Military


Airborne Early Warning Wing, Pacific [COMAEWWINGPAC]

Commander Airborne Early Warning Wing, Pacific, based at Naval Air Station Miramar, San Diego, Calif., is the home of all Pacific Fleet airborne early warning squadrons and photo reconnaissance squadrons. The E-2C Hawkeye is an airborne early warning and control aircraft capable of carrying out patrol on the battle group perimeters in all weather. The propeller-driven E-2C can assess any threat from approaching enemy aircraft at ranges of over 250 nautical miles. The E-2C is capable of automatically tracking more than 600 targets and controlling more than 40 intercepts.

Commander Airborne Early Warning Wing Pacific (COMAEWINGPAC), at Barbers Point, was established in January 1956. Over the next eleven months VW 12, VW 14, and VW 16 became operational at Barbers Point to patrol the Pacific Barrier. The Pacific extension of the DEW Line, known as the Pacific Barrier, was initially established for training and testing on 1 July 1957, with only one and a half WV-2 patrols per day (and no DERs) on station. The Pacific Barrier became fully operational on 1 July 1958, originally along an arc from Midway Island in the central Pacific to Kodiak in the Aleutians. WV-2s patrolled the entire length of "The Barrier" with DERs spaced equally along the WV-2s' flight path to assist whenever necessary.

The Office of the Secretary of the Navy announced 03 June 1998 the decision to relocate four E-2C Hawkeye squadrons assigned to Commander, Airborne Early Warning Wing, Pacific. After considering the findings of a study that examined the environmental impacts associated with the move, the Navy chose Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) Point Mugu as the preferred future location for the 16 aircraft and 990 civilian and military personnel associated with the E-2s. Tactical training opportunities, enhanced battle group interoperability, and use of overwater ranges were the leading factors in the choice of NAWS Point Mugu as the preferred alternative.

In July 1998, Commander, Airborne Early Warning Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet moved to Naval Air Weapons Station Point Mugu, Calif., along with VAW-112 and VAW-116. VAW-113, away on deployment with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Battle Group, flew to Point Mugu later. VAW-117 remained at Miramar to complete a turnaround training cycle in preparation for a Western Pacific deployment. Upon completion of the deployment, VAW-117 joined the rest of the E-2 Wing at Point Mugu.




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