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Strike Fighter Squadron 147
Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (US Navy) insignia 2015.png
VFA-147 Insignia
Active1 February 1967 - present
CountryUnited States of America
BranchUnited States Navy Seal United States Navy
Part ofCarrier Air Wing Eleven
Garrison/HQNaval Air Station Lemoore
EngagementsVietnam War
Gulf War
Operation Southern Watch
Iraq War
Aircraft flown
AttackA-7 Corsair II
FighterF/A-18 Hornet
F/A-18E Super Hornet
F-35C Lightning II

Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147), also known as the "Argonauts", is a United States Navy strike fighter squadron based at Naval Air Station Lemoore California. VFA-147 flies the F-35C Lightning II, having began transition from the F/A-18E Super Hornet formerly as part of Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) deployed to USS Nimitz. Their tailcode is NH and their radio callsign is Jason.

Squadron Insignia and Nickname[edit]

The squadron's insignia was approved by CNO on 30 June 1967. The squadron is named after Jason and the Argonauts, a band of heroes in Greek mythology.


VA-147 A-7A over Vietnam in 1968-69.


Attack Squadron 147 was commissioned as the Navy's first A-7 Corsair II squadron on 1 February 1967 at NAS Lemoore. The squadron received its first A-7A on 28 June 1967, and in December 1967, the squadron flew its first combat missions (and the first for the A-7), striking targets in North Vietnam from USS Ranger. The squadron would deploy a total of five times in support of the Vietnam War.

In January 1968 while embarked on USS Ranger, the squadron flew support missions during the siege at Khe Sanh before the carrier was ordered from Yankee Station to the Sea of Japan following the capture of USS Pueblo by North Korea on 23 January 1968. In April 1969 following the shoot down of a Navy EC-121 aircraft by the North Koreans on 15 April, USS Ranger, with VA-147 embarked, again left Yankee Station and proceeded to the Sea of Japan for operations off the coast of Korea. After deployment, the squadron upgraded to the A-7E in September 1969.


VA-147 deployed to WestPac/Vietnam aboard USS America in 1970, and USS Constellation in 1971-72. From April 1972 in response to the Easter Offensive, the squadron participated in Operation Freedom Train, tactical air sorties against military and logistic targets in South Vietnam and the southern part of North Vietnam. In March–June 1973 embarked on USS Constellation, VA-147 provided aerial support during Operation End Sweep, the removal of mines from North Vietnamese waters.

In November 1974, VA-147 embarked on USS Constellation, operated in the Persian Gulf. This was the first time in 26 years that an American carrier had entered and operated in the Persian Gulf. The Squadron won the Battle "E" Award in 1977 as the top Corsair squadron in the Pacific Fleet.

VFA-147 F/A-18C refuels in 2005.


VA-147 deployed aboard USS Constellation in 1980 and 1981-82. During these deployments, the squadron remained ashore at NAS Cubi Point as CVW-9’s Beach Detachment as part of the "Swing Wing Concept" during most of Constellation's deployment.

Between January 1984 and June 1987, the squadron deployed three times aboard USS Kitty Hawk, including an around-the-world cruise.

In September 1988 while embarked on the first of two USS Nimitz deployments, VA-147 operated in the Sea of Japan in support of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

The squadron was redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) on 20 July 1989, and transitioned to the F/A-18C Hornet under the instruction of VFA-125. The squadron received its first LOT XII "Night Attack" Hornet in December 1989.


The squadron deployed to the Persian Gulf in March 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm during troop withdrawal operations. They became the Navy's first operational F/A-18 squadron to employ the Navigational Forward Looking Infra-Red pods (NAV FLIR) and night vision goggles.

In June 1995 they completed the transition to new LOT XVI/XVII F/A-18C aircraft with the APG-73 radar and Enhanced Performance Engines. They made deployments to the Gulf three more times in support of Operation Southern Watch aboard USS Nimitz.

In May 1998 the squadron conducted a wholesale swap of their Lot XVI Hornets for Lot XI Hornets from VFA-195.


VFA-147 F/A-18E lands on USS Nimitz in the Gulf of Oman, 2013.

After the September 11 attacks, the squadron participated in Operation Noble Eagle, flying combat patrols over Los Angeles from USS John C. Stennis. The squadron deployed aboard USS John C. Stennis in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, conducting numerous strikes into Afghanistan against Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces. During these missions, VFA-147 also helped refine the employment of the Joint Direction Attack Munition.

VFA-147 received the 2002 Battle E Award, recognizing them as the top squadron in the Pacific Strike Fighter Wing. VFA-147 deployed aboard USS Carl Vinson on 17 January 2003 to the Western Pacific for an 8-month deployment in the South China Sea and the Western Pacific.

The squadron next deployed on USS Carl Vinson with CVW-9 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in January 2005. CVW-9 was reassigned to USS John C. Stennis in 2007. VFA-147 was awarded the 2007 Battle “E”, and was named the U.S. Navy’s top F/A-18C Hornet Squadron for 2007 earning the Capt. Michael J. Estocin Award.

The squadron began transitioning to the F/A-18E Super Hornets in October 2007, and completed transition in February 2008. VFA-147 and CVW-9 deployed with John C. Stennis on a scheduled Western Pacific deployment on 13 January 2009.

After 40 years of having been assigned to CVW-9, VFA-147 was reassigned to CVW-14 aboard the USS Ronald Reagan for two deployments in 2010 and 2011. The following year, the squadron was deployed to CVW-11 aboard USS Nimitz. VFA-147 participated in exercise RIMPAC 2012 and began a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean on 30 March 2013. After 2 extensions and after supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, VFA-147 returned home on December 12, 2013.[1]

A F-35C of VFA-147 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, in August 2018.

VFA-147 was selected to be the first operational squadron to transition to the F-35C in January 2018.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "VFA-147". www.gonavy.jp.
  2. ^ USN stands up F-35C West Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron, by Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Navy International, 26 January 2017; retrieved 11 May 2017.

External links[edit]