Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 22 (VR-22) was established on 15 October 1984 at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The Medriders were formed as a separate squadron with personnel and four C-130F Hercules transport aircraft from VR-24 Detachment Rota.
VR-22's primary mission was to carry out medium-lift logistics flights in support of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Its roles included parachutist and cargo dropping, as well as medical evacuation. In 1985, the squadron acquired two KC-130F tankers from the Marine Corps.
The Medriders routinely supported the Sixth Fleet in NATO exercises but frequently responded to international crises in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. VR-22 supported the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon in 1984 and the Sixth Fleet retaliatory strikes against Libya in 1986.
May 1990 marked the beginning of an exceptionally intensive period for VR-22, when the Medriders delivered humanitarian aid to flood-ravaged Tunisia and began support of the evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, flying 200 sorties through February 1991.