Fighter Attack Squadron VFA-203 (VFA-203)
The "Blue Dolphins" of VFA-203 fly the F/A-18 aircraft. VFA-203 is a fully operational and combat ready Hornet Squadron, whose primary mission is to provide Naval Forces with contributory support and/or deploy with Naval Forces in a crisis response or wartime situation as a reserve fighter-attack squadron. Further contributory support is accomplished by acting as adversaries to those squadrons who are training for deployment.
Strike Fighter Squadron Two Zero Three (VFA-203) was established as VA-203 on July 18, 1970 as an operational component of Carrier Air Wing Reserve 20. It is the first Squadron to be assigned the VA-203 and VFA-203 designation. VA-203 was established as a reserve squadron under a new concept in the reorganization of the Naval Air Reserve Force. The reorganization was intended to make the reserves more compatible with active duty units and to increase the combat readiness of the Naval Air Reserve Force. From 15-22 May 1972 the squadron deployed to NAS Oceana to participate in exercise Exotic Dancer V, designed to test multi-service operations under a unified command organization. In February 1980 the squadron participated in a combined NATO forces exercise conducted at NAS Bermuda called Safe Passage.
Originally stationed at NAS Jacksonville, FL flying the A-4L Skyhawk, the squadron transitioned to the A-7A Corsair II in April 1974 and then to the A-7B in September 1977. The Blue Dolphins moved to NAS Cecil Field in December 1977. In May 1983, the squadron transitioned to the A-7E which it kept until being re-designated VFA-203 in October 1989.
The first F/A-18A Hornets arrived in November 1989 and began a new era, flying the Navy's most advanced Fighter/Attack Aircraft. The unit was redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDERED AND THREE (VFA-203) on 1 October 1989.
The Blue Dolphins moved to their new home at NAS Atlanta in October 1996.
The squadron began assuming the role as Fleet Adversary pilots in 1993 and was the first RESFORON to fully qualify 100% of its pilots as Adversary Instructors. As the number of Fleet Adversary detachments has increased the squadron has continued to be at the forefront of crisis response readiness training making it a fully combat ready F/A-18 squadron.
As a Reserve Force squadron, VA/VFA-203 has continually led the Naval Air Reserve into new areas of complex fleet compatible aircraft. Using constantly updated tactics, the Blue Dolphins have conducted flawless air-to-air missile firings, won countless bombing competitions, executed numerous carrier qualifications and served the fleeet as Adversary Instructors.
VFA-203 was disestablished June 30, 2004.
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