|Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve|
|Active||1 September 1973 - present|
|Country||23x15px United States of America|
|Branch||United States Navy Seal United States Navy|
|Part of||Tactical Support Wing|
|Garrison/HQ||Naval Air Station Oceana|
|Motto||Ready and Fully Integrated|
Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12) is a US Navy Reserve fighter squadron based at NAS Oceana, providing adversary training to East Coast air wings. VFC-12 reports to Commander Tactical Support Wing, a component of Commander, Naval Air Reserve Force (COMNAVAIRESFOR). The "Fighting Omars" represent NAS Oceana's only Naval Reserve squadron, and is manned by selected reservists, full-time reservists (FTS) and active duty personnel.
The squadron's radio callsign is "Ambush" and their tailcode is AF. Squadron aircraft no longer wear the unique adversary blue camouflage paint scheme which they have been known for but upgraded to the SU-35 Flanker Prototype 2 Arctic Splinter Camouflage in late 2012 when they transitioned back to the F/A-18 A+.
3 distinct squadrons have been designated VC-12. The third of these was redesignated VFC-12 and is the main subject of this article. Officially, the US Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons if a new squadron is formed with the same designation. Often, the new squadron will assume the nickname, insignia, and traditions of the earlier squadrons.
The first Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve was originally commissioned VC-12 on 6 October 1943 at NAS Sand Point, Seattle, Washington. The squadron operated the F4F "Wildcat" and TBM-1 "Avenger" aboard USS Card (CVE-11) in the western Pacific until the carrier changed homeport to Norfolk, Virginia in 1944. In the Atlantic theater, VC-12 flew combat missions against German U-boats, logging 34 engagements. On 7 June 1945, VC-12 was decommissioned.
On 1 September 1948, Carrier Air Early Warning Squadron Two, based at NAS Norfolk, was redesignated Fleet Composite Squadron Twelve. VC-12 operated TBM-3 "Avengers" from Atlantic Fleet carriers. During the Korean War, VC-12 saw combat while operating from USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31). The second VC-12 was decommissioned on 9 September 1953.
On 1 September 1973, at NAF Detroit, Michigan, the current squadron was commissioned as VC-12, the Navy's first Reserve Fleet Composite Squadron. The squadron employed the single seat A-4 Skyhawk and dual seat TA-4Js in providing multiple support services, including air intercept and dissimilar air combat maneuvering (ACM) training for Atlantic and Pacific fleet units.
In 1975, VC-12 moved to its current home at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia. In June 1988, VC-12 was redesignated Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12) to more accurately describe the squadron's mission of Dissimilar Air Combat Training.
In 1994 the unit transitioned to the A-B models of the F/A-18 Hornet. In 2004, the A's were upgraded to the A+, which included upgraded mission computers and weapons capabilities. In 2006, VFC-12 traded these F/A-18 A+ models (which had low arrested landing fatigue life) for F/A-18C's from VFA-87. Finally in 2012, VFC-12 traded jets again with VFA-87 so they are now flying the F/A-18 A+.
The squadron's primary focus is support to the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP), which trains operational fleet FA-18 squadrons. SFARP is an intense three week training exercise, conducted by the Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic, that allows fleet Strike Fighter aircrews to hone their war fighting skills against a creditable adversary prior to deploying. In addition to the SFARP program, VFC-12 supports the F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadrons at Oceana and with detachments to NAS Key West. The "Omars" often average more than 200 days a year on detachments.
VFC-12 was awarded the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1992 and 1998. VFC-12 was awarded the Noel Davis Trophy for squadron readiness for 1980, 1984, 1985, 1995 and 1998. In January 1989, the "Fighting Omars" received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for sustained superior performance from 1 April 1987 to 31 March 1988. In 1998, VFC-12 was awarded the Battle "E", Noel Davis award for recognition as the best squadron in category for Carrier Air Wing Twenty. Also in 1998, Commander Naval Air Reserve Force recognized VFC-12 with an Aviation Safety Citation for achieving another year of Class A mishap free flying.
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