VA-185 Nighthawks Squadron Patch – Plastic Backing
VA-185, nicknamed the Nighthawks, was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. It was established on 1 December 1986 and disestablished on 30 August 1991.
September 1987: The squadron was forward deployed to NAS Atsugi, Japan, and assigned to USS Midway, home ported at Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan.
November 1987–January 1988: The squadron flew support for Operation Earnest Will, escort operations for reflagged Kuawiti oil tankers during the Iran–Iraq War in the Persian Gulf.
September 1988: VA-185, embarked on USS Midway, operated in the Sea of Japan during the 1988 Summer Olympics being held in Seoul, Korea, to demonstrate U.S. support for a peaceful olympics.
December 1989: Midway, with VA-185 embarked, maintained station off the coast of the Philippines during an attempted coup in that country.
November 1990–January 1991: The squadron flew missions in support of Operation Desert Shield, the build-up of American and Allied forces to counter a threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia by Iraq and were part of an economic blockade of Iraq to force its withdrawal from Kuwait.
January–February 1991: The squadron participated in Operation Desert Storm. VA-185 led the first air strikes from naval elements operating in the Persian Gulf. During the Gulf War, squadron aircraft struck Iraqi naval targets and bases, airfields and bridges, and provided close air support for Allied ground forces. The squadron flew a total of 457 combat missions, comprising 940 combat flight hours and delivered 720,000 pounds of ordnance on enemy targets.
6 August 1991: The squadron held a disestablishment ceremony at NAF Atsugi, Japan. It was officially disestablished on 30 August 1991. Intruder aircraft from VA-185 were transferred to VA-115. Many the squadron’s personnel transferred to VA-115 as well and returned to NAF Atsugi to continue duty with CAG-5.
Home port assignments
The squadron was assigned to these home ports, effective on the dates shown:
NAS Whidbey Island – 01 Dec 1986
NAF Atsugi – 13 Sep 1987 (VA-185 was forward deployed and based aboard USS Midway (CV-41).)
The squadron first received the following aircraft on the dates shown:
A-6E Intruder – 18 Feb 1987
KA-6D Intruder – 19 Sep 1987