The “Greyhawks” of Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120 achieved a significant milestone by achieving its 1,000th Aerial Refueling (AR) contact for the squadron, April 16.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft and crew were conducting an initial AR qualification flight off the East Coast of the United States training Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) Instructors in aerial refueling procedures.
Aerial refueling will nearly double the available on-station time and significantly increase the mission effectiveness, scope, and reach of the world’s most dominant Airborne Command & Control platform.
“This milestone marks a true transformation in our community and will extend the immense reach and influence of this platform,” said Capt. Matthew Duffy, Commander, Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing. “I am immensely proud of the men and women in uniform and our industry partners who have contributed to this overall effort.”
Increasing lethality for America’s Navy, the Aerial Refueling modified E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is another key component to the Carrier Air Wing of the future.
“As we look to start the transition of two fleet squadrons this year to AR-equipped Hawkeyes, the Carrier Air Wing will soon gain another measure of lethality,” said Duffy.
VAW-120, the Norfolk-based FRS for both the E-2 Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound, is part of Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing and is tasked with providing aerial refueling initial qualifications for the operational E-2D fleet. Currently, the squadron’s AR instructor pilot cadre are increasing proficiency and experience in preparation for training and transitioning the first fleet squadron later this spring.
In September 2019, the first aerial refueling capable E-2D Advanced Hawkeye landed at Naval Station Norfolk officially marking the arrival of this upgraded aircraft to the fleet. In 2020, the fleet will transition two operational fleet squadrons to aerial refueling capable E-2Ds.
VAW-120 is a Fleet Replacement Squadron attached to Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing. Its mission it to train naval aviators, naval flight officers, Navy aircrewmen, and qualified maintainers to safely and effectively operate E-2 and C-2 aircraft.