The bros over at VFA-27 have just shared the teaser for their 2014 cruise video and it’s a damn good one! Attack Squadron 27 was commissioned on September 1, 1967 and began their story flying the A-7A Corsair II just three months later. The A-7 was dubbed the SLUF, or Short Little Ugly F*cker, by the men who flew her.
Just nine months after standing up, VA-27 deployed to Vietnam along with the rest of Air Wing 14 aboard the USS Constellation. The Maces would continue to operate variants of the A-7 until 1991, when they transitioned to the F/A-18A Hornet, which would also change their designation to Strike Fighter Squadron 27.
With the new aircraft, the decision was made to change their name to the Chargers based on their tactical callsign. In December of 1994, upon returning from their 16th WestPac cruise, the Chargers would begin receiving the more advanced F/A-18C Hornet and would start preparations for a permanent home port change to NAF Atsugi, Japan.
1996 brought a couple of changes for the squadron. First, they would complete the move to Japan, and next they would officially change their name back to the original Royal Maces. The Maces operated their C-model Hornets for a decade before they would begin their most recent aircraft type change. May 2004 ushered in the Super Hornet era for VFA-27 with the receipt of their first F/A-18E. The Maces recently upgraded their aircraft for newer model Super Hornets in 2013.
Here’s a chronology of significant events in the history of VFA-27 (source: MIYF27.com):
28 Jun 1968: The squadron flew its first combat sortie, striking targets in the panhandle region of North Vietnam.
4 Feb-7 Mar 1971: VA-27 embarked in Enterprise (CVAN 65), conducted training flights during the carrier’s transit around Cape Horn to her new home port in California.
Dec 1971: With the outbreak of war between India and Pakistan over East Pakistan (later Bangladesh), Enterprise departed Yankee Station and made a quick transit to the Indian Ocean to provide support for the evacuation of foreign civilians from East Pakistan.
Oct 1972: Participated in Linebacker I operations, heavy air strikes against targets in North Vietnam to interdict the flow of supplies in that country and into South Vietnam.
Dec 1972: Participated in linebacker II operations, an intensified version of Linebacker I operations.
Feb 1975: Enterprise, with CVW-14, provided disaster support for the island country of Mauritius following a tropical storm.
Apr 1975: Participated in operation Frequent Wind and provided air support for helicopters evacuating personnel from Saigon as it fell to the communists.
Feb 1977: During the crisis in Uganda and threats against Americans in that country, Enterprise operated off the coast of Kenya for possible support in the evacuation of Americans.
Dec 1979: Coral Sea (CV 43) operated off the coast of South Korea following the assassination of South Korea’s President Park Chung-Hee in late October.
Apr 1980: The squadron participated in the Iranian hostage rescue attempt by providing air cover for the forces directly involved in the rescue operation.
May 1980: Following civil unrest in South Korea, Coral Sea operated off the coast of that country.
Aug 1983: Due to the unsettled conditions in Central America, Coral Sea (CV 43) operated off the coast of Nicaragua.
Aug 1986: The squadron participated in the first carrier tactical flight operations in the Bering Sea since the end of World War II.
21 Jan 1991: The squadron transitions to the F/A-18A Hornet after 23 years of flying the A-7A/E Corsair II. Name changed to Chargers.
Jan 1996: VFA-27 Chargers TRANSPAC’ed to NAF Atsugi, Japan as one of only two forward deployed Hornet squadrons.
4 Jun 1996: VFA-27 redesignated the Royal Maces.
Jan 1998: VFA-27 Royal Maces began an emergency deployment to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
Jan 2001: Operation ENDURING FREEDOM flying missions against the Al Qaeda infrastructure and Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
Jan 2003: VFA-27 participates in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, flying hundreds of close air support and strike sorties against Iraqi forces.
Oct 2004: VFA-27 transitioned to the F/A-18E Super Hornet.
Aug 2008: VFA-27 transitioned from USS Kitty Hawk to USS George Washington.
Mar 2009: VFA-27 Royal Maces awarded their tenth CNO Safety “S” Award.
Feb 2013: VFA-27 Royal Maces TransPac to NAS Lemoore to take delivery of new Lot 34/35 F/A-18E Super Hornets.
(Video credit: LT Chris “Faddow” Nigus)