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Fighter Squadron Composite 13 (VFC-13)
Fighting Saints

The "Fighting Saints" of VFC-13 can trace their origins back to 1946, when VF-753 was commissioned flying F6F-5 "Hellcats." Today's squadron was formed on Sept. 1, 1973, at NAS New Orleans during the reorganization of the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Initially, the squadron operated the Chance Vought F-8H "Crusader" with a complement of 17 officers and 127 enlisted men, former members of VSF-76 and VSF-86. In April 1974, the "Saints" made the transition to the single-seat A-4L "Skyhawk."

As the demand for west coast adversary services and other fleet support missions increased, the squadron was permanently transferred to NAS Miramar, arriving there in February 1976. That summer, a transition was made from the A-4L to the more reliable two-seat TA-4J. The year 1983 marked the return of the single seat aircraft to VFC-13 and the arrival of the A-4E.

October 1993 marked the end of an era when VFC-13 made the transition to the single-seat, two engine F/A-18 "Hornet." This change further enhanced the squadron's ability to perform its adversary mission by providing an even more capable and realistic threat aircraft. In April 1996, the command relocated to NAS Fallon and made the transition to the F-5E/F Tiger II, supported by McDonnell Douglas contract maintenance. In the Summer of 1997 VFC-13 provided adversary support to CVW-1 at NAS Fallon and accumulated over 780 flight hours and 720 sorties in fleet support from January through March. April through June 1997, VFC-13 supported CVW-9, VFA-131, VFA-136, VFA-125, and VFA-106.

The "Fighting Saints" provide a formidable dissimilar adversary threat. In recognition of that primary mission assignment, VC-13 was proudly redesignated as Fighter Squadron Composite Thirteen (VFC-13) April 22, 1988.

VFC-13 provides adversary training for regular Navy fleet and replacement squadrons and air wings, reserve fighter and attack squadrons, USAF and USMC units, and Canadian forces. The Fighting Saints have received two consecutive CNO Safety Awards, the Golden Wrench Maintenance Award and in 1994, a Battle "E" award.

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 127, the Navy's last active-duty adversary squadron at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, NV, was disestablished on 23 March 1996. The adversary role performed by the "Desert Bogeys" at NAS Fallon since 1987 was assumed by the "Fighting Saints" of Fighter Squadron Composite 13. While VFA-127 flew both F-5s and F/A-18s in the adversary role, VFC-13 only flies F-5s. Most of the Hornets from VFA-127 were transferred to the reserve force. VFA-127's history goes back to July 24, 1961, when an advance party of one officer and 17 enlisted men arrived at the newly commissioned Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA, as the nucleus of a Jet Instrument Training Unit. Designated as Detachment ALPHA -- the first unit to conduct scheduled flying from the jet air station -- its primary mission was all-weather jet instrument training for fleet replacement pilots and fleet squadron pilots of the Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet. The detachment was redesignated Attack Squadron (VA) 127 on June 15, 1962. It was again redesignated VFA-127 on March 1, 1987, in keeping with its new role as the Pacific Fleet adversary squadron responsible for training naval strike fighter pilots in air-to-air combat. In October 1987, the squadron moved to NAS Fallon, making VFA-127 the only Navy squadron permanently based in Nevada.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:04:01 ZULU