Navy’s last “Legacy Hornet” in service with VFA-34 are about to be retired.
VFA-34 “Blue Blasters”, the remaining F/A-18C Hornet squadron in the U.S. Navy, will perform their last flight in the Legacy Hornet this week. The only squadron that has not transitioned to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet yet will say farewell to the “Legacy Hornet” at their home base at NAS Oceana, Virginia, on Feb. 1, 2019.
Between Jan. 5 and Apr. 11, 2018, the unit has completed the last combat deployment aboard an aircraft carrier: as part of CVW-2, VFA-34 took part in a Westpac deployment that included a port call in Vietnam, the first such port stop by a U.S. carrier since the war ended.
Although they will be officially retired in a matter of days, some F/A-18A+ Hornets (where “+” designates aircraft equipped with AN/APG-73 radars instead of the original AN/APG-65) will continue to serve in the fleet adversary support role with the Reserve as part of VFC-12 from NAS Oceana and VFA-204 from NAS New Orleans Joint Reserve Base. The Blue Angels will also continue flying their Legacy Hornets while transitioning to the Super Hornets.
While Legacy Hornets are retired, the F-35C CV (Carrier Variant) aircraft prepares to deploy aboard USS Carl Vinson in 2021: after a 6-month deployment aboard USS Nimitz, VFA-147 “Argonauts” have started transition to the F-35C in December 2018.