Carrier Air Wing Eight

Carrier Air Wing Eight

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Carrier Air Wing Eight

caption= CVW-8 Insignia
dates= 1 June 1943 - Present
country= United States
branch= US Navy
type= Carrier Air Wing
command_structure= United States Fleet Forces Command
garrison= NAS Oceana
USS "Theodore Roosevelt"
battles= World War II
Operation Desert Shield
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Provide Comfort
Operation Deny Flight
Operation Allied Force
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
decorations=Presidential Unit Citation

Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8), is a United States Navy aircraft carrier air wing based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. The air wing is attached to the aircraft carrier USS "Theodore Roosevelt".cite web
title = Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW 8)
work =
publisher = Global
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-31


To conduct carrier air warfare operations and assist in the planning, control, coordination and integration of seven air wing squadrons in support of carrier air warfare including; Interception and destruction of enemy aircraft and missiles in all-weather conditions to establish and maintain local air superiority. All-weather offensive air-to-surface attacks, Detection, localization, and destruction of enemy ships and submarines to establish and maintain local sea control. Aerial photographic, sighting, and electronic intelligence for naval and joint operations. Airborne early warning service to fleet forces and shore warning nets. Airborne electronic countermeasures. In-flight refueling operations to extend the range and the endurance of air wing aircraft and Search and rescue operations.cite web
title = Carrier Air Wing 8 History
work = CVW-8
publisher = US Navy
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-31

Subordinate units

See also: List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons.

CVW-8 consists of 8 Squadronscite web
title = Carrier Air Wing Eight Composition
work = Carrier Air Wing Eight
publisher = US Navy
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-31

*Strike Fighter Squadron 15
*Strike Fighter Squadron 31
*Strike Fighter Squadron 87
*Strike Fighter Squadron 213
*Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 124
*Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 141
*Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 Det. 5
*Helicopter Anit-submarine Squadron 3


World War II

Carrier Air Wing Eight began operations on 1 June 1943 from the Naval Air Station Norfolk. Virginia and was initially assigned to the USS "Intrepid". the air wing was decommissioned in 1945 following World War II, recommissioned for a short period and decommissioned again in 1949. CVW-8 was recommissioned in April 1951 and has been in continuous operation since that date.

During World War II, CVW-8 distinguished itself in combat in the Pacific, winning five Battle Stars and the Presidential Unit Citation for heroic combat action while embarked in USS "Bunker Hill".


Between June 1976 and May 1980, CVW-8 embarked in USS "Nimitz" for three Mediterranean deployments. During their third Mediterranean deployment and in response to the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the "Nimitz" / CVW-8 Team left Naples, Italy in January 1980 and sailed around the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean. Established at "Gonzo Station," air wing supported the Iranian hostage rescue attempt while remaining at-sea for more than 140 consecutive days. Returning to the United States in May 1980, CVW-8 embarked once again in USS "Nimitz" for the North Atlantic NATO exercise "Teamwork 80" from August to November 1980.


CVW-8 embarked on the "Nimitz" yet again in April 1981 for Caribbean operations, followed by another Sixth Fleet Mediterranean deployment. It was during this deployment that two CVW-8 F-14's from Fighter Squadron Four One engaged and destroyed two Libyan SU-22 aircraft following an unprovoked air-to-air missile attack over the international waters of the Gulf of Sidra.


Returning to Norfolk, Virginia, CVW-8 embarked in the Navy's newest carrier, USS "Carl Vinson" for her maiden voyage in March 1982. CVW-8 squadrons returned to the "Nimitz" later in 1982 for Carrier Refresher Training followed by Caribbean operations and an extended Mediterranean deployment from November 1982 to May 1983 which included air operations in support of the multi-national force in Beirut, Lebanon.

In March 1985, CVW-8 embarked again on the USS "Nimitz" for a Mediterranean deployment which included participation in several exercises including Distant Hammer, Poop Deck, and Bright Star. During this deployment, USS "Nimitz" and CVW-8 were stationed off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon for 69 consecutive days during the terrorist hijacking of a TWA airliner. The prompt response and threat of contingency strike operations by the USS "Nimitz" / CVW-8 team helped coerce the Iranian-backed terrorists into releasing their hostages.

In December 1986, CVW-8 embarked on the USS "Nimitz" for the last time and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. At the end of this deployment the USS "Nimitz" / CVW-8 team sailed around the tip of South America as the carrier changed its homeport from Norfolk, Virginia to Everett, Washington. In June 1987, CVW-8 aircraft launched for the last time from USS "Nimitz" while off the coast of San Diego, California to return to their respective homeports.

The air wing embarked in USS "Theodore Roosevelt" in August 1988 for Teamwork 88, the largest multi-national exercise of the decade and operated in the North Atlantic with a port call in Wilhelmshaven, West Germany. In December 1988, CVW-8 embarked the "Theodore Roosevelt" for a Mediterranean deployment where they participated in 10 NATO exercises. The air wing distinguished itself during this deployment by flying over 22,000 flight hours and 10,000 sorties without a mishap.

Gulf War

Following the August 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi armor and infantry forces, CVW-8 rapidly prepared for possible combat operations. In four short months, intense training enabled the "Theodore Roosevelt" / CVW-8 team to deploy on 28 December to join five other U.S. Carrier Battle Groups in the largest display of sea power since World War II for Operation Desert Storm.

After participating in combat operations in [Iraq in support of Operations Desert Storm and Provide Comfort, CVW-8 returned home on 28 June 1991 for a brief standdown. During the winter of 1992, CVW-8 provided opposition forces from Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in support of Carrier Battle Group training. In July 1992, the air wing was the first Air Wing to receive and incorporate a Marine Corps FA-18C squadron, the “Checkerboards” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron THREE TWELVE (VMFA-312). In December 1992, the USS "Theodore Roosevelt" / CVW-8 team operated for the very first time in Naval Aviation history as a Special Marine Air / Ground Task Force.

Carrier Air Wing Eight embarked aboard the "Theodore Roosevelt" in March 1993 and participated in Operation Provide Comfort and Deny Flight in support of NATO sanctions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In June 1993, the team passed through the Suez canal for Red Sea duty in support of Operation Souther Watch over Iraq. CVW-8 returned to the Adriatic Sea in July 1993 to continue NATO operational tasking until returning to Norfolk, Virginia in September 1993.


CVW-8 embarked again aboard the "Theodore Roosevelt" in March 1995 and operated in the Mediterranean Sea, North Red Sea, Persian Gulf and Adriatic Sea. CVW-8 responded to threats from Iraq by conducting joint operations with the Royal Jordanian Air Force and also enforced No-Fly Zones over Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation Deny Flight. On 29 August 1995, CVW-8 commenced air-to-ground offensive operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation Deliberate Force to include the first ever Navy combat use of the GBU-24 2,000 pound laser-guided penetrator bomb and the first combat use of the F-14 “Tomcat” to deliver air-to-ground ordnance. The USS "Theodore Roosevelt" / CVW-8 team returned home on 22 September 1995 and on 1 November 1995, CVW-8 was reassigned under the operational control of the "Kennedy" Battle Group, forming the team of USS "John F. Kennedy" and CVW-8.

The air wing embarked in USS "John C. Stennis" in February 1996, for a Joint Fleet Exercise. This was followed by deployed operations to the North Atlantic while embarked in USS "John F. Kennedy" with port calls to Dublin, Ireland and Portsmouth, England.

In April 1997, CVW-8 embarked in USS "John F. Kennedy" for a Mediterranean Sea / Persian Gulf deployment. During this deployment, CVW-8 participated in numerous exercises and detachments including Infinite Acclaim, Beacon Flash and Invitex. During Invitex the Air Wing completed over 350 sorties including 203 sorties in a single day of surge operations. This deployment also included operations over Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Deliberate Guard and over Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch.

In January 1999 CVW-8 deployed on USS Theodore Roosevelt and participated in Operation Allied Force during 55 consecutive days of combat, flying 4,300 sorties, logging 10,000 flight hours and dropped 800 tons of ordnance. The Air Wing came up with new tactics utilizing cooperative targeting between F-14s and F/A-18s. CVW-8 was also the first Air Wing to expend weapons in two theaters as they headed for the Persian Gulf to support Operation Southern Watch after the war in the Balkans had ended. They flew over 2,600 missions over Iraq.

Global War on Terror

In 2001, CVW-8 embarked aboard the USS "Enterprise" and completed a six and one half month deployment culminating in the initial strikes of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The deployment began with detachments in Tunisia, Corsica, and Israel, as well as half-dozen port-visits throughout the Mediterranean. During the second half of the deployment, the Air Wing flew in support of Operation Southern Watch expending over 29,000 lb of ordnance against Iraqi targets. The USS "Enterprise" / CVW-8 team were wrapping up operations in the Fifth Fleet area of operations on 11 September 2001, remained on station and eventually flew 16 days of combat operations over Afghanistan to include 680 sorties that delivered over 770,000 lb of precision guided munitions during the initial stages of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On 19 February 2002, the Air Wing was reassigned back to the "Roosevelt" Battle Group. CVW-8 made some changes as VF-14 and VF-41 had begun transitioning to the F/A-18 Super Hornet and moved to CVW-11, VF-213 (formerly CVW-11) became part of CVW-8 instead. In July 2002, CVW-8 began accelerated work-up operations leading to a combat deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In October 2002 CVW-8 integrated Strike Fighter Squadron Two Hundred One (VFA-201), a reserve Navy FA-18A+ squadron, and embarked in USS "Theodore Roosevelt" in January 2002 for Caribbean training operations. The "Theodore Roosevelt" / CVW-8 team deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in March, at the conclusion of Caribbean training operations, and participated in combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom flying over 1,000 sorties and 5,000 hours that delivered over 1,000,000 pounds of precision-guided weapons. The USS "Theodore Roosevelt" / CVW-8 team returned from deployment in May 2003 and was chosen as the test platform for the Chief of Naval Operations Fleet Response Plan initiative.

In 2005, CVW-8 became the last carrier air wing to deploy with the F-14 Tomcat when it departed for the Persian Gulf with VF-31 and VF-213. Captain William Sizemore, Commander Carrier Air Wing Eight, landed the last F-14D Tomcat to participate in a combat mission when the last OIF line period concluded in February 2006. CVW-8 flew 16,000 sorties, logged 38,980 flight hours with a 97.3% sortie completion rate and dropped 61,000 pounds of ordnance.

CVW-8 and "Theodore Roosevelt" participated in Joint Task Force Exercise 08-4 Operation Brimstone off the coast of North Carolina between July 21 and July 31, 2008. The British carrier HMS|Ark Royal|R07|6, the amphibious assault ship USS|Iwo Jima|LHD-7|2 with associated units and the Brazilian Navy frigate "Greenhalgh" (F-46) and the French submarine "Améthyste" also participated in the event [ [ JTFEX 08-4 "Operation Brimstone" Flexes Allied Force Training] ] .

On September 8, 2008, VFA-213 and the rest of CVW-8 deployed onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt on a regularly-scheduled deployment [ [ USS Theodore Roosevelt Deploys in Support of Maritime Security Operations] ] . On October 4, the Roosevelt Carrier Group arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, the first visit by a American aircraft carrier since 1967 and three days later the carrier left Cape Town [ [ TR Completes South African Port Visit] ] .

Current force

Fixed wing aircraft

*F/A-18E Super Hornet
*F/A-18 Hornet
*EA-6B Prowler
*E-2 Hawkeye
*C-2 Greyhound
*S-3 Viking

Rotary wing aircraft

*SH-60F Seahawk
*HH-60H Seahawk

See also

List of United States Navy Carrier air wings


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