Last U.S. Navy F/A-18C Legacy Hornet squadron returns to NAS Oceana after historic deployment

U.S. Navy plans Sunset Ceremony for operational F/A-18C Legacy Hornet on Feb. 1

By Dario Leone
Jan 24 2019
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VFA-34 ‘Blueblasters’ is the last combat unit within the service to operate the Legacy Hornet

The U.S. Navy is planning to fly an operational F/A-18C for the last time on Feb. 1 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana.

Strike Fighter Squadron 34 (VFA-34) ‘Blueblasters’ is the last combat unit within the service to operate the Legacy Hornet.

As we have already reported VFA-34 returned to NAS Oceana on Apr. 11, 2018 from their final deployment flying the F/A-18C Legacy Hornet. They’ll be the last U.S. Navy squadron to transition to the F/A-18E Super Hornet.

The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet is the U.S. first strike-fighter. It was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities.

U.S. Navy plans Sunset Ceremony for operational F/A-18C Legacy Hornet on Feb. 1
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F/A-18C Hornet VFA-34 Blue Blasters, NE400 / 165403 / 2017

The F/A-18 demonstrated its capabilities and versatility during Operation Desert Storm, shooting down enemy fighters and subsequently bombing enemy targets with the same aircraft on the same mission, and breaking all records for tactical aircraft in availability, reliability, and maintainability.

Hornets taking direct hits from surface-to-air missiles, recovering successfully, being repaired quickly, and flying again the next day proved the aircraft’s survivability.

The F/A-18C and D models are the result of a block upgrade in 1987 incorporating provisions for employing updated missiles and jamming devices against enemy ordnance. C and D models delivered since 1989 also include an improved night attack capability.

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron proudly flies the F/A-18 Legacy Hornet. The Hornet comprises the aviation strike force for seven foreign customers including Canada, Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.

U.S. Navy plans Sunset Ceremony for operational F/A-18C Legacy Hornet on Feb. 1
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano / U.S. Navy

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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