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Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 52 (VR-52)

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 52 was commissioned in June 1972 at Naval Air Station Willow Grove PA. It operates four C-9B aircraft with 48 Officers and 250 Enlisted personnel. The squadron is under the operational and administrative control of Commander, Fleet Logistic Support Wing, and is a prime example of the "One Navy" concept, where a Reserve Force Squadron is fully integrated into daily fleet and reserve operations. Long at the forefront of Fleet Logistics Support Wing, VR-52 has a proud history of achievement and recognition. Awards include the 1991 CNO Safety Award, the 1992 Noel Davis Award (Battle "E"), and the 1992 Congressman Bill Chappell Award, given annually to the squadron most demonstrating excellence in air logistics support. VR-52 was awarded the 1993 James M. Holcombe Award, recognizing the best maintenance department in the Wing. In January 1994, the squadron was presented the Navy Unit Commendation for support of the Sixth Fleet during Operations Desert Shield/Storm and Provide Comfort. VR-52 received the 1997 COMFLELOGSUPPWING Training Excellence Award and, most recently, the 1998 Congressman Bill Chappell Award .

The C9-B is similar to the civilian DC9-30. VR-52 has 4 C9 aircraft, 2 configured as C9-B's and 2 as the slightly larger C9-D's. None of the 4 were originally designed for the Navy. The B models were DC9-30's and the D models were DC9-33's. All 4 were retrofitted with INS and Omega navigational equipment, long range fuel tanks, and side loading cargo doors. State of the art electronic and navigational upgrades are expected in the near future. The engines are Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A's rated at 14,500 pounds of thrust each. Maximum takeoff weight for the B model is 110,000 pounds and 114,000 for the D's. Cruising altitude can be as high as 37,000 ft.

Unlike their civilian counterparts, Navy C9's have worldwide capability thanks to the self contained navigational equipment and almost 2500 nautical mile range. Typically VR-52 has 1 or 2 aircraft stationed either in Atsugi, Japan or Sigonella, Italy supporting Navy operations in the Pacific and Mediterranean theaters. There is no such thing as an average mission. One day the Pacific crew may be picking up VIP's in Hong Kong at the same time that a crew back in the States is carrying part of an Airwing out to the Strike Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada. The Mediterranean crew might be taking a SEAL team to the south of Greece. The aircraft can even be configured as a hollow tube carrying nothing but cargo or mail.

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