Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121 (CARAEWRON 121)

VAW-121 ‘Bluetails’

 

vaw-121 bluetails griffins insignia crest patch badge carrier airborne early warning squadron us navy hawkeye

vaw-121 bluetails carrier airborne early warning squadron caraewron grumman e-2d hawkeye carrier air wing cvw-11 uss nimitz cvn-68

 

STATUS:

VAW-2 established on July 6, 1948

VAW-2 redesignated VC-12 on October 1, 1948

VC-12 redesignated VAW-12 on July 2, 1956

VAW-12 redesignated VAW-121 on April 1, 1967

    

Homebase: NS Norfolk, Virginia

Carrier Air Wing: CVW-11

Aircraft Carrier: USS Nimitz (CVN 68)

ACTIVE UNIT

    

Nicknames: Griffins (1967-78) / Bluetails (1978- )

AIRCRAFT:

Grumman E-1B Tracer (1967-75)

Grumman E-2C Hawkeye (1976-2014)

Northrop-Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (2014- )

 

 

DEPLOYMENTS:

1967-1973:

various detachment-deployments, assigned to CVW & CVSG’s aboard aircraft carriers (CVS, CVA, CV)

 

September 14, 1973 - March 17, 1974 with CVW-6 aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42)

January 3, 1975 - July 16, 1975 with CVW-6 aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42)

January 16, 1979 - July 13, 1979 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

April 15, 1980 - December 22, 1980 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

August 20, 1981 - October 7, 1981 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

January 5, 1982 - July 13, 1982 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

April 27, 1983 - December 2, 1983 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

May 8, 1984 - June 20, 1984 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

October 10, 1984 - May 8, 1985 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

February 29, 1988 - August 29, 1988 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

March 8, 1990 - September 12, 1990 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

September 26, 1991 - April 2, 1992 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

May 20, 1994 - November 18, 1994 with CVW-7 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73)

January 26, 1996 - July 23, 1996 with CVW-7 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73)

February 26, 1998 - August 26, 1998 with CVW-7 aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

February 18, 2000 - August 18, 2000 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

February 7, 2002 - August 17, 2002 with CVW-7 aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)

January 20, 2004 - July 26, 2004 with CVW-7 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73)

April 4, 2006 - May 24, 2006 with CVW-17 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73)

April 7, 2008 - May 27, 2008 with CVW-17 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73)

February 21, 2009 - July 30, 2009 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

January 2, 2010 - July 28, 2010 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

June 20, 2012 - December 19, 2012 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

February 21, 2013 - Juny 3, 2013 with CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

?? with CVW-11 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68)

 

images

 

vaw-121 bluetails northrop grumman e-2d advanced hawkeye naval station norfolk virginia

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (VAW-121) at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia - November 2014

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2d advanced hawkeye

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (VAW-121) at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia - November 2014

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye carrier air wing cvw-7 uss dwight d. eisenhower cvn-69

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2013

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2013

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-7 uss dwight d. eisenhower cvn-69

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - May 2013

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - May 2013

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - May 2013

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - May 2013

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - April 2013

 

vaw-121 bluetails

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - March 2013

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - March 2013

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - February 2013

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - December 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - October 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - August 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - August 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - May 2012

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-7 uss dwight d. eisenhower cvn-69

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - May 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - March 2012

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - June 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - May 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - January 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - January 2010

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - September 2008

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-17 uss george washington cvn-73

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-17) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - March 2008

 

vaw-121 bluetails grumman e-2c hawkeye cvw-17 uss george washington cvn-73

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-17) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - April 2006

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-17) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - April 2006

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121) - October 2005

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121) - October 2005

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - June 2004

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye carrier air wing cvw-7 uss george washington cvn-73

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - June 2004

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - June 2004

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - May 2004

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - February 2004

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - October 2003

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS George Washington (CVN 73) - September 2003

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-7 uss john f. kennedy cv-67

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - May 2002

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-7 uss john f. kennedy cv-67 2002

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - May 2002

 

inside an E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - April 2002

 

inside an E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - April 2002

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cockpit uss john f. kennedy cv-67

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - April 2002

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - April 2002

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - April 2002

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye carrier air wing cvw-7 uss john f. kennedy cv-67

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - 2002

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-7 uss john c. stennis cvn-74

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) - June 1998

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-7 uss dwight d. eisenhower cvn-69

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - 1991-92

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - April 1987

 

carrier airborne early warning squadron vaw-121 bluetails grumman e-2c hawkeye cvw-7

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - undated

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-2c hawkeye cvw-7 nas fallon nevada

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) near NAS Fallon, Nevada - undated

 

E-2C Hawkeye (VAW-121 / CVW-7) near NAS Fallon, Nevada - May 1987

 

 

vaw-121 griffins e-1b tracer carrier air wing cvw-6 uss franklin d. roosevelt cva-42

E-1B Tracer (VAW-121 / CVW-6) embarked on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42) - 1973-74

 

vaw-121 griffins e-1b tracer cvw-6 uss franklin d. roosevelt cva-42

E-1B Tracer (VAW-121 / CVW-6) embarked on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42) - 1971

 

vaw-121 griffins grumman e-1b tracer cvsg-56 uss intrepid cvs-11

E-1B Tracer (VAW-121, Det.11 / CVSG-56) embarked on USS Intrepid (CVS 11) - 1971

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-1b tracer cvw-6 uss franklin d. roosevelt cva-42

E-1B Tracer (VAW-121 / CVW-6) embarked on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42) - 1970

 

vaw-121 bluetails e-1b tracer cvw-8 uss shangri-la cvs-38

E-1B Tracer (VAW-121 / CVW-8) embarked on USS Shangri-La (CVS 38) - 1969-70

 

 

history

Although officially known as the "Griffins," VAW-121 is more commonly known as the "Bluetails" as shown in their distinctive markings. VAW-121 is assigned to Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7) which it has been since it began flying the E-2C Hawkeye in 1977.

Like VAW-122, VAW-123 and VAW-120, VAW-121 was created out of the "super squadron" VAW-12 on 1 April 1967. Until then, VAW-12 had deployed 4-plane detachments to accompany carrier air wings. Unlike its siblings, VAW-121 would fly the E-1B Tracer, deploying dets until the mid-1970s. This was due to the fact there were still carriers in the inventory that were not configured (USS Franklin D. Roosevelt) or capable (the Essex-class carriers) to handle the much larger E-2.

In 1977 VAW-121 made its first deployment as part of CVW-7 on the newly commissioned USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, but it wasn't until the next deployment in 1980 that they really began to set records. That year saw VAW-121 deployed for 347 days at sea with IKE/CVW-7 setting a modern day record that would not be broken until the deployment of the USS Theodore Roosevelt during Operation Enduring Freedom. After returning from this extended deployment, the Bluetails were sent to Iceland to relieve the Reserve E-2B squadrons who had picked up the North Atlantic AEW watch when the E-3 AWACS were re-deployed to Saudi Arabia. Returning from a three-month winter deployment to Iceland, the Bluetails found themselves again in the North Atlantic conducting three CVBG operations with USS Forrestal and HMS Hermes, the later deploying with the new Sea Harrier. During the course of this three-year period, 1979-1981 VAW-121 set unprecedented levels of performance by winning the COMNAVAIRLANT Battle "E" for Excellence and AEW Excellence awards for three straight years and the Chief of Naval Operations Safety "S" for two straight years.


In the years since the Bluetails have been in the forefront of AEW/Battle Management from operations over Iraq to Bosnia. Along the way they have amassed an enviable flight safety record of over 40 years and 72,000 hours of accident free flight ops - the best of any East Coast squadron and second best in all of US Naval Aviation, an especially noteworthy achievement given their high risk operating environment.

 

source: wikipedia

 

patches

 

vaw-121 bluetails patch insignia crest badhe e-2c hawkeye     vaw-121 bluetails patch insignia us navy

 

vaw-121 patch badge insignia

 

vaw-121 bluetails patch     vaw-121 bluetails carrier airborne early warning squadron caraewron us navy patch insignia

 

 

 

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