Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116 (CARAEWRON 116)

VAW-116 ‘Sun Kings’

 

vaw-116 sun kings insignia patch crest badge carrier airborne early warning squadron us navy e-2 hawkeye

vaw-116 sun kings carrier airborne early warning squadron caraewron grumman e-2c hawkeye he2k 2000 nas point mugu california

 

STATUS:

VAW-116 established on April 20, 1967

    

Homebase: NAS Point Mugu, California

Carrier Air Wing: CVW-17

Aircraft Carrier: USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

ACTIVE UNIT

AIRCRAFT:

Grumman E-2A Hawkeye (1967-70)

Grumman E-2B Hawkeye (1970-79)

Grumman E-2C Hawkeye (1979-2003)

Grumman E-2C HE2K Hawkeye 2000 (2004- )

 

 

DEPLOYMENTS:

July 26, 1967 - April 8, 1968 with CVW-15 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA 43)

September 7, 1968 - April 18, 1969 with CVW-15 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA 43)

September 23, 1969 - July 1, 1970 with CVW-15 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA 43)

October 1, 1971 - July 1, 1972 with CVW-9 aboard USS Constellation (CVA 64)

January 5, 1973 - October 11, 1973 with CVW-9 aboard USS Constellation (CVA 64)

June 21, 1974 - December 23, 1974 with CVW-9 aboard USS Constellation (CVA 64)

July 16, 1975 - September 24, 1975 with CVW-8 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68)

July 7, 1976 - February 7, 1977 with CVW-8 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68)

April 4, 1978 - October 26, 1978 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59)

February 26, 1980 - October 15, 1980 with CVW-9 aboard USS Constellation (CV 64)

April 7, 1982 - October 18, 1982 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

January 13, 1984 - August 1, 1984 with CVW-2 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63)

May 1986 - July 1986 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

August 18, 1986 - October 20, 1986 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

March 3, 1987 - April 29, 1987 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

July 14, 1987 - December 30, 1987 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

February 24, 1989 - August 24, 1989 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

December 8, 1990 - June 8, 1991 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

August 1, 1992 - January 31, 1993 with CVW-2 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61)

May 6, 1994 - June 30, 1994 with CVW-2 aboard USS Constellation (CV 64)

November 10, 1994 - May 10, 1995 with CVW-2 aboard USS Constellation (CV 64)

April 1, 1997 - October 1, 1997 with CVW-2 aboard USS Constellation (CV 64)

June 18, 1999 - December 17, 1999 with CVW-2 aboard USS Constellation (CV 64)

March 16, 2001 - September 15, 2001 with CVW-2 aboard USS Constellation (CV 64)

November 2, 2002 - June 2, 2003 with CVW-2 aboard USS Constellation (CV 64)

October 15, 2004 - March 4, 2005 with CVW-2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

February 27, 2006 - August 8, 2006 with CVW-2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

March 13, 2008 - October 12, 2008 with CVW-2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

September 7, 2010 - March 24, 2011 with CVW-2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

December 7, 2011 - August 7, 2012 with CVW-2 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)

August 22, 2014 - June 4, 2015 with CVW-17 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

 

images

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye 2000 carrier air wing cvw-17 uss carl vinson cvn-70

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - May 2015

 

vaw-116 sun kings cvw-17 uss carl vinson cvn-70 e-2c hawkeye he2k

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - April 2015

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye cvw-17 uss carl vinson cvn-70

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - March 2015

 

grumman e-2c hawkeye 2000 vaw-116 sunkings uss carl vinson cvn-70

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - February 2015

 

vaw-116 sun kings cvw-17

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - February 2015

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2015

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - November 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - October 2014

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye cvw-17 uss carl vinson cvn-70 2014

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - September 2014

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye 600na

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - August 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeyes (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - June 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - June 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - May 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - May 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2014

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye he2k np cvw-17

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - January 2014

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - May 2013

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - April 2013

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye carrier air wing cvw-2 uss abraham lincoln cvn-72

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - July 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - March 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - February 2012

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye cvw-2 uss abraham lincoln cvn-72

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - February 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - February 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - February 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - February 2012

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye uss abraham lincoln cvn-72

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - December 2011

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - July 2011

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye cvw-2 jrb elmendorf richardson alaska

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) at JRB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska - July 2011

 

vaw-116 sun kings carrier airborne early warning squadron e-2c hawkeye

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - February 2011

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - January 2011

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - December 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - November 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - November 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - August 2010

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye new propeller uss abraham lincoln cvn-72

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - September 2008

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - September 2008

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - June 2008

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - March 2008

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - January 2008

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye uss harry s. truman cvn-75 carrier qualifications

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) during carrier qualifications aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) - May 2007

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - April 2006

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - February 2005

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - January 2005

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - December 2004

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - November 2004

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - October 2004

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) with an E-2C from VAW-117 embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - May 2004

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye carrier air wing cvw-2 uss constellation cv-64

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - May 2003

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - May 2003

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - May 2003

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye cvw-2 uss constellation cv-64 2003

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - April 2003

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - February 2003

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - November 2002

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) embarked on USS Constellation (CV 64) - 1997 (NNAM)

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2c hawkeye nas fallon nevada

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) at NAS Fallon, Nevada - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) at NAS Fallon, Nevada - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-2) - undated

 

vaw-116 sun kings e-2b hawkeye cvw-8 uss nimitz cvn-68

E-2B Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-8) embarked on USS Nimitz (CVN 68) - 1976

 

vaw-116 sun kings grumman e-2b hawkeye cvw-9 uss constellation cva-64

E-2B Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-9) embarked on USS Constellation (CVA 64) - 1973

 

vaw-116 sun kings grumman e-2a hawkeye cvw-15 uss coral sea cva-43

E-2A Hawkeye (VAW-116 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) - 1967-68 (NNAM)

 

 

history

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE ONE SIX (VAW-116) is one of four Carrier Airborne Early Warning squadrons currently located in Point Mugu, California under the cognizance of Commander, Airborne Command Control and Logistics Wing (COMACCLOGWING).

On April 20, 1967 VAW-116 was commissioned and received the E-2B aircraft. The Sun Kings completed three Far-East deployments as part of Attack Carrier Air Wing FIFTEEN and two while attached to Attack Carrier Air Wing NINE.

In July 1975, VAW-116 transferred to Attack Carrier Air Wing EIGHT. Concurrently, the west coast VAW community, including VAW-116, moved from Naval Air Station North Island to Naval Air Station Miramar. Reassigned to Carrier Air Wing EIGHT, the Sun Kings saw duty in the North Atlantic in 1975.

In 1976, VAW-116 embarked on USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) for a Mediterranean deployment. The squadron transferred to Carrier Air Wing SEVENTEEN embarked on USS FORESTALL (CV-59) in 1977, and deployed to the Mediterranean and North Atlantic in March of 1978.

During 1979-1980, VAW-116 transitioned to the E-2C and deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans from February 26, 1980 to October 15, 1980 aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) in support of Iranian Contingency Operations.

The squadron was assigned to Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2) in July 1981. On April 7, 1982, the squadron embarked on USS RANGER (CV-61) for another Western Pacific-Indian Ocean deployment. Returning in October 1982, the Sun Kings remained with CVW-2 aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63), later deploying on January 13, 1984.

In July of 1987, the Sun Kings deployed aboard USS RANGER for a six-month Western Pacific-Indian Ocean deployment providing support for the re-flagged Kuwaiti Tanker missions. On February 24, 1989 the squadron deployed aboard USS RANGER to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, supporting operations with the Royal Thai and Omani Air Forces, respectively.

VAW-116 embarked aboard USS RANGER on December 8, 1990 in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. During Operation DESERT STORM the squadron flew 1,364 total flight hours and spent 93 days on station in the Arabian Gulf.

The Sun Kings returned on January 31, 1993 from a separate, yet highly successful Western Pacific deployment in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Iraq and Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia, winning the coveted Battle Efficiency "E" Award for 1992. In February of 1993, the Sun Kings commenced a transition from the E-2C Group 0 to the E-2C Group II aircraft. The Group II weapons system represented a tremendous advancement in avionics, communications, propulsion, and navigation systems.

In May of 1993, VAW-116 deployed to the Republic of Panama in support of Joint Task Force FOUR (JTF-4) Operations. Upon returning, the Sun Kings were awarded the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Excellence Award for 1992. This remarkable achievement recognized the Sun Kings as the premier VAW Squadron for the entire E-2C community.

In November of 1993, VAW-116 commenced a rigorous work up cycle at NAS Fallon, Nevada. This cycle included "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC 94), in which CVW-2 conducted joint operations with five other nations, and culminated in Pacific Fleet exercises in August and September 1994.

On November 10, 1994, VAW-116 embarked on USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) on a Western Pacific-Arabian Gulf deployment. The Sun Kings provided vital AEW and battle group coverage off the coast of North Korea and supported Operation SOUTHERN WATCH over Iraq.

In June 1995 and February 1996, the Sun Kings deployed to conduct surveillance operations at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, in support of Joint Inter-agency Task Force East (JIATF-EAST).

On April 1, 1997, the squadron embarked on USS CONSTELLATION for another Western Pacific-Arabian Gulf deployment. During the six-month deployment the squadron provided vital surveillance of Iraq in support of the United Nations’ “No Fly Zone” as part of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. Additionally, the squadron participated in military exercises with the Pakistani Air Force.

In February and March of 1998 the squadron again deployed to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico to conduct counter narcotics surveillance operations in support of JIATF-EAST.

On June 18, 1999, VAW-116 embarked on USS CONSTELLATION to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. During the next six months, VAW-116 provided surveillance of Iraq in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. After this successful deployment, the squadron was honored with the Chief of Naval Operations Safety "S" Award for 1999.

In January 2000, the squadron deployed again to conduct surveillance operations at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in Support of JIATF-EAST.

The Sun Kings deployed aboard USS CONSTELLATION to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf from March 15 to September 15, 2001, providing AEW for Operation SOUTHERN WATCH over Iraq.

In November 2001, the squadron detached to Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE. During this operation, the Sun Kings assisted in providing continual AEW coverage over the eastern US coast as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

VAW-116 embarked on USS CONSTELLATION to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf in October 2002. The Sun Kings flew extensive Airborne Battlefield Command and Control (ABC2) missions in support of the US Army V Corps’ and the US Marine Corps II MEF’s invasion of Iraq and advance on Baghdad during the initial weeks of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, and later in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

In November 2003, the Sun Kings initiated a transition to the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 airframe. VAW-116 completed the transition in August 2004 with delivery of the squadron’s fourth and final aircraft. The Sun Kings embarked on USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72) in October of 2004, to execute a surge deployment to the Western Pacific. They completed integrated warfare training in the vicinity of Hawaii before transiting further west.

Their deployment was extended when Carrier Strike Group NINE (CSG-9) was called to provide humanitarian assistance in Operation UNIFIED ASSISTANCE in Banda Aceh, Indonesia as a result of the earthquakes and tsunamis that struck the area. The Sun Kings aided in the effort by sending Sailors ashore to distribute much needed food and medical aid to the wounded disaster victims.

The squadron returned to sea in March 2006 on a Western Pacific deployment in support of Exercises FOAL EAGLE, VALIANT SHIELD, and RIMPAC. VAW-116 became semi-famous in 2006 for its remake of the "Pump It" music video, originally performed by The Black Eyed Peas. The video originated as a project onboard the ship to boost morale. “Pump It” has received nearly 4 million views on YouTube. The sequel, a remake of OutKast's video "Hey Ya," included every single member of the Sun Kings and has received more than one million views. Both videos have been shown on national television, as well as news programs in other countries.

Upon their return from deployment in 2006, the Sun Kings began to upgrade their aircraft inventory to the eight-bladed New Propeller 2000 (NP2K) system. This upgrade was completed in March 2007, just after the squadron returned from detachment to Fallon, Nevada. In May 2007, the Sun Kings completed NP2K carrier qualification aboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN-75) off the coast of Virginia.

In March 2008, the Sun Kings embarked with CVW-2 aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN for deployment to the US Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR). They participated in Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM and provided critical tanker and airspace management for strike and support aircraft. During the deployment, the squadron earned the CVW-2 Deployment Top Hook award and the chief petty officer (CPO) mess was presented the Broadsword Award for the most distinguished CPO mess in CVW-2. They returned home in October 2008.

The Sun Kings deployed aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN under the command of CSG-9 in September 2010, once again operating in the US Fifth Fleet AOR. During this deployment, VAW-116 had the privilege of performing several touch-and-go landings aboard the French aircraft carrier, FS CHARLES DE GAULLE. Following their support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and NEW DAWN, the Sun Kings returned to Point Mugu, CA in the spring of 2011.

In December 2011, VAW-116 deployed to the US Fifth Fleet AOR aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN as part of CSG-9, and conducted more than 2000 mishap-free flight hours and 550 aircraft sorties in support of US Fifth Fleet operations, including Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On a daily basis, the Sun Kings provided AEW, ABC2, and communications relay support between surface and airborne assets in the joint and combined theater. Under the leadership of Commander Paul M. Dale, the Sun Kings returned to Point Mugu, CA in August 2012 and transitioned to CVW-17 on 1 October 2012. VAW-116 has recently been recognized on several levels, including receipt of the CVW-2 Golden Wrench Maintenance Award, the COMMACCLOGWING FY11 Fourth Quarter Safety ‘S’ Award, the Retention Excellence Award, as well as the Blue ‘M’ Excellence Award for medical readiness, and the Surgeon General’s Blue ‘H’ Gold Star Health Promotion and Wellness Award.

 

source: VAW-116 (2015)

 

- - -

 

another history:


On April 20, 1967 VAW-116 was commissioned and received the E-2B aircraft. The "Sun Kings" completed three Far-East deployments as part of Attack Carrier Air Wing FIFTEEN and two while attached to Attack Carrier Air Wing NINE. In July 1975, VAW-116 transferred to Attack Carrier Air Wing EIGHT. Concurrently, the west-coast VAW community, including VAW-116, moved from Naval Air Station, North Island to Naval Air Station, Miramar. Reassigned to Carrier Air Wing EIGHT, the Sun Kings saw duty in the North Atlantic in 1975. In 1976 VAW-116 embarked on USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) for a Mediterranean deployment. The squadron transferred to Carrier Air Wing SEVENTEEN embarked on USS FORESTALL (CV 59) in 1977, and deployed to the Mediterranean and North Atlantic in March 1978. During 1979-1980, VAW-116 transitioned to the E-2C and made a Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment from February 26, 1980 to October 15, 1980 aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) in support of Iranian Contingency Operations. The squadron was assigned to Carrier Air Wing TWO in July 1981. On April 7, 1982, the squadron embarked on USS RANGER (CV 61) for a Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment. Returning in October 1982, the Sun Kings remained with Carrier Air Wing TWO aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63), deploying on January 13, 1984. In July 1987, the Sun Kings deployed aboard USS RANGER (CV 61) for a six month Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment providing support for the re-flagged Kuwaiti Tanker missions. On February 24, 1989 the squadron deployed aboard USS RANGER (CV 61) to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, supporting operations with the Omani and Royal Thai Air Forces. VAW-116 sailed aboard USS RANGER (CV 61) on December 8, 1990 to the Western Pacific in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During Operation Desert Storm the squadron flew 1,364 total flight hours and spent 93 days on station in the Persian Gulf. The Sun Kings returned on January 31, 1993, from a highly successful Western Pacific deployment in support of Operation Southern Watch in Iraq and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, winning the coveted Battle Efficiency "E" Award for 1992. In February 1993, the Sun Kings commenced a transition from the E-2C Group 0 to the E-2C Group II aircraft. The Group II weapons system represented a tremendous advancement in avionics, communications, propulsion, and navigation systems. In May 1993, VAW-116 deployed to the Republic of Panama in support of JTF-4 Joint Task Force Four Operations. Upon returning, the Sun Kings were awarded the AEW Excellence Award for 1992. This remarkable achievement recognized the Sun Kings as the premier VAW Squadron for the entire E-2C community. In November 1993, VAW-116 commenced a rigorous work up cycle at NAS Fallon, Nevada. This cycle included "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC 94), in which Carrier Air Wing Two conducted joint operations with five other nations, and culminated in Fleet exercises during August/September 1994. On 10 November 1994 the Squadron embarked on USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) on a Western Pacific and Persian Gulf deployment. The Sun Kings provided vital AEW and Battle Group coverage off the coast of North Korea and supported Operation Southern Watch over Iraq. In June 1995 and February 1996, the Sun Kings deployed to conduct surveillance operations at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, in support of Joint Inter-agency Task Force East (JIATF-EAST). On 1 April 1997, the squadron embarked on USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) for a Western Pacific and Persian Gulf deployment. During the six month deployment the squadron provided vital surveillance of Iraq in support of the United Nations’ “No Fly Zone” as part of Operation Southern Watch. In addition, the squadron participated in military exercises with the Pakistani Air Force. In February and March 1998 the squadron again deployed to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, to conduct counter narcotics surveillance operations in support of JIATF-EAST. On 18 June 1999 the Squadron embarked on USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) for a Western Pacific/Persian Gulf deployment. During the next six months VAW-116 provided surveillance of Iraq in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. After this successful deployment the squadron was awarded the 1999 Chief of Naval Operations Safety "S". In January 2000, the squadron deployed again to conduct surveillance operations at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in Support of JIATF-EAST. The Sun Kings deployed aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf from 15 March 2001 to 15 September 2001, providing airborne early warning for Operation SOUTHERN WATCH over Iraq. The Sun Kings deployed to Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia in support of Operation Noble Eagle. During this operation, the Sun Kings assisted in providing continual airborne early warning coverage over the East Coast as a result of the 11 September 2001 Terrorist Attacks.

VAW-116 embarked on USS Constellation (CV-64) to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf on October 2002. The Sun Kings flew extensive Airborne Battlefield Command and Control missions in support of the U.S. Army V Corps’ and the U.S. Marine Corps II MEF’s invasion of Iraq and advance on Baghdad during the initial weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The squadron was proud to be a part of Connie’s final deployment in support of Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

In November 2003, the Sun Kings initiated a transition to the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 airframe. VAW-116 completed the transition in August 2004 with delivery of the squadron’s fourth and final aircraft. The Sun Kings embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in October 2004, to execute a surge deployment to the Western Pacific. They completed Integrated Warfare Training in the vicinity of Hawaii before transiting west.

Their deployment was extended when the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group was called to assist in Operation Unified Assistance in Banda Aceh, Indonesia as a result of the earthquakes and tsunamis that struck the area. The Sun Kings aided in effort by sending Sailors ashore to distribute much needed food and medical aid to the wounded disaster victims.

The squadron returned to sea in March 2006 on a Western Pacific deployment in support of exercises Foal Eagle, Valiant Shield, and RIMPAC. Upon their return from deployment in 2006, the Sun Kings upgraded their aircraft with the eight-bladed New Propeller 2000 system (NP2K). This upgrade was completed in March 2007, just after the squadron returned from detachment to Fallon, NV. In May 2007, the Sun Kings completed NP2K carrier qualification aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) off the Virginia Coast. In March 2008, the Sun Kings embarked on a seven month deployment with Carrier Air Wing TWO aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) to the U.S. Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility where they flew 266 combat missions in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

In March 2008, the Sun Kings embarked with Carrier Air Wing TWO aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) for deployment to the U.S. Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility. They participated in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and provided critical tanker and airspace management for strike and support aircraft. During the deployment, the squadron earned the CVW-2 Deployment Top Hook award and the Chief’s Mess was presented the Broadsword Award for the best CPO Mess in CVW-2. They returned home in October 2008.

The Sun Kings once again deployed with Carrier Air Wing Two aboard USS Abraham Lincoln on September 11, 2010 for a 6 month cruise to the 5th Fleet Area of Operations. The Sun Kings supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn in Iraq until they returned home in March 2011. In April and May of 2011 the Sun King's transitioned to the E-2C CNS/ATM Hawkeye 2000 all glass cockpit variant of the E-2C. In December 2011 Carrier Air Wing Two and the Sun Kings once again deployed on the USS Abraham Lincoln for an 8 month around the world deployment to the 5th Area of Operations in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On July 17, 2012, VAW-116 and the USS Abraham Lincoln transited through the Suez Canal on their way home to the United States; the deployment concluded on August 3, 2012 when the Sun Kings flew 4 aircraft from USS Abraham Lincoln off the Virginia coast back to NAS PT Mugu, California.

In October 2012 VAW-116 joined Carrier Air Wing 17 as a member of Carrier Strike Group 1 attached to USS Carl Vinson.

An E-2C of VAW-116, number 600, is seen preparing for a cat launch at 23:48 into the movie Battleship.

Music videos:
VAW-116 became "semi-famous" in 2006 for its remake of the "Pump It" music video, by The Black Eyed Peas. The video originated as a project on board ship to fight off boredom and to boost morale, but stemmed into what is almost a full fledged production and a free recruiting ad for the Navy. Pump It has recorded over 4,000,000 views on YouTube. The crew have since recorded two more video remakes - Outkast's video "Hey Ya!," which included every single member of the Sun Kings and "Move Along" - both of which have recorded over a million viewers. "Pump It" and "Hey Ya!" have been shown on national television, and news stations in other countries.

 

source: wikipedia (2015)

 

patches

 

vaw-116 sun kings patch insignia crest badge us navy e-2 hawkeye     vaw-116 sun kings patch

 

vaw-116 sun kings insignia patch crest carrier airborne early warning squadron us navy     vaw-116 sun kings patch insignia badge crest grumman e-2c hawkeye us navy

 

 

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