-111) Sun Downers is a US Navy Reserve adversary squadron based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida (USA). Currently, it operates 18 Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of which 17 are single-seater F-5Ns and the remainder being a twin-seater F-5F, which was dubbed "FrankenTiger" and is one of only three in service with the Navy, being a product of grafting the older front half fuselage of the F-5Fs into the back half fuselage of the newer low-hours F-5Es acquired from the Swiss Air Force.
VFC-111 was originally known as Fighter Composite Squadron 13 (VFC-13) Detachment Key West, which was established in January 2006. VFC-13 Det Key West was redesignated as VFC-111 in November 2006.
VFC-111 assumed its 'Sun Downer' insignia, callsign, and traditions from the VF-111 Sun Downers, a famous U.S. Navy fighter squadron, that was disestablished as a fleet F-14 Tomcat squadron at then-NAS Miramar, CA in 1995. Officially, in contrast with the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons.
The Sun Downers operate as part of the U.S. Navy Reserve's fleet adversary program, providing dissimilar air combat training to fleet strike fighter and Marine fighter attack squadrons, as well as U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard fighter squadrons.
Ostensibly assigned to the Navy Reserve's Tactical Support Wing, VFC-111 is actually an Active-Reserve Integration (ARI) unit composed of both Regular Navy and Navy Reserve personnel. In this capacity, it has assumed the adversary role of a since deactivated active duty squadron at NAS Key West known as Fighter Squadron 45 (VF-45). VFC-111's unique location at NAS Key West, Florida, home of the Navy's Strike Fighter Air Readiness Program (SFARP), eliminates costly adversary detachments and also provides a significant portion of adversary support to all F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS) in the Navy and Marine Corps, i.e., Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) at NAS Oceana, VA; Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) at NAS Lemoore, CA; Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101) at MCAS Miramar, CA; and more recently with Electronic Attack Squadron 129 VAQ-129 at NAS Whidbey Island, WA following that squadron's stand-up of EA-18G Growler training.