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 Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8)


The task of Carrier Air Wing EIGHT (CVW-8) is to conduct offensive air operations against both land and sea targets, and provide for Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) defense and sustain air operations in support of other forces as directed. Embarked in USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), CVW-8 employs a mix of sophisticated aircraft capable of air warfare, strike warfare, antisubmarine warfare and electronic warfare. The air wing normally consists of ten squadrons. Fighter Squadrons FOURTEEN and FORTY-ONE (VF-14/VF-41) provide the world's most lethal air-to-air capability with the F-14A Tomcat. The strike/fighter role is fulfilled by Strike Fighter Squadrons FIFTEEN and EIGHTY-SEVEN (VFA-15/VFA-87) flying the F/A-18C Hornet. Airborne early warning and airborne command and control is the responsibility of Carrier Early Warning Squadron ONE TWENTY-FOUR (VAW-124) and the multi-mission E-2C Hawkeye. The complex, dynamic realm of antisubmarine warfare is the domain of Sea Control Squadron TWENTY-FOUR (VS-24) flying the S-3B Viking and Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron THREE (HS-3) flying the SH-60F/HH-60H Seahawk helicopter. Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron ONE HUNDRED FORTY-ONE (VAQ-141) flies the EA-6B Prowler, an aircraft specifically designed to enhance the Navy's capabilities and survivability in today's electronically-oriented combat environment.

 From 16 September to 05 October 2000 the aircraft of CVW-8 were deployed on the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). This was the TESTA II/III training for their work-up period, the first look at the USS ENTERPRISE, and their first chance to see their new "home" for the cruise in April of 2001. TESTA II/III involved the entire Air Wing Eight contingent of squadrons. VF-41 and VF-14 are the F-14 Tomcat squadrons, and VFA-15 and VFA-87 are the F-18 Hornet squadrons. VAW-124 is the E-2 squadron, and VS-24 is the S-3 Viking squadron. HS-3 supplies the SH-60 helicopters, the Shadowhawks of VAQ-141 the EA-6B, and VRC-40 supplied the C-2. This was the Air Wing’s first attempt to work together as an entire group, and the Air Wing’s first look at working together with the USS ENTERPRISE. TESTA II/III incorporated carrier qualifications for the Air Wing aircrew, cyclic operations for aircrew and ship’s company, and battle group integration with the ENTERPRISE. The January 2001 COMPTUEX A was another milestone in the Inter-Deployment Training Cycle [IDTC] and required the entire contingent of CVW-8 to embark Enterprise. The carrier left Norfolk, transited the eastern coast of Florida, and operated in the Gulf of Mexico. The Air Wing conducted simulated strikes into the Avon Park and Eglin range complexes, refined rescue operations and conducted various weapons exercises.

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Copyright 2001-07 by © Ellsworth L. Owens, Jr.  This site last updated on 05/29/07.  Permission required to re-publish any content of this site.