VMA-225 Patch– Plastic Backing
VMF-225 was re-designated Marine Attack Squadron 225 (VMA-225) on 17 June 1952 and moved to MCAF Edenton, North Carolina. There the squadron began flying the AU-1 Corsair and shifted training to interdiction missions. The squadron transitioned to the AD-5 Skyraider in December 1953, added AD-4Bs to its inventory in early 1955, and made two deployments to NAS Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. In May 1958, the “Fighting Eagles” transitioned to the A-4B Skyhawk and in October moved back to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. There VMA-225 continued attack training, and deployed to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Essex (CVA-9) in August 1959. VMA-225 transitioned to the A-4C in March 1960 and again deployed to Mediterranean aboard the USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) in February 1961 and the USS Intrepid (CVA-11) in 1962. VMA-225 became the first Marine squadron to deploy and conduct night operations aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), spending the last three months of 1962 aboard the “Big E” during the Cuban Missile crisis. The squadron deployed again to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Shangri-La in October 1963. In September 1964, the squadron received orders to Japan, and in June 1965 the “Vagabonds” moved to the newly constructed base at Chu Lai (SATS/EAF) for participation in combat operations against Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam. VMA-225 returned to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina in October 1965 and in April 1966 they transitioned to the Grumman built A-6A Intruder. With the addition of an all weather capability, the squadron was re-designated VMA(AW)-225 and adopted the “Vikings” as their official mascot sporting the colors of Carolina blue and gold. In January 1969, VMA(AW)-225 deployed to Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam to provide close air and deep air support for allied ground forces in the I Corp area of South Vietnam. In February 1970, the squadron flew missions in support of Lam Som 719, the cross border assault of enemy sanctuaries in Laos (Barrel Roll) and later continued air interdiction mission (Commando Bolt) on enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Southwest Asia. During May 1971, VMA(AW)-225 returned to MCAS El Toro, California, and the squadron was dis-established on June 15, 1972.
The “Vikings” of VMFA(AW)-225 were established on 1 July 1991, at MCAS El Toro, California, flying the F/A-18D Hornet. The Vikings supported the Marine Corps’ Unit Deployment Program (UDP), deploying to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan for six-month periods, beginning in March of 1993. Overseas exercises included tours in Korea, Thailand, Okinawa, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Alaska. In March of 1995, the Vikings relocated to their new home at MCAS Miramar, California. Additional unit deployments occurred in September of 1995, March of 1996, September 1997, and in March of 2000, with a deployment to Al Jaber, Kuwait for combat operations during Operation Southern Watch (OSW) in March 2001. In March of 2002, the Vikings returned to UDP and retraced the steps of Marines during WWII through the South Pacific Islands of Iwo Jima and Peleliu, and put the first fighters back on Tarawa, Guadalcanal, and Vanuatu at Bauer Field in more than 60 years. The Vikings returned to Al Jaber, Kuwait for OSW and combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) from Jan to May of 2003. They re-entered the UDP cycle in March 2004 and September 2005, and then returned again to Counterinsurgency Operations (COIN) during OIF, this time operating from Al Asad, Iraq as the “Shepherds” from Aug 2007 to Mar 2008. The Vikings returned to UDP in May 2009 and Sept 2010. In 2011, the squadron has participated in multiple squadron detachments to include Exercise JADED THUNDER, Nellis AFB, Exercise SCORPION FIRE, MCAS Miramar, Exercise SWAMP DEALER, MacDill AFB, and a squadron deployment for training to Mountain Home AFB.
VMFA(AW)-225’s awarded honors include the Presidential Unit Citation Streamer (Vietnam & Iraq), Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with Three Bronze Stars (Vietnam), Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with Two Bronze Stars (Vietnam, Operation Southern Watch), Marine Corps Expeditionary Streamer, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Streamer with One Bronze Star, World War II Victory Streamer, Navy Occupation Service Streamer with “Europe”, National Defense Service Streamer with Three Bronze Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer, Vietnam Service Streamer with One Silver and Two Bronze Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Streamer, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Streamer, and Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer.