The cruise video chronicling the 2015-2016 deployment of Strike Fighter Squadron One One Five (VFA-115) Eagles is full of HD flight imagery and typical squadron hijinks and is set to music that helps tell the tale. Their slogan isn’t Best Attack in WESTPAC for nothing. The Eagles made the news during July of 2017 for logging their 100,000th flight hour without a Class A mishap (a crash to you landlubbers and Air Force types). The event happened after their deployment highlighted in the video but that’s a serious achievement for a carrier-based Navy squadron. Thanks to YouTuber boostadikt4 for uploading and sharing this video.
The Eagles fly the single-seat Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet. During this particular cruise they were deployed as part of Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) along with VFA-27 Royal Maces and VFA-195 Dambusters also flying F/A-18Es and VFA-102 Diamondbacks flying the two-seater F model Super Hornet. Handling airborne warning and control was VAW-125 Tiger Tails flying the Grumman E-2D Hawkeye. Electronic attack was the specialty of VAQ-141 Shadowhawks flying the Boeing EF-18G Growler. HSC-12 Golden Falcons and HSM-77 Saberhawks handled the utilitarian tasks of carrier-borne helo squadrons using Sikorsky MH-60S and MH-60R Seahawks respectively. CVW-5 and Reagan were replenished by Detachment 5 of VRC-30 Providers flying the venerable C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft.
VFA-115 can trace their lineage back to just before World War II began when they were designated as a torpedo squadron (VT-11). Their first combat was during the battle for Guadalcanal. It was only after the war was won that the unit became Attack Squadron 115. They flew AD Skyraiders over Korea and were known as the Arabs when they flew A-1 Skyraiders over Vietnam. When Grumman’s new A-6A Intruder began breaking things in Vietnam the Arabs flew them. When the squadron transitioned to the A-6E Intruder they became the Eagles and kept right on flying those A-6Es until 1996. At that point the Eagles transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet for about a year, after which they became the first Navy squadron to fly the latest-generation Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet.