VFA-82

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Strike Fighter Squadron 82


caption= VFA-82 insignia
dates= 1 May 196730 September 2005
country= United States
allegiance=
branch= United States Navy
type= All Weather Attack
role=
size=
command_structure= Inactive
current_commander=
home base=
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
nickname= Waldos
patron=
motto=
march=
mascot=
battles=
aircraft_attack= A-7 Corsair II F/A-18 Hornet
aircraft_fighter=
anniversaries=

VFA-82 "Marauders" was a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron formerly based at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, established in 1967 and deactivated in 2005.

History

VFA-82's history dates back to 1 May 1967, when Attack Squadron 82 (VA-82) was established as a light attack squadron flying the Vought A-7A "Corsair II".

The "Marauders" made their first deployment aboard USS "America" during her maiden cruise to North Vietnam in April 1968. They returned to Southeast Asia in September 1969 aboard the USS "Coral Sea". After transitioning to the A-7E in August 1970, the Marauders made a final North Vietnam deployment aboard the USS "America" in July 1971. On that deployment, VA-82 played a role in the attack that destroyed the Thanh Hoa Bridge, a vital link in the North Vietnamese Army supply lines and a target that seemed indestructible during the Vietnam War.

The squadron made several deployments to the Mediterranean during the 1970s, and while doing so received many of the Navy’s most prestigious awards. In 1975 the "Marauders" deployed aboard the USS "Nimitz" on her maiden cruise. The squadron completed its last cruise with the A-7E Corsair II in June 1987. On July 13, 1987, VA-82 was redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron 82 (VFA-82). With the delivery of the first aircraft in November 1987, VFA-82 became the first F/A-18C squadron.

In 1990, VFA-82 escorted the USS "Constellation" around the horn of South America on its way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for modernization. December 1990 found VFA-82 once again aboard the USS "America," participating in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The "Marauders" flew 597 combat sorties, 1308.9 combat hours and delivered over 1.2 million pounds of ordnance over Iraq.

In December 1992, the "Marauders" returned to the USS "America" for a six-month deployment during which VFA-82 participated in Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, Operation Deny Flight and Operation Sharp Guard in Bosnia and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.

From August 1995 to February 1996, the "Marauders" joined the USS "America" for her last cruise. From October 1997 through April 1998, the squadron deployed on board the USS "George Washington" to the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch.

During 1998 the "Marauders" operated from the decks of three different U.S. aircraft carriers and visited seven different countries.

In August 1999, the "Marauders" bid farewell to NAS Cecil Field and relocated to NAS Jacksonville for the two months prior to deployment. In September 1999, the "Marauders" deployed on board the USS "John F. Kennedy" in support of Operation Southern Watch.

Upon completion of the six-month deployment on board "Big John," the "Marauders" relocated to their new home, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina in March of 2000.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the "Marauders" deployed on September 18, steaming for the Arabian Sea and Afghanistan. During four months of combat operations, VFA-82 delivered over 440,000 pounds of ordnance and totaled over 3000 hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The "Marauders" returned to Beaufort on March 28, 2002. The squadron had logged an unprecedented 159 days continuously deployed, the majority of which were combat operations.

During the latter half of 2002, the squadron trained against F-16 Falcons in Burlington, Vermont, and at one point were detached to Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico; NAS Fallon; and NAS Key West. During the NAS Key West detachment, "Marauders" pilots had the opportunity to fly against German MiG-29s.

VFA-82 was disestablished effective 30 September 2005 in accordance with a directive issued on July 5, 2005.

External links

* [http://www02.clf.navy.mil/vfa82/ VFA-82 Marauders Website]
*http://dodssp.daps.mil/Directives/notices/3111_135.pdf - directive disestablishing VFA-82


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