VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks F/A-18 Tailflash
A beautifully carved 20 inch solid wood plaque of the VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks! Collect all your squadrons with truly artistic craftsmanship of the Navy’s finest symbols.
The use of naval aviation insignia is a modern form of heraldry that dates back to the early period of naval aviation in the 1920’s and captures many proud moments of its history. The practice fosters a sense of pride, unit cohesion and contributes to high morale, esprit de corps and professionalism within the community. It also serves as an effective means of preserving a command’s tradition, continuity of purpose and recognition, as traced through its lineage. The following rules are provided to ensure that all command insignia and slogans are in keeping with the highest traditions of the proud naval aviation heritage.
The Fighting Redcocks of Strike Fighter Squadron TWO TWO have been a mainstay of Naval Aviation for almost 60 years. Originally commissioned as Fighter Squadron 63 at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia in July 1948, the squadron was re-designated Attack Squadron 22 in July 1959. The first pilots flew the Grumman F-8F Bearcat, with the squadron later operating the F-4U Corsair, F9F-2/5 Panther, F9F-6/8 Cougar, FJ-4B Fury, A-4B/C/D/F Skyhawk, A-7E Corsair II, FA-18C Hornet and the FA-18E/F Super Hornet. Today, the Fighting Redcocks are based in NAS Lemoore, California and operate the two seat FA-18F Super Hornet, the Navy’s newest and most lethal strike-fighter aircraft.
For nearly 60 years, the Fighting Redcocks repeatedly have been called into action in support of U.S. national policy. The squadron completed three combat deployments during the Korean War and six combat deployments during the Vietnam War. In 1988, the squadron deployed aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) and participated in Operation EARNEST WILL. During that deployment, VA-22 aircraft participated in sinking the Iranian Frigate SAHAND which had fired missiles at two A-6E Intruders during Operation PRAYING MANTIS. In 1993, the Fighting Redcocks deployed to the Arabian Gulf aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) participating in Operation SOUTHERN WATCH enforcing the United Nations No-Fly Zone over southern Iraq. Before returning home from deployment, ABRAHAM LINCOLN was diverted to the coast of Somalia where the Redcocks provided air support for United Nations forces during Operation CONTINUE HOPE. In December 1998, VFA-22 led the only Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN air strike of Operation DESERT FOX which significantly degraded Iraq’s capability to produce and deliver weapons of mass destruction.
In October 2001, USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) with VFA-22 aboard was the first carrier on station to perform strikes against Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. The squadron flew over 500 sorties and delivered over 300 tons of ordnance in the opening days of the Global War on Terror. In January 2003, VFA-22 joined Carrier Air Wing NINE and completed an eight-month WESTPAC deployment aboard CARL VINSON. Following the 2003 deployment, VFA-22 traded their FA-18Cs for the Navy’s new FA-18E Super Hornets and joined Carrier Air Wing FOURTEEN. In 2006, the Redcocks participated in the maiden deployment of USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) while supporting coalition forces in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During the 2006 deployment, VFA-22 flew an impressive 2,390 sorties totaling 3,685 flight hours in support of the Global War on Terror. In January 2007, the Fighting Redcocks deployed as an element of the USS RONALD REAGAN Carrier Strike Group for a short notice Surge deployment to the western Pacific. Returning home in April of that year, the Redcocks received Lot 29 FA-18F Super Hornets equipped with the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar. In 2008, the Fighting Redcocks completed the maiden deployment with APG-79 radar while supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Throughout history, the Redcocks consistently have made a significant and positive impact on Naval Aviation’s operational capabilities. In 1985, the squadron was the first West Coast squadron to successfully employ an AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). In 1993, VFA-22 was the first Navy squadron to deploy with the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM). In 1999, Fighting Redcock aviators employed the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) in combat for the first time. During Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in 2001, VFA-22 not only employed record amounts of ordnance, but also was one of the first Navy squadrons to integrate the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) into the close air support mission.
During the command’s history, the Fighting Redcocks have deployed on sixteen different aircraft carriers and have won many distinctive honors. The squadron received the C. Wade McClusky Award in 1981, designating the squadron the finest attack squadron in the Navy; the Navy Battle Efficiency “E” five times, including three consecutive awards from 1979-1981; two Navy Unit Commendations; two Meritorious Unit Commendations; three prestigious Bruce Carrier Awards for Maintenance Excellence and multiple Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Awards.
The Sailors of the VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks are justifiably proud of their accomplishments and the noteworthy achievements of their predecessors. Armed with a rich heritage and high standards established by those from their hallowed past, VFA-22 strives to be the most lethal strike fighter squadron in the Navy and remains ready to lethally execute any tasking when called upon in support of national security objectives…YCBAR!