Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 "Black Lions", normally based at NAS Oceana (VA), visited NAS Fallon for a TOP GUN course during their work-ups for an upcoming deployment with Carrier Air Wing EIGHT on board of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). That deployment started in May 2011 and brought ship and wing to the Mediterrannean Sea and Persian Gulf in support of CENTCOM operations.
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 "Tomcatters" are the second oldest Navy Fighter Attack squadron operating today. The squadron is based at NAS Oceana (VA) and is using the call-sign "Felix" after the emblem and mascot, the famous cartoon character Felix the Cat, running with a large spherical bomb with a lighted fuse. The squadron became the last unit to fly F-14 Tomcats with the Pacific Fleet and saw the last F-14 flight occurring on 4 October 2006. VF-31 transitioned to F/A-18E Super Hornet and was redesignated VFA-31 in late 2006.
Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 "Shadowhawks", is an EA-18G Growler squadron of the United States Navy that is based at NAS Whidbey Island (WA). This 'double nuts' (modex five zero zero) is, according to fine US Navy traditions, painted in full colour.
This shot was taken shortly after completing a low level mission through the mountains of Scotland. Post flight checks are being carried out by the US Navy groundcrew, seen here wearing standard-issue fluorescent safety vests, replacing the more familiar green, brown and blue vests normally worn during carrier deck operations.
New refueling old... the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet refuels an S-3B Viking overhead the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) during operations in the Persian Gulf. The Super Hornet replaced the Viking in this role from 2007 onwards. In the near future, the refueling task will be transferred to the Boeing MQ-25 Stingray, an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that will deploy with a Carrier Air Wing. This relieves the Super Hornet a bit from their busy multi-role task.