Strike Fighter Squadron [VFA-11]
Fighter Squadron ELEVEN [VF-11]
VFA-11, the Red Rippers, is based at NAS Oceana in Virginia. The Red Rippers were redesignated VFA-11, from VF-11, in 2005. This redesignation was to reflect VFA-11's transition training to the F-18E/F Super Hornet. They had been previously flying the F-14 Tomcat.
VF-11 was established as VF-43 on 1 September 1950, and redesignated VF-11 on 16 February 1959. VF-11 adopted the insignia used by the previous VF-11 which had been disestablished on 15 February 1959. The new VF-11 (redesignated from VF-43 on 16 Feb 1959) carried on the insignia and traditions of the old Red Ripper squadron but its lineage and history do not date back to the old VF-11.
The Rippers flew the Chance-Vought F-8 Crusader while onboard USS Roosevelt in 1961. Fours years later, the Rippers flew the F-4B Phantom II after they moved to Naval Air Station Oceana. VF-11 was embarked on USS Forrestal as it was deployed to Vietnam in 1967.
VF-11 transitioned to the F-14A tomcat in 1980 and their first deployment after that was onboard USS John F. Kennedy in 1982. The Ripper's final deployment with Carrier Air Wing Six occurred in 1991 when they were embarked on USS Forrestal as it provided support for Operation Provide Comfort. In July of 1992, VF-11 joined Carrier Air Wing Fourteen and began turn-around training on the F-14D at Naval Air Station Miramar.
In February 1994, the Rippers were embarked on USS Carl Vinson in support of Operation Southern Watch. In 1996, VF-11 completed a second cruise onboard USS Carl Vinson as it supported combat missions during Operation Desert Strike. In December of 1996, VF-11 moved to Naval Air Station Oceana, joined Carrier Air Wing Seven, and transitioned to the F-14B. After the transition, the Rippers were deployed onboard USS John C. Stennis in its support of Operation Southern Watch.
VF-11 was embarked on USS John F. Kennedy as it provided support to operations in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. It was during that deployment that VF-11 became the first squadron to drop the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) from an F-14 in combat. In 2004, the Rippers were embarked on USS George Washington to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.
On March 1, 2005, VF-11 was redesignated VFA-11 to reflect its transition training to the F/A-18F Super Hornet. On April 6, 2006, the Red Rippers joined, along with the rest of CVW 17, the George Washington Carrier Strike Group. They are participating in the "Partnership of the Americas" deployment which is designed to enhance regional security and strengthen ties through operations and exercises with Caribbean and Latin American nations.
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