VAW-115 Squadron History

VAW-115 Liberty Bells

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VAW-115 Liberty Bells Squadron History
From the 1982-83 Cruise Book

Carrier Airborne early warning squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN (VAW-115) was commissioned on 20 April 1967. During its assignment to Carrier Air Wing Two, VAW-115 completed three deployments to WESTPAC aboard USS Ranger (CV-61). The squadron transitioned to the E-2B in 1970 and joined Carrier Air Wing Five aboard the USS Midway (CV-41). In April 1973, VAW-115 commenced preparations for a change of homeport from Alameda, California to Yokosuka, Japan, and on 11 September 1973, embarked in Midway, departed California to become the only carrier with Air Wing to homeport outside of the continental United States.

For the competitive cycle of January 1973 through June 1974, VAW-115 was awarded the coveted COMNAVAIRPAC Battle Efficiency "E" as the finest E-2B Squadron in the Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet. In October of 1975, Midway/VAW-115 was shown again honored again by the receipt of the CNO Safety "S" award. Additionally, in March of 19767, "Liberty" received their second consecutive Battle "E" for the 1974-75 cycle. 1976 was a year to remember as VAW-115 swept the awards field by receiving, in addition, the AEW Excellence Award for the best VAW squadron in the Navy.

1977 ushered in the fifth consecutive year of accident-free flight operations which earned the squadron its second consecutive CNO Safety Award. Operationally, VAW-115 participated in MIDLINK 77, an operation in the Persian Gulf involving Iranian, Pakistani, Turkish, and Royal Navy Forces.

With only two days notice, VAW-115 began its third Indian Ocean deployment in April 1979. The achievements during the three month cruise resulted in the Navy Unit Commendation as well as the Navy Expeditionary Medal. September was the start of the squadron's fourth IO deployment. As a result of the Iranian seizure of the American Embassy and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the cruise was extended into February of 1980, VAW-115 /USS Midway spending 92 consecutive days at sea. The squadron was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal and Meritorious Unit Citation. The unprecedented fifth and sixth IO deployments from August through November 1980 and February through June 1981, yielded two more Navy Expeditionary Medals.

[BUTTON: back] Complete list of at-sea periods from June 1981 through April 1991

Carrier Airborne early warning squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN flew off the Midway on 24 March 1986 back to CONUS while the Midway went through modifications to allow the F/A-18 Hornet to operate from her. In October the squadron TRANSPAC'd back with the rest of CVW-5 to NAF Atsugi and the newly refurbished Midway.

Liberty's first cruise after returning to the Midway occurred on 9 January 1987, a three month WESTPAC. After two IO cruises and one other WESTPAC VAW-115 flew combat sorties during Desert Storm from 10 October 1990 to 17 April 1991. In August 1991 the Midway left Yokosuka, Japan for the last time to be decommissioned. Between August 22-27 CVW-5 transferred from the Midway to the USS Independence at Pearl Harbor in what is known as "The Great Carrier Air Wing SwapEx".

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