Military Aviation

VFA-11 Red Rippers make a US Navy first by having their CO F/A-18 Super Hornet (normally a ‘101’ MODEX) permitted to carry the two-digit MODEX of ‘11’

VFA-11 Red Rippers have made a US Navy first by having their CO F/A-18F Super Hornet jet (normally a ‘101’ MODEX) permitted to carry the two-digit MODEX of ‘11’ – for obvious reasons!

Here’s something very different…

As noted by Mike Crutch, the author of the book CVW: US Navy Carrier Air Wing Aircraft 1975-2015, US Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 11 (VFA-11) Red Rippers have made a US Navy first by having their CO F/A-18F Super Hornet jet (normally a ‘101’ MODEX) permitted to carry the two-digit MODEX of ‘11’ – for obvious reasons!

Although US Marine Corps A/C-model Hornet jets typically fly with two-digit code, they of course amended these to three digits when assigned to a carrier air wing.

The Red Rippers report operationally to Commander, Carrier Air Wing ONE and administratively to Commander, Strike Fighter Wing, Atlantic. The Squadron flies the two seat variant of the Navy’s newest strike fighter aircraft the F/A-18F Super Hornet. The F/A-18F model was designed for traditional air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, forward air control (airborne), air defense suppression and day/night precision strike, the F/A-18F at the same time increases strike mission survivability and supplements the fleet air defense.

The Red Rippers deploy on board the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) as part of Carrier Air Wing One.

As coronavirus (COVID-19) crippled international travel and commerce in the spring of 2020, Harry S. Truman was the only COVID-free carrier available for tasking, having been underway since the pandemic began. It remained off the East Coast of the United States for another two months before returning to Norfolk and heading into the first-ever Extended Carrier Incremental Availability (ECIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyards. USS Harry S. Truman completed its ECIA in May 2021.

No other weapons system has the responsiveness, endurance, multi-dimensional might, inherent battlespace awareness, or command and control capabilities of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing.

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F/A-18F Super Hornet VFA-11 Red Rippers, AB101 / 166634 / 2015

Photo credit: US Navy

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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