Even if Fighter Composite Squadron (VFC) 13 “Fighting Saints” origins can be traced back to 1946, when VF-753 was commissioned flying F6F-5 Hellcats, today’s squadron was born on Sept. 1, 1973, at Naval Air Station (NAS) New Orleans during the reorganization of the U.S. Naval Reserve.
The unit was initially equipped with the Chance Vought F-8H Crusader which traded in Apr. 1974 for the single-seat A-4L Skyhawk.
The Saints were permanently transferred to NAS Miramar in Feb. 1976 because of the increased demand for west coast adversary services and other fleet support missions. That summer the squadron transitioned to the more reliable two-seat TA-4J.
However VFC-13 returned to single seat aircraft in 1983 with the arrival of the A-4E.
In Oct. 1993 VFC-13 made the transition to the single-seat, two engine F/A-18 Hornet which enhanced the squadron’s ability to perform its adversary mission by providing an even more capable and realistic threat aircraft.
Then VFC-13 transferred to NAS Fallon in Apr. 1996 where made the transition to its current aircraft, the F-5 Tiger II, of which the unit flies both single and twin seat versions: in fact the F-5E/N is the single seat model of the Tiger II that provides simulated air-to-air combat training, while the F-5F is the dual-seat version, commonly used for training and adversary combat tactics.
As it can be seen in the pictures of this post to better represent the enemy aircraft that are called to represent in Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) sessions, the Fighting Saints’ Tiger IIs are all painted in a variety of colorful paint schemes of blue, gray, brown and even black camouflage (with the latter very similar to that worn by the “MiG-28s” in the iconic Top Gun movie).
Thanks to this unique mix of aircraft, VFC-13 provides the highest quality adversary training for regular Navy fleet and replacement squadrons and air wings, reserve fighter and attack squadrons, U.S.A.F. and U.S.M.C. units.
Source: U.S. Navy
Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph R. Vincent / U.S. Navy
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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