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Carrier Air Wing One


Carrier Air Wing One

Carrier Air Wing One

CVW-1 Insignia
Active 1 July 1938 - Present
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy
Type Carrier Air Wing
Part of Naval Air Forces Atlantic
Garrison/HQ NAS Oceana
Tail Code AB
Engagements World War II
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Shield
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation (2)

Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) is a United States Navy aircraft carrier air wing based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, with most of its various squadrons also home based at NAS Oceana. Additional squadrons are based at Naval Station Norfolk/Chambers Field, Virginia; Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina; Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington; and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. With the decommissioning of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) on 1 December 2012, Carrier Air Wing One will be re-assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), in 2013.


To conduct carrier air warfare operations and assist in the planning, control, coordination and integration of seven air wing squadrons in support of carrier air warfare including; Interception and destruction of enemy aircraft and missiles in all-weather conditions to establish and maintain local air superiority. All-weather offensive air-to-surface attacks, Detection, localization, and destruction of enemy ships and submarines to establish and maintain local sea control. Aerial photographic, sighting, and electronic intelligence for naval and joint operations. Airborne early warning service to fleet forces and shore warning nets. Airborne electronic countermeasures. In-flight refueling operations to extend the range and the endurance of air wing aircraft and Search and rescue operations.

Subordinate units

CVW-1 consists of 8 Squadrons[1]

Code Insignia Squadron Nickname Assigned Aircraft
VFA-11 40px Strike Fighter Squadron 11 Red Rippers F/A-18F Super Hornet
VFA-136 40px Strike Fighter Squadron 136 Knighthawks F/A-18E Super Hornet
VFA-211 40px Strike Fighter Squadron 211 Fighting Checkmates F/A-18F Super Hornet
VMFA-251 Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 Thunderbolts F/A-18C Hornet
VAW-123 40px Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 Screwtops E-2C Hawkeye
VAQ-137 40px Electronic Attack Squadron 137 Rooks EA-18G Growler
VRC-40 40px Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 Det. 2 Rawhides C-2A Greyhound
HS-11 Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 11 Dragon Slayers SH-60F Seahawk


Carrier Air Wing One has been in commission longer than any other Navy carrier air wing. Since commissioning on 1 July 1938, CVW-1 has served aboard twenty different aircraft carriers, made 42 major deployments, and had a majority of the East Coast squadrons as members of the Navy’s "First and Foremost." CVW-1 was originally the "Ranger Air Group", serving aboard USS Ranger during the early years of carrier aviation. The air wing also operated aboard all three carriers in commission at that time - USS Langley, USS Lexington, and USS Saratoga.[2]

World War II

After the commencement of World War II, and until 1943, The air wing participated in the North African Campaign and operated in all parts of the Atlantic and Pacific. The air wing saw action against Japan from the Philippines to Tokyo, earning two Presidential Unit Citations in addition to having nurtured many Naval Aviation heroes.[2]

Suez Crisis & Vietnam

From 1946 and 1957, Air Wing ONE served aboard nine different carriers, including the first "Super Carrier", USS Forrestal, during the 1956-57 Suez Crisis. Between June 1966 and February 1967, CVW-1 conducted combat operations off the coast of Vietnam aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1975 onboard USS John F. Kennedy, CVW-1 introduced the Navy’s newest tactical aircraft, the F-14A Tomcat and the S-3A Viking, to the Mediterranean.[2]


CVW-1 was assigned to USS America in mid-1982, forming a partnership which ended with the ship’s decommissioning in August 1996. During that time, the USS America/CVW-1 team conducted combat operations during the attack on Libya in 1986.[2]

Gulf War

The USS America/CVW-1 team was the only carrier battle group to launch strikes in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from both the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.[2]

With America’s decommissioning in August 1996, the air wing joined the USS George Washington battle group. CVW-1 and USS George Washington returned on 3 April 1998 from their first deployment in their 2-year association.[2]

Following their deployment with USS George Washington, CVW-1 returned to USS John F. Kennedy after a 24-year absence, and then deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf.[2]

21st Century

2006 deployment

During its 2006 deployment, Carrier Air Wing One delivered 65,000 pounds (29,483.50 kilograms) of ordnance, including 137 precision weapons, to provide air support of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Its aircraft completed more than 8,300 sorties, of which 2,186 were combat missions, while flying more than 22,500 hours and making 6,916-day and night arrested landings. Carrier Air Wing One provided the first combat air support to Operation Enduring Freedom from an aircraft carrier in more than three years which also included Operation Medusa and Operation Mountain Fury.[3][3][4] Carrier Strike Group Twelve also conducted a two-month deployment with the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific which included training exercises with Carrier Strike Group Five.[5] This was the first time that an East Coast-based carrier air wing had operated in the western Pacific in 18 years.[4] Finally, during its 2006 deployment, Carrier Air Wing One was the first U.S. Navy carrier air wing to use the Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS), a new computer system replacing the legacy mission planning computer system, Tactical Automated Mission Planning System (TAMPS).[6]

2007 deployment

During its 2007 deployment to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing One flew more than 7,500 missions, which included 1,676 combat missions, and made more than 6,500 arrested landings for a total of 20,300 hours. Aircraft dropped 73 air-to-ground weapons and fired 4,149 rounds of 20-mm ammunition in support of ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.[7][8] Also during this deployment, Carrier Air Wing One was the second U.S. Navy carrier air wing to deploy with the new ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) targeting system for its embarked F/A-18 strike fighters. This new system allows its pilots to use their weapon systems at higher altitude with greater accuracy and enhanced safety.[9] Finally, the 2007 deployment marked the final cruise for squadron VS-32 and its S-3 Viking aircraft.[10]

2011 deployment

During its 2011 deployment, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing Obe flew more than 1,450 sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn in Iraq.[11]

2012 deployment

With the decommissioning of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) on 1 December 2012, Carrier Air Wing One will be re-assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) that is undergoing its mid-life Refueling and Complex Overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding with an expected return to the Fleet in February 2013.[12][13]

Current force

Fixed-wing aircraft

Rotary wing aircraft

See also


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