Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 2, 2017

VAW-115 Bids Farewell to 44 Years of Service in Japan

By H. Sam Samuelson Naval Air Facility Atsugi Public Affairs

ATSUGI, Japan -- The last E-2C Hawkeyes from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115 "Liberty Bells" departed Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Japan June 1st, marking the end of a 44-year storied legacy of service and achievements for one of the Navy's longest-serving forward deployed squadrons in the U.S. Navy.

Boasting a distinguished history accumulating more than 24 consecutive years and 50,000 hours of Class-A mishap-free hours, the Liberty Bells of VAW-115 are returning to the United States after turning over operational responsibilities to VAW-125 and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.

The transition of VAW-115 and VAW-125 is part of the Navy's strategic vision to place its most advanced aircraft to the Asia-Pacific region. VAW-115 and its 140 personnel will continue to support Navy carrier strike group operations while based at Naval Base Ventura, California.

"VAW-115's Sailors, aircrew, and our families are all extremely grateful for the hospitality that we received from the people of Japan during our time at Atsugi, and for our outstanding partnership with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force," said VAW-115's executive officer Cmdr. Christopher Hulitt.

The VAW-115 "Liberty Bells" first arrived in japan in 1973. Since then, the Liberty Bells have played an integral role during numerous international events. From the late 1970s throughout the 1980s, VAW-115 made 11 deployments to the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea. VAW-115 deployed to the Persian Gulf in October 1990 as part of Operation Desert Shield and transitioned to Desert Storm, flying 179 combat sorties. VAW-115 returned to the Persian Gulf again in 2003 and flew over 350 hours in support of initial major combat operations Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In November 2013, VAW-115 flew more than 80 hours in support of Operation Damayan, the multi-national response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Despite all their operational accomplishments, VAW-115 is most proud of the strong bonds they built in Japan, Hulitt said.

"I want to emphasize that one of our biggest accomplishments is the positive relationships we have developed with the Japanese people and our brothers and sisters in arms of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces," he said. "It is tough to say 'Sayonara,' but we know that the VAW-125 'Tigertails' will continue to forge these bonds as a part of the U.S.-Japan strategic alliance."
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
328,401
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Carrier Air Wing 9 Returns from Indo-Pacific Deployment
E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes assigned to the
Aug. 10, 2022 - SAN DIEGO -- Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, embarked aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), returned from a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations, Aug. 9.VW-9 is the...

Responders to Hold Search and Rescue Exercise off Tumon Bay
The USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) departs Apra Harbor, Guam, on Aug. 5, 2022, for a patrol. The Hatch is a 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutter that calls Guam its home port.
Aug. 10, 2022 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- The U.S. Coast Guard, Guam Fire Rescue, Guam Police, and the U.S. Navy will conduct a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) in Guam, Aug. 10 – 11.This year’s SAREX will entail a coordinated response to an...

Rangers Reunite Across the World During Super Garuda Shield
Maj. Arief Widyanto, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) poses for a photo after reuniting with his former Ranger Instructor, 1st Sgt. Dan Alexander during Super Garuda Shield in Bataraja, Indonesia on Aug. 3, 2022. Super Garuda Shield, a part of Operation Pathways and a longstanding annual, bilateral military exercise conducted between the U.S. military and Indonesia National Armed Forces, reinforces the U.S. commitments to our allies, and regional partners, joint readiness, and the interoperability to fight and win together.
Aug. 10, 2022 - BATURAJA, INDONESIA -- Among the hundreds of people present during the joint airborne operations in support of Super Garuda Airborne on Aug. 3, 2022, 1st Sergeant Dan Alexander, First Sergeant, A Company., 2-35 Infantry...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Brunei
Courtesy photo
Aug. 9, 2022 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on an overseas trip Aug. 7⁠–⁠9, 2022, where he met with His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, The Sultan of Brunei...

F-22 Raptor Soars with other Aviators during 25th Anniversary
Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 3rd Wing fly over Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, during Polar Force 22-4, March 30, 2022. This is the first Polar Force to be led by the 3rd Wing, with the primary focus on developing Agile Combat Employment and the U.S. Pacific Air Forces’ ability to fight in a contested, anti-access area denial environment. Operationalizing readiness-enhancing concepts like ACE is critical to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Aug. 9, 2022 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) has been giving the United States Air Force and its allies extensive simulated combat training for decades, and this year is no different.This year marks the...