An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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
X
363,414
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
1st Marine Division Deploys to Philippines for Marine Exercise 2024
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - Marines from the Philippine Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps will conduct the second iteration of the Philippine Marine Exercise from April 8-19, 2024, at Camp Iranun, Mindanao, Philippines...

PACAF team unveils innovative resilient energy source to enhance Agile Combat Employment
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - A dynamic team of Air Force personnel stationed in the Indo-Pacific region unveiled an innovative solution known as Rays to Jet Power at the Logistics Officer Association symposium in St. Louis, Missouri, March 27...

Joint Press Statement for the 24th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of National Defense (MND) held the 24th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) on April 11, 2024 in Washington...

USINDOPACOM Commander Travels to the Republic of Korea
Courtesy Image
April 11, 2024 - SEOUL, Republic of Korea  –  Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited the Republic of Korea from April 10-11, 2024, where he engaged with senior government and military leaders to further develop...

Readout of Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner's Meeting with Australian Deputy Secretary of Defence for Strategy, Policy, and Industry Hugh Jeffrey
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 10, 2024 - Department of Defense Spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Meiners provided the following readout...