Lest We Forget

By Lieutenant Commander Richard B. Burgess, U.S. Navy (Retired)

VRC-50's operations expanded in the 1980s with the routine deployment of carriers into the Indian Ocean. The squadron operated five US-3A Viking COD aircraft, enabling the detachment at Diego Garcia to reach the North Arabian Sea. The long-range US-3As increased the flexibility of COD operations. During the mid-1980s, VRC-50 also operated a C-2A equipped with an aerial refueling probe to support carrier operations in the Indian Ocean. The C-1As had been retired by 1982.

VRC-50 supported carrier operations during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-91, with a US-3A detachment at Diego Garcia and COD detachments at Bahrain and United Arab Emirates; C-130Fs hauled cargo from Cubi Point to the war zone.

With Cubi Point's closure, VRC-50 moved to Andersen AFB in Guam by 1991, maintaining a C-2A detachment at Atsugi. Soon after, the Navy decided to deploy two C-2As with each deploying carrier rather than maintain forward-deployed COD squadrons. In 1994, the Foo Dogs retired their US-3As and transferred their C-2As to other squadrons. VRC-50 was disestablished at Andersen AFB, Guam, on 7 October 1994.



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