Training Squadron FOUR (VT-4)
Training Squadron FOUR was commissioned on 1 May 1960 and assigned the mission of providing flight instruction in the basic jet training syllabus utilizing the T-2A aircraft. Training consisted of basic and radio instrument procedures, formation, night flying, air to air gunnery and carrier qualifications. In 1965, Training Squadron FOUR transitioned to the T-2B aircraft and changed its mission to become the Naval Air Training Command sole site for providing student pilots basic jet flight instruction in aerial gunnery and carrier qualification. In 1971, Training Squadron FOUR transitioned to the T-2C aircraft. The squadron mission was changed once again, to provide flight training in all phases of the basic jet syllabus. In September 1972, Training Squadron FOUR acquired the TF-9J providing flight instruction in both basic and advanced jet training. This mission was unique in the Naval Air Training Command in that student pilots experienced their first flight in a jet aircraft in VT-4 and remained aboard to be subsequently designated Naval Aviators. November 1973 saw the introduction of the TA-4J to replace the aging TF-9J for advanced flight training. Beginning in December 1975, VT-4 had the added mission of providing flight instruction for allied foreign military pilots. Flight training has been given to student pilots from Kuwait, Spain, Singapore and Indonesia.
In addition to pilot training, VT-4 has had two other significant missions. From 1973 to 1978, VT-4 provided summer jet orientation flights for midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy and the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. From 1975 to 1979, VT-4 was also responsible for the training of Naval Flight Surgeons.
In December 1985 VT-4's mission was changed from strike training to the sole site of E-2/C-2 intermediate training in CNATRA. In January 1992, VT-4's mission became the E-2/C-2 advanced training site. To accomplish this mission VT-4 flew the T-2C.
During 1996, VT-4 underwent significant change. From a small all Navy Advanced E-2/C-2 pilot training squadron with a student throughput of 36 per year it became a joint Primary and Intermediate Naval Flight Officer/Navigator training squadron with an annual student throughput of 450. Instructor ranks grew from fourteen Navy pilots to 71 Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force pilots and NFO/Navigators. The squadron transitioned from flying the T-2C to flying the T-34C Turbo Mentor and T-1A Jayhawk. VT-4 also instructs student navigators from Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Norway and Denmark. From April to September 1996 the squadron had primary NFO/NAV and advanced pilot training being conducted simultaneously. Following the final CQ detachment in September, the mission converted entirely to NFO/NAV training. On 30 September 1996, the last VT-4 Naval Aviators earned their wings.
Since its commissioning, VT-4 has amassed over 600,000 flight hours. The squadron has logged 42,000 carrier landings.
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