This is a list of active United States Navy aircraft squadrons. Deactivated or disestablished squadrons are listed in the List of inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons.

Navy aircraft squadrons are composed of several aircraft (from as few as about four to as many as about a dozen), the officers who fly them, the officers and sailors who maintain them and administrative support officers and sailors. Some of the units listed in this article are not designated as "squadrons", but they all operate U.S. Navy aircraft in some capacity.

Squadrons and their history are listed in the Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons (DANAS).

Squadron organization

Navy squadron organizational chart.

Active duty squadrons are commanded by a commanding officer (CO) who holds the rank of commander. Second in command is the executive officer (XO), who also holds the rank of commander. The XO typically assumes command of the squadron after approximately 15 months. There are typically four functional departments – Operations, Maintenance, Safety/NATOPS, and Administration – each led by a lieutenant commander functioning as the department head. Within the departments are divisions (each typically headed by a lieutenant) and branches (headed by a lieutenant, junior grade or a chief petty officer).

The CO of a Reserve squadron is also a commander, as is the XO who will also assume command after approximately 15 months. However, reserve squadron demographics are typically older and more senior in rank than their active duty squadron counterparts. Department heads in reserve squadrons are typically senior lieutenant commanders, although some may be recently promoted commanders. Where this difference in maturity level becomes more apparent is at the division officer level. Since most officers in reserve squadrons previously served on active duty in the Regular Navy in a flying status for eight to ten or more years, they are typically already lieutenant commanders, or achieve that rank shortly after transferring to the Navy Reserve. As a result, lieutenants are a minority and lieutenants, junior grade, are practically non-existent in reserve squadrons. As a result, divisions are typically headed by lieutenant commanders and branches by lieutenants, senior chief petty officers or chief petty officers.

Types of squadrons

Squadrons are categorised in various ways: active versus US Navy Reserve, land-based or sea-based, by aircraft type -fixed wing, rotary wing (helicopter. tiltrotor) , unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and by mission. Unlike the USAF, US Army, and USMC, the US Navy does not refer to units that carry out as maintenance, medical, administrative or other units as "squadrons"; for the USN a squadron is a unit of aircraft, ships, submarines or boats. There are two exceptions: Tactical Air Control Squadrons (TACRON) consists of personnel specialized in the control of aircraft in support of amphibious operations; and the operating units of Naval Special Warfare Development Group colloquially known as "SEAL Team Six", are called "squadrons" named by color (these squadrons are the organizational equivalent of a "regular" SEAL Team). .

US Navy Reserve squadrons are manned by a combination of full-time and part-time reservists. In general, reserve squadrons share the same missions as their active counterparts, although there are Reserve missions (e.g., Adversary and Fleet Logistics Support) that have no Active counterpart.

At any one time, the US Navy has approximately 600 aircraft that are associated with particular ships. There are also several thousand additional Navy aircraft that are capable of shipboard operations, but are not associated with a ship and several hundred land-based aircraft that are not capable of shipboard operations.

Squadron designations

Navy aircraft squadrons can be properly referred to by designation or nickname. A squadron's designation describes its mission and therefore generally the type of aircraft it flies.

Note: The presence of an "M" after the "V" (or "H" in the case of a helicopter squadron) denotes a USMC squadron: i.e. VMFA, VMR, HMLA.

A single squadron can carry a number of designations through its existence. Chief Of Naval Operations Instruction 5030.4G governs the squadron designation system. A squadron comes into existence when it is "established". Upon establishment it receives a designation, for example Patrol Squadron One ("VP-1"). During the life of the squadron it may be "redesignated" one or more times, the Navy's oldest currently active squadron is VFA-14 and it has been redesignated 15 times since it was established in 1919. Over the history of U. S. Naval Aviation there have been many designations which have been used multiple times (re-used) resulting in multiple unrelated squadrons bearing the same designation at different times. See also List of Inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons.[1]

Fixed wing squadrons

Navy fixed wing squadron designations start with the letter "V". In 1920 with issuance of General Order 541, two overall types of aircraft were identified and assigned permanent letters; lighter than air types were identified by the letter Z and heavier than air types by the letter V.[2] The use of letter abbreviations for squadrons was promulgated in the "Naval Aeronautic Organization for Fiscal Year 1923" which is the first known record associating the abbreviated Aircraft Class Designations with abbreviated squadron designations.[3] In 1948 the Navy established its first two operational helicopter squadrons designating them as Helicopter Utility Squadrons and gave them the designation "HU" ('Helicopter, Utility'). From that point on squadrons which flew rotary wing aircraft were designated with the first letter of "H" . There were two exceptions the use of "RVAH" to denote Reconnaissance Attack Squadrons which operated the RA-5C Vigilante during the 1960s and 1970s and the use of "RVAW" from 1967 to 1983 to designate the Airborne Early Warning (VAW) Fleet Replacement Squadrons.

Electronic Attack (VAQ)

Boeing EA-18G Growler

The VAQ (V-fixed wing, A-attack, Q-electronic). designation was established in 1968 to designate "Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron".[4] On 30 March 1998 the name of the designation was changed to "Electronic Attack Squadron"[5] and all VAQ squadrons then in existence were renamed from "Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron" to "Electronic Attack Squadron".

Electronic Attack Squadrons consists of seven Boeing EA-18G Growlers (with the exception of the Fleet Replacement Squadron which has more). The primary mission of the Growler is Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) in support of strike aircraft and ground troops by interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining tactical electronic intelligence within the combat area.

Most VAQ squadrons are carrier based, however a number are "expeditionary", deploying to overseas land bases. When not deployed most are 'home-ported' at NAS Whidbey Island, WA except VAQ-141, which is forward deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.[6]

Note: The parenthetical (Second use) and (2nd) appended to some designations in the table below are not a part of the squadron designation system. They are added to indicate that the designation was used more than once during the history of U.S. Naval Aviation to designate a squadron and that these were the second use of that designation.

Squadron Insignia Nickname Aircraft[7] Operational commander Administrative commander Squadron lineage[5] Notes
VAQ-129
Vikings EA-18G Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific VAH-10: 1 May 1961
VAQ-129: 1 Sep 1970
Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-130
Zappers EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing Three VAW-13: 1 Sep 1959
VAQ-130: 1 Oct 1968
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-131
Lancers EA-18G Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific VP-920: 1 May 1946-15 Nov 1946
VP-ML-70: 15 Nov 1946-Feb 1950
VP-931: Feb 1950-4 Feb 1953
VP-57: 4 Feb 1953-3 Jul 1956
VAH-4: 3 Jul 1956-1 Nov 1968
VAQ-131: 1 Nov 1968
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island Expeditionary Squadron.
USNR squadron VP-931 was activated on 2 Sep 1950 for participation in the Korean War[5]
VAQ-132
Scorpions EA-18G Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific VAH-2: 1 Nov 1955-1 Nov 1968
VAQ-132: 1 Nov 1968–present
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
Expeditionary Squadron
VAQ-133
(Second use)
Wizards EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine VAQ-133(2nd): 1 Apr 1996–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
There was an earlier squadron designated VAQ-133 also called the "Wizards" which existed from 4 Mar 1969 to Jun 1992
VAQ-134
Garudas EA-18G Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific VAQ-134: 17 Jun 1969–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
Expeditionary Squadron
VAQ-135
Black Ravens EA-18G Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific VAQ-135: 15 May 1969 – present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
Expeditionary Squadron
VAQ-136
Gauntlets EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing Two VAQ-136: 6 Apr 1973–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-137
(Second use)
Rooks EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven VAQ-137(2nd): 1 Oct 1996–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
There was an earlier squadron designated VAQ-137 also called the "Rooks" which existed from 14 Dec 1973 to 26 May 1994
VAQ-138
Yellowjackets EA-18G Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific VAQ-138: 27 Feb 1976–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
Expeditionary Squadron
VAQ-139
Cougars EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen VAQ-139: 1 Jul 1983–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-140
Patriots EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing SEVEN VAQ-140: 1 Oct 1985–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VAQ-141
Shadowhawks EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five VAQ-141: 1 Jul 1987–present Forward deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
VAQ-142
(Second use)
Gray Wolves EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT VAQ-142(2nd): 1 Apr 1997–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
There was an earlier squadron designated VAQ-142 called the "Grim Watchdogs" which existed from 1 Jun 1988 to March 1991
VAQ-144
Main Battery EA-18G Commander, Carrier Air Wing ONE VAQ-144: 1 Oct 2021–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
Adopted "Main Battery" name from former VA-196 which was the last Pacific Fleet A-6E squadron dissestablished in 1997
VAQ-209
Star Warriors EA-18G Commander, Tactical Support Wing Commander, Tactical Support Wing VAQ-209: 1 Oct 1977–present U.S. Navy Reserve Squadron
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island

Airborne Command & Control (VAW)

E-2C Hawkeye
E-2D Hawkeye

The VAW designation was first created in July 1948 with the establishment of VAW-1 and VAW-2 to designate "Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron".[8] It was in use for only one month as in August 1948 VAW-1 and VAW-2 were redesignated "Composite Squadron" VC-11 and VC-12. In 1948 the VAW designation was resurrected[8] when VC-11 and VC-12 were redesignated VAW-11 and VAW-12. In 1967, VAW-11 and VAW-12 which were large land based squadrons that provided detachments of Airborne Early Warning aircraft to deploying Carrier Air Wings were redesignated as wings and each of their detachments were established as separate squadrons. Established from VAW-11 were RVAW-110 (a FRS), VAW-111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116 and established from VAW-12 were RVAW-120 (a FRS), VAW-121, 122, 123.[9] In 2019, the VAW designation was renamed from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron to Airborne Command and Control squadron and all VAW squadrons were renamed "Airborne Command & Control Squadron XXX" while retaining the VAW designation.

Each Carrier Airborne Command and Control squadron consists of four E-2C or five E-2D Hawkeyes except for the Fleet Replacement Squadron which has more. Transition to the E-2D Hawkeye is in progress and should be complete by 2025. The Hawkeye's primary mission is to provide all-weather airborne early warning, airborne battle management and command and control (C2) functions for the carrier strike group and Joint Force Commander. Additional missions include surface surveillance coordination, air interdiction, offensive and defensive counter air control, close air support coordination, time critical strike coordination, search and rescue airborne coordination and communications relay. The E-2 Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound are built on the same airframe and have many similar characteristics. For this reason, both aircraft are trained for in the same Fleet Replacement Squadron.[10]

When not deployed, they are home-ported at either Naval Station Norfolk, VA or Naval Air Station Point Mugu, CA. The exception is VAW-125, which is forward deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational commander Administrative commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VAW-113
Black Eagles E-2D Commander, Carrier Air Wing TWO Commander, Airborne Command, Control, Logistics Wing VAW-113: 20 Apr 1967–present Homeport NAS Pt. Mugu
Established from a detachment of VAW-11
VAW-115
Liberty Bells E-2D Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven VAW-115: 20 Apr 1967–present Homeport NAS Pt. Mugu
Established from a detachment of VAW-11
VAW-116
Sun Kings E-2C Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen VAW-116: 20 Apr 1967–present Homeport NAS Pt. Mugu
Established from a detachment of VAW-11
VAW-117
Wallbangers E-2D Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine VAW-117: 1 Jul 1974–present Homeport NAS Pt. Mugu
VAW-120
Grey Hawks E-2C
E-2D

C-2A
Commander, Airborne Command, Control, Logistics Wing RVAW-120: 1 Jul 1967-1 May 1983
VAW-120: 1 May 1983 – present
Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NS Norfolk
RVAW-120 established from VAW-12
VAW-121
Blue Tails E-2D Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seven VAW-121: 1 Apr 1967–present Homeport NS Norfolk
Established from a detachment of VAW-12
VAW-123
Screwtops E-2C Commander, Carrier Air Wing THREE VAW-123: 1 Apr 1967–present Homeport NS Norfolk
Established from a detachment of VAW-12
VAW-124
Bear Aces E-2D Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eight VAW-124: 1 Sep 1967–present Homeport NS Norfolk
VAW-125
Tigertails E-2D Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five VAW-125: 1 Oct 1968–present Forward deployed to MCAS Iwakuni Japan
VAW-126
Seahawks E-2D Commander, Carrier Air Wing ONE VAW-126: 1 Apr 1969–present Homeport NS Norfolk

Strike Fighter (VFA)

F/A-18Fs being refueled over Afghanistan in 2010
VFA-101 received its first F-35C at Eglin AFB, 22 June 2013.

The VFA designation was created in 1980 to designate "Fighter Attack Squadron". The designation was assigned to squadrons equipped with the new F/A-18A Hornet fighter attack aircraft. In 1983 the designation was changed to "Strike Fighter Squadron"[4] and all VFA squadrons in existence at the time were renamed from "Fighter Attack Squadron-___" to "Strike Fighter Squadron-___". The Marine Corps did not participate in this renaming and VMFA squadrons retain the title "Fighter Attack Squadron". A Strike Fighter Squadron consists of either ten or twelve F/A-18E single seat Super Hornets, twelve F/A-18F two seat Super Hornets[11] or ten F-35C Lightning IIs.[12][13] Training squadrons (known as Fleet Replacement Squadrons) have many more aircraft. The Hornet and Super Hornet are all-weather aircraft used for attack and fighter missions. In fighter mode, they are used as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in attack mode, they are used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support. The Hornet and Super Hornet are also used for Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) and the Super Hornet for aerial refueling.

The F-35C is a fifth-generation strike fighter that was originally planned to replace the F/A-18C Hornet, but expiring F/A-18C service life and delays in F-35C procurement forced the Navy to increase its buy of F/A-18E and F Super Hornets to replace F/A-18C Hornets while awaiting the arrival of the F-35C. The last active component F/A-18C Hornet squadron began its transition to the Super Hornet in February 2019, leaving only a single reserve component F/A-18C Hornet squadron which in 2022 was redesignated a Fighter Composite Squadron and replaced its F/A-18C Hornets with F-5N and F "adversary" aircraft. The first deployable squadron to transition to the F-35C was a Super Hornet squadron. Ultimately each Carrier Air Wing will be equipped with two Super Hornet squadrons and two F-35C squadrons.

VFA squadrons are home-ported at NAS Lemoore, CA or NAS Oceana, VA when not deployed, except for the squadrons of CVW-5 (which are forward deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan).

Note: The parenthetical (1st), (2nd), (3rd) etc... appended to some designations in the lineage column of table below are not a part of the squadron designation system. They are added to indicate that the designation was used more than once during the history of U.S. Naval Aviation and which use of the designation is indicated. Absence indicates that the designation was used only once.

"F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter". USN Fact File. United States Navy.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational Commander Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VFA-2
Bounty Hunters F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing TWO Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-2(5th): 14 Oct 1942-21 Jul 2003
VFA-2: 21 Jul 2003–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-11
Red Rippers F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing ONE Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VF-43(4th): 1 Sep 1950-16 Feb 1959
VF-11(3rd): 16 Feb 1959–18 Oct 2005
VFA-11: 18 Oct 2005–present
Second "Red Rippers" squadron
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-14
Tophatters F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Air Det Pac Flt: Sep 1919-15 Jun 1920
VT-5(1st): 15 Jun 1920-7 Sep 1921
VP-1-4: 7 Dec 1921–23 Sep 1921
VF-4(1st) 23 Sep 1921-1 Jul 1922
VF-1(1st): 1 Jul 1922-1 Jul 1927
VF-1B(1st): 1 Jul 1927-1 Jul 1934
VB-2B: 1 Jul 1934-1 Jul 1937
VB-3: 1 Jul 1937-1 Jul 1939
VB-4: 1 Jul 1939–15 Mar 1941
VS-41(2nd): 15 Mar 1941-1 Mar 1943
VB-41: 1 Mar 1943-4 Aug 1943
VB-4: 4 Aug 1943–15 Nov 1946
VA-1A: 15 Nov 1946-2 Aug 1948
VA-14: 2 Aug 1948–15 Dec 1949
VF-14(2nd): 15 Dec 1949-1 Dec 2001
VFA-14: 1 Dec 2001–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
Oldest currently active aircraft squadron in the U. S. Navy
VFA-22
Fighting Redcocks F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-63: 28 Jul 1948-Mar 1956
VA-63: Mar 1956-1 Jul 1959
VA-22: 1 Jul 1959-4 May 1990
VFA-22: 4 May 1990 – present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-25
Fist of the Fleet F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VT-17: 1 Jan 1943-15 Nov 1946
VA-6B: 15 Nov 1946–27 Jul 1948
VA-65(1st): 27 Jul 1948-1 Jul 1959
VA-25(2nd): 1 Jul 1959-1 Jul 1983
VFA-25: 1 Jul 1983–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-27
Royal Maces F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VA-27: 1 Sep 1967-24 Jan 1991
VFA-27: 24 Jan 1991–present
Forward deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
VFA-31
Tomcatters F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VF-1B(2nd): 1 Jul 1935-1 Jul 1937
VF-6(2nd): 1 Jul 1937–15 Jul 1943
VF-3(3rd): 15 Jul 1943–15 Nov 1946
VF-3A: 15 Nov 1946-7 Aug 1948
VF-31(2nd): 7 Aug 1948-1 Aug 2006
VFA-31: 1 Aug 2006–present
Second "Felix the Cat" squadron
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-32
Swordsmen F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing THREE Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VBF-3: 1 Feb 1945-15 Nov 1946
VF-4A: 15 Nov 1946-7 Aug 1948
VF-32(2nd): 7 Aug 1948-1 Aug 2006
VFA-32: 1 Aug 2006–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-34
Blue Blasters F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VA-34(3rd): 1 Jan 1970-30 Aug 1996
VFA-34: 30 Aug 1996–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
Was the last active component F/A-18C Hornet squadron. Began transition to F/A-18E in Feb 2019
VFA-37
Ragin Bulls F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VA-37: 1 Jul 1967-28 Nov 1990
VFA-37: 28 Nov 1990–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-41
Black Aces F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-41(4th): 1 Sep 1950-1 Dec 2001
VFA-41: 1 Dec 2001–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-81
Sunliners F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing ONE Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VA-66(1st): 1 Jul 1955-1 Jul 1955
VF-81(4th): 1 Jul 1955-1 Jul 1959
VA-81: 1 Jul 1959-4 Feb 1988
VFA-81: 4 Feb 1988–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
Established 1 July 1955 as VA-66 and redesignated VF-81 on the same day
VFA-83
Rampagers F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing THREE Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VF-916: 1 Feb 1951-4 Feb 1953
VF83(3rd): 4 Feb 1953-1 Jul 1955
VA-83: 1 Jul 1955-1 Mar 1988
VFA-83: 1 Mar 1988–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
USNR squadron VF-916 activated on 1 Feb 1951 for the Korean War
VFA-86
Sidewinders Transitioning to F-35C Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing VF-921: 1 Feb 1951-4 Feb 1953
VF-84(2nd): 4 Feb 1953-1 Jul 1955
VA-86(2nd): 1 Jul 1955–15 Jul 1987
VFA-86: 15 Jul 1987–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
USNR squadron VF-921 activated on 1 Feb 1951 for the Korean War
VFA-87
Golden Warriors F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VA-87: 1 Feb 1968-May 1986
VFA-87: May 1986 – present
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-94
Mighty Shrikes Transitioning to F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-94(2nd): 26 Mar 1952-1 Aug 1958
VA-94(2nd): 1 Aug 1958–24 Jan 1991
VFA-94: 24 Jan 1991–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-97
Warhawks F-35C Commander, Carrier Air Wing TWO Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VA-97: 1 Jun 1967-24 Jan 1991
VFA-97: 24 Jan 1991–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-102
Diamondbacks F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VA-36(2nd): 1 Jul 1955-1 Jul 1955
VF-102(2nd): 1 Jul 1955-1 May 2002
VFA-102: 1 May 2002 – present
Forward Deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
Established 1 Jul 1955 as VA-36(2nd) and redesignated VF-102(2nd) on the same day
VFA-103
Jolly Rogers F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing SEVEN Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VF-103: 1 May 1952-27 Apr 2006
VFA-103: 27 Apr 2006–present
Third "Jolly Roger" squadron
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-105
Gunslingers F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing THREE Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VA-105(2nd): 4 Mar 1968-17 Dec 1990
VFA-105:17 Dec 1990–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-106
Gladiators F/A-18E, F/A-18F Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VFA-106: 27 Apr 1984–present Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS Oceana
Adopted nickname and insignia of VA-106 which had been disestablished in 1969
VFA-113
Stingers F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing TWO Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-113: 15 Jul 1948-Mar 1959
VA-113: Mar 1956–25 Mar 1983
VFA-113: 25 Mar 1983–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-115
Eagles F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VT-11: 10 Oct 1942-15 Nov 1946
VA-12A: 15 Nov 1946–15 Jul 1948
VA-115: 15 Jul 1948–30 Sep 1996
VFA-115: 30 Sep 1996–present
Forward Deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
VFA-122
Flying Eagles F/A-18E, F/A-18F Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VFA-122: 1 Oct 1998–present Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS Lemoore
Adopted nickname and insignia of VA-122 which had been disestablished in 1991
VFA-125
Rough Raiders F-35C Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing VFA-125: 13 Nov 1980–present
(inactive 1 Oct 2010 – 12 Jan 2017)
Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS Lemoore
Adopted nickname and insignia of VA-125 which had been disestablished in 1977
Deactivated on 1 Oct 2010 as a Hornet FRS and reactivated[1] as a F-35C FRS on 12 Jan 2017
VFA-131
Wild Cats F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing THREE Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VFA-131: 3 Oct 1983–present Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-136
Knighthawks F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing SEVEN Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VFA-136: 1 Jul 1985–present Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-137
Kestrels F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VFA-137: 1 Jul 1985–present Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-143
Pukin' Dogs F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing SEVEN Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VF-871: 20 Jul 1950-4 Feb 1953
VF-123: 4 Feb 1953–12 Apr 1958
VF-53(3rd): 12 Apr 195-20 Jun 1962
VF-143(2nd): 20 Jun 1962–27 Apr 2006
VFA-143: 27 Apr 2006–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
USNR squadron VF-871 activated on 20 Jul 1950 for the Korean War
VFA-146
Blue Diamonds F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VA-146: 1 Feb 1956-21 Jul 1989
VFA-146: 21 Jul 1989–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-147
Argonauts F-35C Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing VA-147: 1 Feb 1967-20 Jul 1989
VFA-147: 20 Jul 1989–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
First operational U.S. Navy F-35C squadron
VFA-151
Vigilantes F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-23(2nd): 6 Aug 1948-23 Feb 1959
VF-151(4th): 23 Feb 1959-1 Jun 1986
VFA-151: 1 Jun 1986–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-154
Black Knights F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-837: 1 Feb 1951-4 Feb 1953
VF-154: 4 Feb 1953-1 Oct 2003
VFA-154: 1 Oct 2003–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
USNR VF-837 activated on 1 Feb 1951 for the Korean War
VFA-192
Golden Dragons F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing TWO Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VF-153(1st): 26 Mar 1945-15 Nov 1946
VF-15A: 15 Nov 1946–15 Jul 1948
VF-151(2nd): 15 Jul 1948–15 Feb 1950
VF-192(2nd): 15 Feb 1950–15 Mar 1956
VA-192: 15 Mar 1956–10 Jan 1985
VFA-192: 10 Jan 1985–present
Homeport NAS Lemoore
VFA-195
Dambusters F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific VT-19: 15 Aug 1943-15 Nov 1946
VA-20A: 15 Nov 1946–24 Aug 1948
VA-195: 24 Aug 1948-1 Apr 1985
VFA-195: 1 Apr 1985–present
Forward Deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
VFA-211
Checkmates F/A-18E Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VB-74: 1 May 1945-15 Nov 1946
VA-1B: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VA-24: 1 Sep 1948-1 Dec 1949
VF-24(2nd): 1 Dec 1949-9 Mar 1959
VF-211(2nd): 9 Mar 1959-1 Aug 2006
VFA-211: 1 Aug 2006–present
Homeport NAS Oceana
VFA-213
Black Lions F/A-18F Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic VF-213: 22 Jun 1955-1 Aug 2006
VFA-213: 1 Aug 2006–present
Homeport NAS Oceana

Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC)

F-5s.

The VFC designation was created in 1988 when two Fleet Composite (VC) squadrons (VC-12 & 13) which were dedicated adversary squadrons were redesignated to differentiate them from the remaining VC squadrons which fulfilled various miscellaneous or utility roles. In 2006 a third VFC squadron (VFC-111) was established from what had become a permanent detachment of VFC-13 and in 2022 a fourth VFC squadron was created when the last remaining USNR VFA squadron (VFA-204) was redesignated to VFC. VFC squadrons provide adversary simulation for fleet squadrons. All VFC squadrons are Navy Reserve squadrons.

Two of the squadrons are based at NAS Fallon and NAS Key West to support fleet VFA squadron training at the extensive range complexes supported by those air stations. A third is based at NAS Oceana to support Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic squadron training and the fourth is based at NAS JRB New Orleans.

Note: The parenthetical (2nd) and (3rd) appended to some designations in the lineage column of table below are not a part of the squadron designation system. They are added to indicate that the designation was used more than once during the history of U.S. Naval Aviation and which use of the designation is indicated. Absence indicates that the designation was used only once.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VFC-12
Fighting Omars F/A-18E/F Commander, Tactical Support Wing VC-12(3nd): 1 Sep 1973-22 Apr 1988
VFC-12: 22 Apr 1988–present
U S Navy Reserve Squadron
Based at NAS Oceana
VFC-13
Saints F-16C Commander, Tactical Support Wing VC-13(2nd): 1 Sep 1973-22 Apr 1988
VFC-13: 22 Apr 1988–present
U S Navy Reserve Squadron
Based at NAS Fallon
VFC-111
Sundowners F-5F
F-5N
Commander, Tactical Support Wing VFC-111: 1 Nov 2006–present U S Navy Reserve Squadron
Third "Sundowners" squadron
Based at NAS Key West
Adopted nickname and insignia of VF-111(3rd) which had been disestablished in 1995
VFC-204
River Rattlers F-5F
F-5N
Commander, Tactical Support Wing VA-204: 1 Jul 1970-1991 Apr 1988
VFA-204: 1 May 1991–Oct 2022
VFC-204: Oct 2022-present
US Navy Reserve Squadron
Based at NAS JRB New Orleans

Patrol and Reconnaissance (VP), Special Projects (VPU), Unmanned Patrol (VUP)

P-8A Poseidon.
P-3C Orion
MQ-4C Triton.

The VP designation is one of the oldest in the U. S. Navy and is the oldest designation currently in use. It first appeared in 1922 to designate "Seaplane Patrol Squadron" and from 1924 it has designated "Patrol Squadron".[4] In 1982 the VPU Patrol Squadron Special Unit designation was created.[4] Maritime patrol aircraft are used primarily for reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare. Volume 2 of the Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons contains comprehensive histories over 150 patrol squadrons. Its Appendix 7 details the lineage of every VP, VPB, VP(H), and VP(AM) squadron from 1922 through the late 1990s.

In 2016 the first "unmanned" Patrol Squadron (VUP) was established. VUP-19 operates the MQ-4C Triton unmanned air vehicle from an operations center located at NAS Jacksonville while its aircraft with aircraft maintenance personnel are deployed around the world as required. A second VUP squadron is programmed for establishment in the future with an operations center at NAS Whidbey Island.

When not deployed VP squadrons are home-ported at NAS Jacksonville, FL or NAS Whidbey Island, WA.

Note: The parenthetical (1st), (2nd), (3rd) and (First use), (Second use) etc... appended to some designations in the table below are not part of the squadron designation system. They are added to indicate that the designation was used more than once during the history of U.S. Naval Aviation and which use of the designation is indicated. Absence indicates that the designation was used only once.

Squadron designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and administrative commander Squadron lineage[5] Notes
VP-1
(Fifth use)
Screaming Eagles P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN VB-128: 15 Feb 1943-1 Oct 1944
VPB-128: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-128: 15 May 1946–15 Nov 1946
VP-ML-1: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VP-1(5th): 1 Sep 1948–present
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VP-4
(Second use)
Skinny Dragons P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN VB-144: 1 Jul 1943-1 Oct 1944
VPB-144: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-144: 15 May 1946–15 Nov 1946
VP-ML-4: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VP-4(2nd): 1 Sep 1948–present
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VP-5
(Second use)
Mad Foxes P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VP-17F: 2 Jan 1937-1 Oct 1937
VP-17(1st): 1 Oct 1937-1 Jul 1939
VP-42(1st): 1 Jul 1939–15 Feb 1943
VB-135: 15 Feb 1943-1 Oct 1944
VPB-135: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-135: 15 May 1946–15 Nov 1946
VP-ML-5: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VP-5(2nd): 1 Sep 1948–present
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
VP-8
(Second use)
Tigers P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VP-201: 1 Sep 1942-1 Oct 1944
VPB-201: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-201: 15 May 1946–15 Nov 1946
VP-MS-1: 15 Nov 1946-5 Jun 1947
VP-ML-8: 5 Jun 1947-1 Sep 1948
VP-8(2nd): 1 Sep 1948–present
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
VP-9
(Second use)
Golden Eagles P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN VP-9(2nd): 15 Mar 1951–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VP-10
(Third use)
Red Lancers P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VP-10(3rd): 19 Mar 1951–present Homeport NAS Jacksonville
VP-16
(Third use)
War Eagles P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VP-906: May 1946-15 Nov 1946
VP-ML-56: 15 Nov 1946-Feb 1950
VP-741: Feb 1959-4 Feb 1953:
VP-16(3rd): 4 Feb 1953–present[14]
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
USNR VP-741 activated on 1 May 1951 for the Korean War
VP-26
(Third use)
Tridents P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VB-114: 26 Aug 1943-1 Oct 1944
VPB-114: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-114: 15 May 1946–15 Nov 1946
VP-HL-6: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VP-26(3rd): 1 Sep 1948–present
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
VP-30
Pro's Nest P-3C
P-8A
Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group VP-30: 30 Jun 1960–present Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS Jacksonville
VP-40
(Second use)
Fighting Marlins P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN VP-40(2nd): 20 Jan 1951–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VP-45
(Third use)
Pelicans P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VP-205(1st): 1 Nov 1942-1 Oct 1944
VPB-205: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-205(2nd): 15 May 1946–15 Nov 1946
VP-MS-5: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VP-45(3rd): 1 Sep 1948–present
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
VP-46
Grey Knights P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN VP-5S: 1 Sep 1931-1 Apr 1933
VP-5F: 1 Apr 1933–1937
VP-5(1st): 1937-1 Jul 1939
VP-33(1st): 1 Jul 1939-1 Jul 1941
VP-32(2nd): 1 Jul 1941-1 Oct 1944
VPB-32: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-MS-6: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VP-46: 1 Sep 1948-present
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
Second oldest currently active aircraft squadron in the U. S. Navy
VP-47
Golden Swordsmen P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN VP-27(1st): 1 Jun 1944-1 Oct 1944
VPB-27: 1 Oct 1944–15 May 1946
VP-27(2nd): 15 May 1946–15 Nov 1946
VP-MS-7: 15 Nov 1946-1 Sep 1948
VP-47: 1 Sep 1948–present
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VP-62
(Fourth use)
Broadarrows P-8A Commander, Maritime Support Wing VP-62(4th): 1 Nov 1970–present U S Navy Reserve Squadron
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
VP-69
Totems P-8A Commander, Maritime Support Wing VP-69: 1 Nov 1970–present U S Navy Reserve Squadron
Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VPU-2
Wizards P-8A Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VPU-2: 1 Jul 1982–present Homeport NAS Jacksonville
VUP-11
Proud Pegasus MQ-4C Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN To be established in 2025 and homeported at NAS Whidbey Island
VUP-19
Big Red MQ-4C Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven VUP-19: 1 Oct 2016[15][16]-present Homeport NAS Jacksonville
NAS Point Mugu (detachment)

Fleet Air Reconnaissance (VQ)

EP-3E Aries II
E-6B Mercury

The VQ designation was created in 1955 to designate "Electronic Countermeasures Squadron" and did so though 1959. By 1960 the VQ squadrons, rather than simply jamming communications and electronic signals, had been equipped to collect them for intelligence purposes. In January 1960 this new role of the VQ squadrons was recognized by changing the VQ designation from "Electronic Countermeasures Squadron" to "Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron."[17] Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE is currently the Navy's only overt signals intelligence (SIGINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) reconnaissance squadron. The 13 EP-3E aircraft in the Navy's inventory are based on the Orion P-3 airframe and provide fleet and theater commanders worldwide with near real-time tactical SIGINT and COMINT. With sensitive receivers and high-gain dish antennas, the EP-3E exploits a wide range of electronic emissions from deep within targeted territory.

Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadrons THREE and FOUR carry the VQ designation, but they are not reconnaissance squadrons; they are airborne command and control, and communications relay squadrons which provide survivable, reliable, and endurable airborne command, control, and communications between the National Command Authority (NCA) and U.S. strategic and non-strategic forces. The squadrons' E-6B aircraft are dual-mission aircraft, capable of fulfilling both the airborne strategic command post mission equipped with an airborne launch control system (ALCS) which is capable of launching U.S. land based intercontinental ballistic missiles[18] and fulfilling the TACAMO ("Take Charge and Move Out") mission which links the NCA with Navy ballistic missile submarine forces during times of crisis. The aircraft carries a very low frequency communication system with dual trailing wire antennae for that communications relay mission.

Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron SEVEN is the E-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron, providing initial and requalification training for pilots, aircrewmen, and maintainers. It operates E-6Bs on loan from VQ-3 and VQ-4, having returned a 737-600 it had previously operated on lease from Lauda Air.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational Commander Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VQ-1
World Watchers EP-3E Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN VQ-1: 1 Jun 1955–present Homeport NAS Whidbey Island
VQ-3
Ironman E-6B Commander, United States Strategic Command task force 124[a] Commander, Strategic Communications Wing ONE VQ-3: 1 Jul 1968–present Homeport Tinker AFB
Dets at Travis AFB and Offutt AFB
VQ-4
Shadows E-6B Commander, United States Strategic Command task force 124[a] Commander, Strategic Communications Wing ONE VQ-4: 1 Jul 1968–present Homeport Tinker AFB
Det at NAS Patuxent River
VQ-7
Roughnecks E-6B Commander, Strategic Communications Wing ONE Commander, Strategic Communications Wing ONE Naval Training Support Unit: 1992-1 Nov 1999
VQ-7: 1 Nov 1999–present
Fleet Replacement Squadron
based at Tinker AFB

Fleet Logistics Support (VR)

C-40A.
C-20.
C-130.

The VR designator was first established in 1942 to designated "Transport" or "Air Transport" or "Fleet Logistic Air" squadrons. From 1958 to 1976, it designated "Fleet Tactical Support Squadron"; from 1976 to the present, it designates "Fleet Logistics Support Squadron". Today, all Fleet Logistics Support squadrons are U.S. Navy Reserve squadrons

Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons operate Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift (NUFEA) aircraft on a worldwide basis to provide responsive, flexible, and rapidly deployable air logistics support required to sustain combat operations from the sea. During peacetime, squadrons provide air logistics support for all Navy commands as well as provide continuous quality training for mobilization readiness. Fleet Logistics Support squadrons have no counterpart in the Regular Navy. They represent 100% of the Navy's medium and heavy intra-theater airlift, and operate year-round around the world, providing the critical link between deployed seagoing units and air mobility command logistics hubs. VR-1 provides dedicated airlift support to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps.

The Headquarters of the Fleet Logistics Support Wing is based at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, TX, but the squadrons of the wing are based across the country from the east coast to Hawaii. In addition to the VR squadrons, the Fleet Logistics Support Wing also operates two "Executive Transport Detachments" based in Hawaii and Sigonella, Italy.

Note: The parenthetical (2nd), (3rd), or (second use), (third use), etc., appended to some designations in the table below are not part of the squadron designation system. They are added to indicate that the designation was used more than once during the history of U.S. Naval Aviation and which use of the designation is indicated. Absence indicates that the designation was used only once.

Squadron designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and administrative commander Squadron lineage[5] Notes
VR-1
(third use)
Star Lifters C-37B Commander, Fleet Logistics Support Wing VR-1(3rd): 1 May 1997—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
Joint Base Andrews
VR-51
(second use)
Windjammers C-40A VR-51(2nd): 1 Jun 1997—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
MCAS Kaneohe Bay
VR-53
Capital Express C-130T VR-53: 1 Oct 1992—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
Naval Air Facility Washington
VR-54
(second use)
Revelers C-130T VR-54 (1st): 1 Oct 1972— 28 Feb 1981
VR-54 (2nd): 1 Jun 1991—present
U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS JRB New Orleans
VR-55
Minutemen C-130T VR-55: 1 Apr 1976—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS Point Mugu
VR-56
Globemasters C-40A VR-56: 1 Jul 1976—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS Oceana
VR-57
Conquistadors C-40A VR-57: 1 Nov 1977—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS North Island
VR-58
Sunseekers C-40A VR-58: 1 Nov 1977—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS Jacksonville
VR-59
Lone Star Express C-40A VR-59: 1 Oct 1982—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS JRB Fort Worth
VR-61
Islanders C-40A VR-61: 1 Oct 1982—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS Whidbey Island
VR-62
VR-62 NOMADS Logo
VR-62 NOMADS Logo
Nomads C-130T VR-62: 1 Jul 1985—present U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
NAS Jacksonville
(relocated from NAS Brunswick in 2009)
VR-64
Condors C-130T VP-64: 1 Nov 1970-18 Sep 2004
VR-64: 18 Sep 2004—present
U.S. Navy Reserve squadron
Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst
(relocated from NAS Willow Grove in Mar 2011)

Fleet Logistics Support (VRC)

C-2A Greyhound

The VRC designation was established in 1960 to designate "Fleet Tactical Support Squadron". In 1976 the designation was changed to "Fleet Logistics Support Squadron."

There are two Fleet Logistic Support squadrons equipped with the C-2A Greyhound Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft – one on each coast. VRC-30 is based at Naval Air Station North Island, VRC-40 is based at Naval Station Norfolk. These squadrons send two-plane detachments with each deploying Carrier Air Wing. The C-2A Greyhound, more commonly referred to as a "COD" (short for Carrier onboard delivery), is used to deliver high priority parts, supplies, people, and mail to/from the carrier and shore sites near the carrier operating area.

The E-2 Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound are built on the same airframe and have many similar characteristics. For this reason, both aircraft are trained for in the same Fleet Replacement Squadron, VAW-120 (see VAW section).

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30
Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational Commander Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VRC-30
Providers Grumman C-2A Greyhound Commander, Airborne Command, Control, Logistics Wing Commander, Airborne Command, Control, Logistics Wing VR-30: 1 Oct 1966-1 Oct 1978
VRC-30: 1 Oct 1978–2023
Homeport NAS North Island
VRC-30 Det 1
Hustlers C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen Commanding Officer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Thirty Homeport NAS North Island
VRC-30 Det 2
Roughnecks C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing Two Commanding Officer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Thirty
VRC-30 Det 3
Crusaders C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven Commanding Officer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Thirty
VRC-30 Det 4
Pure Horsepower C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine Commanding Officer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Thirty
VRC-30 Det 5
Providers C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five Commanding Officer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Thirty Forward deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan


Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40)
Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational Commander Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VRC-40
Rawhides C-2A Commander, Airborne Command, Control, Logistics Wing Commander, Airborne Command, Control, Logistics Wing VRC-40: 1 Jul 1960–present Homeport NS Norfolk
VRC-40 Det 2 Rawhides C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing O Commanding Officer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Forty
VRC-40 Det 3 Rawhides C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seven
VRC-40 Det 4 Rawhides C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing Three
VRC-40 Det 5 Rawhides C-2A Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT

Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission (VRM)

Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey

"The Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey long-range tiltrotor aircraft is the US Navy’s future variant of MV-22B Osprey assault support aircraft developed for the US Marine Corps. The medium-lift variant will operate as a carrier on-board delivery (COD) aircraft to meet the logistics support requirements of the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC) during time-critical scenarios. It will replace Northrop Grumman-built C-2A Greyhound cargo aircraft that has been in service with the US Navy since the 1960s. The CMV-22B will be used by the US Navy for transportation of special warfare teams, mail and cargo from shore to its aircraft carriers, as well as for shore or sea-based combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) missions".[19]

The development of the VRM designation and adoption of the CMV-22B demonstrates the Navy's intent to utilize the platform as a means of replacing the carrier-based C-2A Greyhound. This shift in direction has coincided with the formation of the Navy's first VRM squadron, the "Titans" of VRM-30 (The name of which was revived from the "Titans" of HSL-94).[20]

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational commander Administrative commander[21] Squadron Lineage[22] Notes[20]
VRM-30
Titans CMV-22B Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) VRM-30: 1 Dec 2018 – present Homeport NAS North Island
VRM-40 Mighty Bison CMV-22B Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) VRM-40: 14 March 2022 – present Homeport NS Norfolk
VRM-50
Sunhawks CMV-22B Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) VRM-50: 1 Oct 2019 – present[23] Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS North Island

Training (VT)

T-45 Goshawk
T-6B Texan II
T-44 Pegasus

The VT designation was one of the original designations. It was established in 1921 to designate "Torpedo Plane Squadron". From 1922 to 1930 it designated "Torpedo & Bombing Squadron" and from 1930 to 1946 "Torpedo Squadron".[4] In 1946 all remaining Torpedo Squadrons and Bombing Squadrons (VB) were redesignated "Attack Squadrons" (VA) and the VT designation was retired.[24]

From 1927 to 1947 training squadrons were designated "VN".[4] From 1947 to 1960 training units were not designated as squadrons, they were "units" or "groups" called Basic Training Groups (BTG), Advanced Training Units (ATU), Jet Transition Training Units (JTTU) or Multi Engine Training Groups (METG). On 1 May 1960 the VT designation was resurrected and existing flying training units were designated "Training Squadrons (VT)".[4]

There are two types of fixed wing training squadrons: Primary training squadrons train students in the first stage of flight training leading to selection to one of three advanced training pipelines for Aviators (Rotary Wing, Strike or Multi-Engine) or two advanced training pipelines for Flight Officers (Multi Crew or Strike). The advanced training squadrons conduct the final stage of flight training leading to "winging" of the new Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Training squadrons are organized differently than the Navy's operational squadrons as training squadrons do not own their own aircraft. All training aircraft are assigned to and maintained by the Training Air Wing to which the squadrons are assigned. The training squadrons are composed only of Instructors and Students, with all maintenance and support functions carried out by the Training Air Wing. Training aircraft are painted orange and white.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VT-2
Doerbirds T-6B Commander, Training Air Wing Five BTG-2: ??-1 May 1960
VT-2: 1 May 1960-present
Primary Training, based at NAS Whiting Field
VT-3
Red Knights T-6B Commander, Training Air Wing Five BTG-3: ??-1 May 1960
VT-3: 1 May 1960-present
Primary Training, based at NAS Whiting Field
VT-4
Warbucks Multi-Crew Simulator Commander, Training Air Wing Six BTG-9: ??-1 May 1960:
VT-4: 1 May 1960-present
(inactive Dec 2010-Jun 2013)
NFO Advanced Training, based at NAS Pensacola
Deactivated in Dec 2010 as an NFO primary training squadron and reactivated[1] as an NFO advanced training squadron in Jun 2013
VT-6
Shooters T-6B Commander, Training Air Wing Five METG Whiting Field: 1 Jul 1956-1 May 1960
VT-6: 1 May 1960 – present
Primary Training, based at NAS Whiting Field
VT-7
Eagles T-45C Commander, Training Air Wing One BTG-7: 1 Jun 1958-1 May 1960
VT-7: 1 May 1960 – present
Advanced Training, based at NAS Meridian
VT-9
(Second training
sqdn use)
Tigers T-45C Commander, Training Air Wing One VT-19: 2 Aug 1971-1 Oct 1998
VT-9(2nd): 1 Oct 1998–present
Advanced Training, based at NAS Meridian
(There was an earlier training squadron designated VT-9 also called "Tigers" which existed from 15 Dec 1961 to Jul 1987)
VT-10
Wildcats T-6A Commander, Training Air Wing Six BNAO School*: Jun 1960-15 Jan 1968
VT-10: 15 Jan 1968–present
*Basic Naval Aviation Officer School
NFO Primary Training, based at NAS Pensacola
VT-21
Redhawks T-45C Commander, Training Air Wing Two ATU-202: Apr 1951-1 May 1960
VT-21: 1 May 1960 – present
Advanced Training, based at NAS Kingsville
VT-22
Golden Eagles T-45C Commander, Training Air Wing Two ATU-6: 13 Jun 1949-??
JTTU-1: ??-??
ATU-3: ??-??
ATU-212: ??-1 May 1960
VT-22: 1 May 1960-present
Advanced Training, based at NAS Kingsville
VT-27
Boomers T-6B Commander, Training Air Wing Four ATU-B: 11 Jul 1951-??
ATU-402: ??-1 Jul 1960
VT-27: 1 Jul 1960-present
Primary Training, based at NAS Corpus Christi
VT-28
Rangers T-6B Commander, Training Air Wing Four ATU-611: ??-1 May 1960
VT-28: 1 May 1960-present
Primary Training, based at NAS Corpus Christi
VT-31
Wise Owls T-44C Commander, Training Air Wing Four ATU-601: Feb 1958-1 May 1960
VT-31: 1 May 1960 – present
Advanced Training, based at NAS Corpus Christi
VT-35
Stingrays T-44C Commander, Training Air Wing Four VT-35: 29 Oct 1999–present Advanced Training, based at NAS Corpus Christi
VT-86
Sabrehawks T-45C Commander, Training Air Wing Six VT-86: 5 Jun 1972–present NFO Advanced Training, based at NAS Pensacola

Air Test and Evaluation (VX), Scientific Development (VXS)

VX-23 jets.

The VX designation was first used from 1927 to 1943 to designate "Experimental Squadron". It was again used beginning in 1946 when four "Experimental and Development" squadrons (VX-1 (still exists today), 2, 3 and 4)[25] were established to develop and evaluate new equipment and methods. From 1946 to 1968 the designation was variously "Experimental and Development" squadron, "Operational Development" squadron, "Air Operational Development" squadron and "Air Development" squadron. In 1969 the designation changed to "Air Test and Evaluation" and it remains as such today.[4]

Test and Evaluation squadrons test everything from basic aircraft flying qualities to advanced aerodynamics to weapons systems effectiveness. VX-20, VX-23, VX-30, VX-31 (as well as HX-21 (rotary wing squadron) and UX-24 (UAS squadron)) are developmental test and evaluation squadrons which conduct or support developmental test and evaluation of aircraft and weapons as part of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM) while VX-1 and VX-9 are operational test and evaluation squadrons which conduct operational test and evaluation of aircraft and weapons as part of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR).

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
VX-1
Pioneers P-3C
MH-60R
MH-60S
SH-60F
EP-3E
E-6B
KC-130J
E-2D
RQ-4
P-8A
Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force Acft ASW Dev Det Atlantic Flt: 1 Apr 1943-17 Sep 1943
ASW Dev Det Atlantic Flt: 17 Sep 1943–15 Mar 1946
VX-1: 15 Mar 1946–present
Operational test and evaluation of ASW and other "maritime" aircraft and weapons.
Based at NAS Patuxent River[26]
VX-9
Vampires F/A-18A/B/C/D/E/F
F-35B/C
EA-18G
Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force VX-9: 30 Apr 1994–present Operational test and evaluation of strike aircraft and weapons.
Based at NAWS China Lake
Established from the assets of VX-4(2nd) "Evaluators" and VX-5 "Vampires" which were both disestablished in 1994
VX-20
Force E-2D
P-8A
C-130T
C-130J
C-2A
E-6B
Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic Naval Force Acft Test Sqdn: 21 Jul 1955-1 May 2002
VX-20: 1 May 2002
Developmental test and evaluation of ASW and other maritime aircraft.
NAS Patuxent River[27]
VX-23
Salty Dogs F-35B/C
F/A-18A/B/C/D/E/F
EA-6B
EA-18G
T-45
Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic Naval Strike Acft Test Sqdn: 21 Jul 1995-1 May 2002
VX-23: 1 May 2001 – present
Developmental test and evaluation of Strike Aircraft.
NAS Patuxent River
UX-24
Ghost Wolves MQ-8
RQ-20
RQ-21
RQ-26
Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic UX-24: 18 October 2018 – present Developmental test and evaluation of unmanned aircraft.
NAS Patuxent River[28]
VX-30
Bloodhounds C-130
P-3
NP-3D

KC-130T
UAVs
Commander, Naval Test Wing Pacific Naval Weapons Test Sqdn, Pt Mugu: 8 May 1995 – 1 May 2002
VX-30: 1 May 2002 – present
Range surveillance, photometric support, area clearance, and airborne telemetry on the Naval Air Systems Command Sea Test Range in support of developmental test and evaluation of airborne weapons and platform-related systems.
Based at NAS Point Mugu
VX-31
Dust Devils F/A-18A/B/C/D/E/F
EA-18G
NEA-18G
P-3
C-130
AV-8B
TAV-8B
T-39
MH-60S
AH-1Z
UH-1Y
and other variants
Commander, Naval Test Wing Pacific Naval Weapons Test Sqdn, China Lake: 8 May 1995 – 1 May 2002
VX-31: 1 May 2002 – present
Developmental test and evaluation of airborne weapons and platform-related systems.
Based at NAWS China Lake
VXS-1
Warlocks NP-3D
P-3C
UV-18A
RC-12M
Tiger Shark UAS
Commander, Naval Research Laboratory VXS-1: 13 Dec 2004–present NRL early scientific development and testing.
Based at NAS Patuxent River[26]
Formerly NRL's Flight detachment

Other Fixed Wing Aircraft Units

Blue Angels

Other than the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron (NFDS) "Blue Angels", the organizations in the table below are not technically "squadrons", however they either have custody of and routinely fly Navy aircraft or they routinely fly aircraft on loan from fleet squadrons for advanced training of those fleet squadrons.

The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School operates various fixed and rotary wing aircraft to train and graduate test pilots and test engineers.

The Navy Fighter Weapons School, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School and the Airborne Electronic Attack Weapons School train selected U. S. Navy Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers (NFO) in instructional techniques and in advanced tactics in their respective aircraft, qualifying them for assignment to their respective wing weapons schools (Strike Fighter Weapons School Lant and Pac, Electronic Attack Weapons School and Airborne Command Control and Logistics School) where they provide advanced training for each wing's squadrons utilizing squadron aircraft.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Notes
US Naval Test Pilot School
Various Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic NAS Patuxent River
Blue Angels Blue Angels F/A-18E/F
C-130J
Commander, Naval Air Training Command (CNATRA) Homeport NAS Pensacola
Winter training site NAF El Centro
The 2021 Airshow season will be the first year the teams flies the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Navy Fighter Weapons School
TOPGUN F/A-18A/B/C/D/E/F
F-16A/B
Commander, Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center Based at NAS Fallon
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (CAEWWS)
TOPDOME E-2C/D Commander, Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center Based at NAS Fallon
Airborne Electronic Attack Weapons School
HAVOC EA-18G Commander, Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center Based at NAS Fallon
Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic
F/A-18E/F Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic Based at NAS Oceana
Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific
F/A-18E/F Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Based at NAS Lemoore
Electronic Attack Weapons School
EA-18G Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific Based at NAS Whidbey Island
Airborne Command Control and Logistics Weapons School
E-2C/D
C-2A
Commander, Airborne Command, Control, Logistics Wing Based at NS Norfolk
Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School
P-3C
P-8A
MQ-4C
Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Based at NAS Jacksonville
Pacific Missile Range Facility Outrider RC-26D
EC-26D
Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands

Rotary wing squadrons

US Navy rotary wing squadron designations start with the letter H. The first use of the letter H to designate a helicopter squadron was in 1948 with the establishment of Helicopter Utility Squadrons (HU)[4] One and Two. Before then, the two basic types of Navy squadrons were "heavier than air" squadrons designated with V and "lighter than air" squadrons designated with Z. By 1961 the Navy had disestablished its last lighter than air squadrons; since then V has in practicality become the designation for "fixed wing squadron" and H for "rotary wing squadron." The Navy today uses helicopters for antisubmarine warfare, antisurface warfare, mine countermeasures, combat search and rescue, special operations, overwater search and rescue, and vertical replenishment roles.

Helicopter Mine Countermeasures (HM)

An MH-53 delivers aid in Sumatra following the 2004 Tsunami.

The HM designation was created in 1971 to designate "Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron". HM Squadrons employ 28 total Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters. The primary mission of the Sea Dragon is Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM). The MH-53 can operate from aircraft carriers, large amphibious ships and the new expeditionary sea base and is capable of towing a variety of mine hunting/sweeping countermeasures systems.[29] The MH-53E Sea Dragon can also carry an impressive amount of cargo, personnel or equipment over long distances. The Sea Dragon is the Navy's only heavy-lift helicopter and only proven mine countermeasure platform.

The Navy's recently completed "Helicopter Master Plan" was a plan to reduce the number of type/model/series from eight down to two (MH-60R and MH-60S). It recognized that the replacement of the MH-53 in the mine countermeasures role was dependent on technology which has not yet matured. As a result, the MH-53E continues in service as the only helicopter capable now and in the near future of effectively conducting airborne mine countermeasures.

Note: The parenthetical (second use) and (2nd) in the table below are not a part of the squadron designation system. They are added to indicate that the designation was used more than once during the history of U. S. Naval Aviation and which use of the designation is indicated.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
HM-12
(Second use)
Sea Dragons MH-53E Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic HM-12(2nd): 1 Oct 2015–present Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NS Norfolk
(There was an earlier squadron designated HM-12 also called the "Sea Dragons" which existed from 1 Apr 1971 to 30 Sep 1994)
HM-14
Vanguard MH-53E Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic HM-14: 12 May 1978 – 30 March 2023 [30] Homeport NS Norfolk
HM-15
Blackhawks MH-53E Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic HM-15: 2 Jan 1987–present Homeport NS Norfolk

Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC)

MQ-8B in flight
An MH-60S Seahawk conducts vertical replenishment (VERTREP)

The Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Designation was created in 2005 after the Helicopter Combat Support (HC) squadrons equipped with the H-46 Sea Knight had completed their transitions to the new multi-mission MH-60S Seahawk, and in anticipation of the upcoming transition of the Helicopter Antisubmarine (HS) squadrons from the SH-60F and HH-60H Seahawks to the new MH-60S Knighthawk which began in 2007. The ASW capabilities resident in the HS squadrons were lost in the transition but the new HSC squadrons combine the at sea logistics capability of the former Helicopter Combat Support (HC) squadrons with greatly upgraded Combat Search and Rescue, Naval Special Warfare Support and Anti-Surface Warfare capabilities of the former Helicopter Anti-submarine squadrons (HS).[31]

The HSC squadrons which were formerly HS squadrons are carrier based and deploy as part of a Carrier Air Wing, while the HSC squadrons which were formerly HC squadrons or were newly established are land based "expeditionary" squadrons which supply detachments for deployment aboard ships other than aircraft carriers or for land based deployments as required. The squadrons are home-ported at NS Norfolk, NAS North Island and Anderson AFB, Guam with one squadron forward deployed to NAF Atsugi, Japan. Expeditionary HSC squadrons are capable of deploying mixed detachments of MH-60S and MQ-8B Fire Scout uncrewed aircraft.

Note: The parenthetical (2nd) used in the lineage column of table below is not a part of the squadron designation system. It is added to indicate that the designation was used more than once during the history of U. S. Naval Aviation and which use of the designation is indicated.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
HSC-2
Fleet Angels MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic HC-2(2nd): 1 Apr 1987-24 Aug 2005
HSC-2: 24 Aug 2005–present
Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NS Norfolk
(There was an earlier squadron designated HC-2 also called "Fleet Angels" which existed from 1 Apr 1948 to 30 Sep 1977)
HSC-3
Merlins MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific HC-3: 1 Sep 1967-31 Oct 2005
HSC-3: 31 Oct 2005–present
Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS North Island
HSC-4
Black Knights MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing Two HS-4: 30 Jun 1952-Mar 2012
HSC-4: Mar 2012–present
Homeport NAS North Island
HSC-5
Nightdippers MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing SEVEN HS-5: 3 Jan 1956 – 28 Feb 2009:
HSC-5: 28 Feb 2009–present
Homeport NS Norfolk
HSC-6
Indians MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen HS-6: 1 Jun 1956-Jul 2011
HSC-6: Jul 2011–present
Homeport NAS North Island
HSC-7
Dusty Dogs MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing Three HS-7(2nd): 15 Dec 1969-Apr 2011
HSC-7: Apr 2011–present
Homeport NS Norfolk
(There was an earlier squadron designated HS-7 called the "Big Dippers" which existed from 2 Apr 1956 to 31 May 1966)
HSC-8
Eightballers MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven HS-8(2nd): 1 Nov 1969-1 Apr 2007
HSC-8: 1 Apr 2007–present
Homeport NAS North Island
(There was an earlier squadron designated HS-8 also called "Eighballers" which existed from 1 Jun 1956 to 31 Dec 1968)
HSC-9
Tridents MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT HS-3: 18 Jun 1952-1 Jun 2009
HSC-9: 1 Jun 2009–present
Homeport NS Norfolk
HSC-11
Dragon Slayers MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing ONE HS-11: 27 Jun 1957-Jun 2016
HSC-11: Jun 2016–present
Homeport NS Norfolk
HSC-12
Golden Falcons MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five HS-2: 7 Mar 1952-1 Jan 2009
HSC-12: 1 Jan 2009–present
Forward deployed to NAF Atsugi Japan
HSC-14
Chargers MH-60S Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine HS-14: 19 Jul 1984-Jul 2013
HSC-14: Jul 2013–present
Homeport NAS North Island
HSC-21
Blackjacks MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific HC-11: 1 Oct 1977-7 Nov 2005
HSC-21: 7 Nov 2005–present
Homeport NAS North Island
Expeditionary Squadron
HSC-22
Sea Knights MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic HSC-22: 1 Oct 2006–present Homeport NS Norfolk
Expeditionary Squadron
HSC-23
Wildcards MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific HSC-23: 1 Oct 2006–present Homeport NAS North Island
Expeditionary Squadron
HSC-25
Island Knights MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific HC-5(2nd): 3 Feb 1984-24 Oct 2005
HSC 25: 24 Oct 2005–present
Homeport Andersen AFB, Guam
Expeditionary Squadron
(There was an earlier squadron designated HC-5 called the "Arch Angels" which carried the HC-5 designation from 1 Sep 1967 to Mar 1972)
HSC-26
Chargers MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic HC-6: 1 Sep 1967-24 Aug 2005
HSC-26: 24 Aug 2005–present
Homeport NS Norfolk
Expeditionary Squadron
HSC-28
Dragon Whales MH-60S Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic HC-8: 3 Dec 1984-13 May 2005
HSC-28: 13 May 2005 – present
Homeport NS Norfolk
Expeditionary Squadron
HSC-85
Firehawks MH-60S Commander, Maritime Support Wing HS-85: 1 Jul 1970-1 Oct 1994
HC-85: 1 Oct 1994-8 Feb 2006
HSC-85: 8 Feb 2006–present
U S Navy Reserve Squadron
Naval Special Warfare Support
Homeport NAS North Island
Expeditionary Squadron
(Adopted "Firehawks" name and insignia in 2011 from deactivated HCS-5)

Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM)

An MH-60R prepares to conduct sonar dip operations.
MQ-8B in flight

The HSM designation was created in 2006 when the Fleet Replacement Squadron for the MH-60R Seahawk was redesignated from HSL. The new designation was created to reflect the MH-60Rs multi-mission capabilities[32] which combined the area search capabilities of the SH-60B flown by the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) squadrons with the dipping sonar of the SH-60F flown by the carrier based Helicopter Anti-Submarine (HS) squadrons. The first operational fleet squadron to receive the MH-60 Romeo was HSM-71 in fiscal year 2008. With the transition of the HS squadrons to HSC squadrons without any ASW capability and the disestablishment of the last Air Antisubmarine (VS) squadrons, all ship based airborne ASW capabilities now reside in the new HSM squadrons.

From 2009 to 2015 all Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) squadrons transitioned to the MH-60R and were redesignated Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) squadrons. Additionally, new HSM squadrons were established in order to provide an HSM squadron to each Carrier Air Wing and to provide "Expeditionary" squadrons to supply detachments of MH-60Rs to ships other than aircraft carriers. Expeditionary HSM squadrons are capable of deploying mixed detachments of MH-60R and MQ-8B aircraft.

HSM squadrons are home-ported at NAS North Island, NAS Jacksonville, NS Mayport and MCAS Kaneohe Bay with two squadrons forward deployed to NAF Atsugi Japan and one squadron forward deployed to Naval Station Rota Spain.

Squadron Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational commander Squadron lineage[5] Notes
HSM-35
Magicians MH-60R
MQ-8B
Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific HSM-35: 2 May 2013 – present[33] Homeport NAS North Island
Expeditionary Squadron
(There was an earlier squadron designated HSL-35 also called "Magicians" which existed from 15 Jan 1974 to 4 Dec 1992)
HSM-37
Easyriders MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific HSL-37: 3 Jul 1975-1 Oct 2013
HSM-37: 1 Oct 2013–present
Homeport MCAS Kanehoe Bay
Expeditionary Squadron
HSM-40
Airwolves MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic HSL-40: 4 Oct 1985-1 Nov 2009
HSM-40: 1 Nov 2009–present
Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NS Mayport
HSM-41
Seahawks MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific HSL-41: 21 Jan 1983-8 Dec 2005
HSM-41: 8 Dec 2005–present
Fleet Replacement Squadron based at NAS North Island
HSM-46
Grandmasters MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing SEVEN HSL-46: 7 Apr 1988-2012
HSM-46: 2012-present
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
HSM-48
Vipers MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic HSL-48: 7 Sep 1989-May 2014
HSM-48: May 2014 – present
Homeport NS Mayport
Expeditionary Squadron
HSM-49
Scorpions MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific HSL-49: 23 Mar 1990-Apr 2015
HSM-49: Apr 2015–present
Homeport NAS North Island
Expeditionary Squadron
HSM-50 Valkyries MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic HSM-50: 1 October 2021–present Homeport NS Mayport
Expeditionary Squadron
HSM-51
Warlords MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific HSL-51: 1 Oct 1991-Mar 2013
HSM-51: Mar 2013–present
Forward deployed to NAF Atsugi, Japan
Expeditionary Squadron
HSM-60 Jaguars MH-60R Commander, Maritime Support Wing HSL-60: 1 Apr 2001-Jul 2015
HSM-60: Jul 2015–present
US Navy Reserve Squadron
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
Expeditionary Squadron
HSM-70
Spartans MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing EIGHT HSM-70: 1 Mar 2008–present Homeport NAS Jacksonville
HSM-71
Raptors MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine HSM-71: 1 Jan 2007–present Homeport NAS North Island
HSM-72
Proud Warriors MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing ONE HSL-42: 5 Oct 1984-Jan 2013
HSM-72: Jan 2013–present
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
HSM-73
Battle Cats MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen HSL-43: 5 Oct 1984-Feb 2012
HSM-73: Feb 2012–present
Homeport NAS North Island
HSM-74
Swamp Fox MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing THREE HSL-44: 21 Aug 1986-Jun 2011
HSM-74: Jun 2011–present
Homeport NAS Jacksonville
HSM-75
Wolfpack MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing Eleven HSL-45: 3 Oct 1986-Feb 2011
HSM-75: Feb 2011–present
Homeport NAS North Island
HSM-77
Saberhawks MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five HSL-47: 25 Sep 1987-1 Feb 2009
HSM-77: 1 Feb 2009–present
Forward deployed to NAF Atsugi, Japan
(HSL-47 was the only HSL (LAMPS) squadron to have deployed aboard a carrier as a test of the CVN based HSM squadron concept)[34]
HSM-78
Blue Hawks MH-60R Commander, Carrier Air Wing TWO HSM-78: 1 Mar 2012–present Homeport NAS North Island
HSM-79
Griffins MH-60R Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic HSM-79: 2 Jun 2016–present Forward deployed to Naval Station Rota, Spain
Expeditionary Squadron

Helicopter Training (HT)

US Navy TH-57C

The HT designation first appeared in May 1960 to designate Helicopter Training Squadron at the same time that the VT designation was resurrected to designate Training Squadron. In the early years of helicopter operations in the Navy, helicopter pilots were qualified fixed wing pilots who received transition training once they reported to a helicopter squadron. In 1950 a dedicated helicopter training unit was established and in 1960 that unit became the first HT squadron. As the demand for helicopter pilots increased over the decades, additional HT squadrons were established and today approximately 60% of the Student Naval Aviators from all services (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) are winged as helicopter pilots.

The Naval Air Training Command's Helicopter Training Squadrons provide advanced helicopter flight instruction to all Navy, US Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard helicopter flight students as well as to international students from several allied nations. Student Naval Aviators are selected for helicopter training after completion of primary flight training in the T-6B in one of the VT squadrons. Students who successfully complete the program earn the right to wear the coveted "Wings of Gold."[35] and proceed on to their selected aircraft's Fleet Replacement Squadron. Training squadrons are organized differently than the Navy's operational squadrons as training squadrons do not own their own aircraft. All training aircraft are assigned to and maintained by the Training Air Wing to which the squadrons are assigned. The training squadrons are composed only of Instructors and Students, with all maintenance and support functions carried out by the Training Air Wing.

Squadron Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and administrative Commander Squadron lineage[5] Notes
HT-8
Eightballers TH-73A Commander,

Training Air Wing Five, Naval Air Training Comman

HTU-1: 3 Dec 1950
HTG-1: Mar 1957
HT-8: 1 Jul 1960–present
Advanced training based at NAS Whiting Field
HT-18
Vigilant Eagles TH-57B
TH-57C
TH-73A
HT-18: 1 Mar 1972–present
HT-28
Hellions TH-57B
TH-57C
HT-28: 1 Nov 2006–present

Air Test and Evaluation (HX)

Test and Evaluation squadrons test everything from basic aircraft flying qualities to advanced aerodynamics to weapons systems effectiveness. HX-21 conducts developmental test and evaluation of rotary wing and tilt rotor aircraft and weapons as part of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM).

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
HX-21
Blackjack AH-1Z
UH-1Y
MH-60R
MH-60S
MV-22B
AH-1W
UH-1N
VH-3A
CH-53E

CH-53K
TH-57C
SH-60F

Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic Naval Rotary Wing Acft Test Sqdn: 21 Jul 1995-1 May 2002
HX-21: 1 May 2002 – present
Developmental test and evaluation of Rotary Wing and Tilt Rotor Aircraft
NAS Patuxent River[36]

Other Rotary Wing Aircraft Units

The organizations in the table below are not technically "squadrons", however they either have custody of and routinely fly Navy aircraft or they routinely fly aircraft on loan from fleet squadrons for advanced training of those fleet squadrons. The Navy Rotary Wing Weapons School trains selected U. S. Navy Naval Aviators in instructional techniques and in advanced tactics for their respective aircraft, qualifying them for assignment to their respective wing weapons schools (Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Lant and Pac and Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Lant and Pac) where they provide advanced training for each wing's squadrons utilizing squadron aircraft.

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Notes
Navy Rotary Wing Weapons School
SEAWOLF MH-60S Commander, Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center Based at NAS Fallon
Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Atlantic
MH-60S
MH-53E
MQ-8B
Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic Based at NS Norfolk
Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Pacific
Phoenix MH-60S
MQ-8B/C
Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific Based at NAS North Island
Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Atlantic
Talons MH-60R
MQ-8B
Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic Based at NS Mayport
Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Pacific
Honey Badgers MH-60R
MQ-8B
Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific Based at NAS North Island

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Squadrons

The U.S. Navy operates a number of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) utilizing different organizational constructs. The operational MQ-4 Triton is organized into "Unmanned Patrol Squadrons" (VUP) which operate alongside manned "Patrol Squadrons" (VP) utilizing the same administrative and operational command structures for both VP and VUP squadrons (VUP squadrons are listed in the "Fixed Wing Squadrons" section above). MQ-8 Fire Scouts are operated by HSM and HSC squadrons along with the squadrons' MH-60R (HSM) and MH-60S (HSC) aircraft. In April 2018 a new squadron type designation was created apart from the existing "V" for fixed wing squadron and "H" for rotary wing squadron when Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty Four (UX-24) was programmed for establishment to develop unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. This action created a third squadron type designation of "U".

Air Test and Evaluation (UX)

Test and Evaluation squadrons test everything from basic aircraft flying qualities to advanced aerodynamics to weapons systems effectiveness. UX-24 conducts developmental test and evaluation of fixed wing and rotary wing unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as part of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM).

Squadron Designation Insignia Nickname Aircraft Operational and Administrative Commander Squadron Lineage[5] Notes
UX-24 Various fixed and rotary winged UAS Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Directorate
UX-24: 17 Oct 2018–present
Developmental test and evaluation of Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing UAS
NOLF Webster[37]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Commander, Strategic Communications Wing ONE is "dual hatted" as Commander STRATCOM TF 124

References

  1. ^ a b c OPNAVINST 5030.4G
  2. ^ Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol I, Chap 1, pg 3
  3. ^ Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol I, Chap 1, pg 9
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol I App 4
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s OPNAVINST 5030.4G Encl 2
  6. ^ "EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft". USN Fact File. United States Navy. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
  7. ^ "US Navy retires Prowler electronic attack aircraft after close to 45 years' service – IHS Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol I App 6
  9. ^ Naval Aviation News May 1967, pg 3
  10. ^ "E-2 Hawkeye early warning and control aircraft". USN Fact File. United States Navy. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  11. ^ A, C, and E models are single seat. B, D, and F models are two seat.
  12. ^ "The Carrier air Wing of the future" (PDF). February 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Department of the Navy's Tactical Aviation Integration Plan Is Reasonable, but Some Factors Could Affect Implementation" (PDF). gao.gov. August 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  14. ^ Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol II App 7
  15. ^ "VUP-19 Commissioning Ceremony | Jax Air News". Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  16. ^ Stewart, Joshua (5 February 2013). "UAV Squadron To Stand Up October 1; First Since 2007". armytimes.com.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Naval Aviation News Feb 1961 pg 15
  18. ^ "E-6B Airborne Command Post (ABNCP)". United States Strategic Command. Archived from the original on 9 January 2009.
  19. ^ "CMV-22B Osprey long-range tiltrotor aircraft US Navy". Naval Technology. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  20. ^ a b Faram, Mark D. (18 December 2018). "Remember the Titans? The Navy does!". Navy Times. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) 1". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  22. ^ "Navy Establishes First CMV-22B Squadron". USNI News. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  23. ^ OPNAVNOTE 5400 22 Apr 2019
  24. ^ Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol I Chap 1 pg13
  25. ^ Naval Aviation News Aug 1947 pg 24
  26. ^ a b "Naval Air Station Patuxent River Base Guide". DCMilitary.com. Comprint Military Publications. 12 August 2008. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  27. ^ "VX-20 Aircraft Platforms". Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO. United States Navy. 10 June 2006. Archived from the original on 28 August 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  28. ^ "Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 24 (UX-24)" (PDF). United States Navy. Spring 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  29. ^ "MH-53E Sea Dragon". USN Fact File. United States Navy.
  30. ^ OPNAV NOTE 5400 24 Aug 2022
  31. ^ "Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, Pacific COMHELSEACOMBATWINGPAC". Global Security.
  32. ^ "MH-60R Seahawk". USN Fact File. United States Navy.
  33. ^ London, Christina (3 May 2013). "Navy Drone Squadron First of Its Kind". nbcsandiego.com.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ Utz, Curtis A; Mark L Evans; Dale J Gordon (July–August 2005). "The Year in Review 2004" (PDF). Naval Aviation News. United States Navy: 37. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2008.
  35. ^ "Helicopter Training Squadron 8". Global Security.
  36. ^ Carlson, Ted (Spring 2005). "HX-21 – Blackjack". Wings of Gold. Association of Naval Aviation. Archived from the original on 29 December 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  37. ^ "SEAPOWER Magazine Online". Archived from the original on 2 January 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2019.