Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet
In early December of 2001 the first Strike Fighter Squadron 41 personnel began training with the Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron, the Flying Eagles of VFA-122. By early 2003, the Black Aces were ready to deploy as the first operational F/A-18F squadron.
From March to November 2003, VFA-41 undertook its first WESTPAC cruise since the Vietnam era flying over 2,580 sorties and logging over 5,800 flight hours. Conducting flights in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, the Black Aces logged over 700 combat sorties with an astounding 100% sortie completion rate. Upon their return to NAS Lemoore, VFA-41 began the transition from LOT 24 to LOT 26 Super Hornets, the newest in the fleet.
During the summer of 2004, VFA-41 maintained a healthy operational tempo, taking part in multiple detachments and exercises. Four Black Ace Super Hornets were embarked aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) for her two month maiden voyage around South America to her homeport in San Diego. During the voyage, VFA-41 took part in SUMMER PULSE 2004 as well as the UNITAS exercise, which involved several South American countries. Meanwhile, another element of the squadron departed for Anchorage, Alaska to take part in COPE THUNDER, a two week multinational training exercise.
The Black Aces returned from a remarkably successful deployment in support of the Global War on Terror. From May to November 2005, VFA-41 led CVW-11 with over 2,200 sorties and logged over 4,020 flight hours, including support of combat operations in OIF.
VFA-41 made a subsequent deployment back to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007, and four months later began another WESTPAC. This 2008 SURGE Cruise took them to Sasebo, Japan, Busan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Guam and Hawaii. In July 2011, the Black Aces embarked on a seven month combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as well as supporting the final combat missions of Operation New Dawn in Iraq. The Aces returned in February 2012.
|Type:||Carrier-borne Strike Fighter|
|Crew:||Pilot and Weapon Systems Officer|
|Power Plant:||Two 21,000 lb thrust F414-GE-400 G.E engines with afterburner|
|Dimensions:||Span 44' 11" ,Length 60' 2"|
|Weight:||66,000 LBS Gross|
|Range:||1000 miles tactical|