Military


Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHTY SIX [VFA-86]
"Sidewinders"

VFA 86 traces its origins all the way back to the Korean War when Fighter Squadron 921 was based at NAS St. Louis. In 1953 the squadron was redesignated VF 84 while deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in 1955 the squadron was again redesignated, this time as the VA 86 "Sidewinders".

The "Sidewinders" made news while deployed in the Indian Ocean in 1979. It was during that time that VA 86 spent 144 continuous days at sea following the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

Over the years, VFA 86 has received six COMNAVAIRLANT Battle "E's". The "Sidewinders" recently received the CNO's Adm. C. Wade McCluskey Trophy signifying them as the Navy's finest attack squadron.

On July 15, 1986, Attack Squadron 86 was officially redesignated Strike-Fighter Squadron 86, and began flying the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. VFA 86 is assigned to Carrier Air Wing One on board the USS America (CV 66). Since their assignment to USS America, the squadron flew combat missions in support of Operation Desert Storm and NATO missions off the cost of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Cecil Field Has Been Decomissioned. The Record of Decision for relocating the Strike Fighter Wing and all the F/A-18 squadrons was signed in May 1998. The ROD called for two squadrons, VFA 82 and VFA 86, to relocate to MCAS Beaufort and the Strike-Fighter Wing along with the remaining nine fleet squadrons, VFA 106 and related support functions relocating to NAS Oceana. The Oceana-bound units completed their relocation as July 16, 1999. VFA 82 and VFA 86 relocated to Beaufort in Spring 2000 and were operating out of NAS Jacksonville until their deployment. VFA-86 changed homeport to MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina following deployment in USS John F. Kennedy.




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