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VRC-30 SQUADRON HISTORY

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron THREE ZERO (VRC-30), traces its ancestry to Air Transport Squadron FIVE (VR-5) which was commissioned 24 June 1943 at Naval Air Station Seattle. The Squadron was tasked with flying the Douglas R-4D "Skytrain", R-5D "SkyMaster", Beechcraft SNB "Expeditor" and the Noorduyn JA-1 "Norseman" aircraft in regular air service to Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, the Aleutian Islands, Fairbanks and Point Barrow on the Alaskan Mainland. In 1948, the Naval Air Transportation Service and Air Transport Command merged and became the Military Air Transport Service. VR-5 was placed under the command of Fleet Logistics Support Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. In 1950, VR-5 moved its base of operations from NAS Seattle to NAS Moffett Field CA. Detachments were established in Seattle and at NAS North Island, CA. VR-5 was decommissioned 15 July 1957 and became VR-21, with detachments at Atsugi, Japan and NAS North Island. VR-21 was the first squadron to fly dedicated Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft, the TBM-3Rs, a transport version of the TBM-3E, the General Motors version of the World War II Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber. On 26 June 1958, VR-21 NAS North Island Detachment made the first COD with the Grumman C-1A Trader aircraft to the USS YORKTOWN (CV-10). The Detachment relocated to NAS Alameda in 1960.

On 1 October 1966 VR-21 was decommissioned. The Atsugi Detachment became VRC-50, and the Alameda Detachment was commissioned as Fleet Tactical Support Squadron THREE ZERO (VR-30) equipped with Convair C-131 Samaritans and C-1A Trader aircraft. VR-30's mission included logistics support for Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet units. On 9 November 1966, VR-30 made its first COD arrested landing in the C-1A on the USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31). The squadron was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for exemplary service from 1 January to 30 November 1967. From 1968 to 1973 VR-30 COD detachments operated aboard various carriers in support of recovery operations for Apollo X, XI, XII, and XVI.

In 1969, squadron C-1A's and crews operated from Danang, Republic of Vietnam in support of CTF-77. In 1971 VR-30 joined the Jet Age with two North American CT-39 Saberliners for high-speed executive airlift. In May 1973 the squadron received the first of four C-9B Skytrain II's to further improve its logistics support capability. On 12 March 1974 the Navy's first female Aviator, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Barbara A. Allen reported for duty. After relocating to NAS North Island, VR-30 was decommissioned on 1 October 1978 and VRC-30 was concurrently commissioned. VRC-30 transitioned to the C-2A in late 1981 by accepting deliveries of the first "Greyhounds", the aircraft the squadron operates today.

In February 1980, VRC-30 added the C-12 Fleet Replacement Squadron, providing ground and flight instruction for all Pacific Fleet Navy and Marine Corps Pilots and Aircrew in the UC-12B/F Beechcraft Super King Air. VRC-30's C-12 FRS acted as the Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet NATOPS Model Manager and Unit Evaluator, in addition to their primary job of flight instruction.

In 1994 VRC-30 took sole responsibility for Pacific Fleet C-2 operations by absorbing personnel and aircraft when VRC-50 was decommissioned. Four deployable sea going detachments were formed at North Island, supported by a "homeguard" shore component. VRC-30 Detachment FIVE was established in August 1994 in Atsugi, Japan as part of Carrier Air Wing FIVE and the Forward Deployed Naval Forces. The Providers earned Meritorious Unit Commendation for exemplary service from October 1993 to September 1994. The squadron earned its first COMNAVAIRPAC Battle Efficiency award in 1996. In 1997 VRC-30's Detachment THREE became the first fully integrated, night capable C-2 detachment when it deployed with CVW-2 aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64).

The century concluded with another "Battle E" award in 1998. The year also saw Detachments ONE and TWO earn the Golden Hook Award for best carrier landing grades in the air wing while operating in support of Operation DESERT FOX and Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. The Providers also earned their seventh Chief of Naval Operations Safety award since 1979.

The new millennium proved to be a continuation of the tradition of excellence for VRC-30. The squadron participated in every major military exercise on the west coast as well as combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. The Providers again earned the COMNAVAIRPAC Battle Efficiency award in 2002 and 2003. In 2004 VRC-30 stood down C-12 operations, focusing solely on the COD mission.

The years to follow saw several major developments and upgrades in the C-2A, beginning with the critical Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) in 2006. The SLEP increased the airframe lifespan from 10,000 flight hours or 15,000 carrier landings to 15,000 flight hours or 36,000 carrier landings. The program will allow the current fleet of Greyhounds to operate until 2027. The SLEP was followed by an aircraft rewire in 2008, and the most recent LOT 4 upgrade in August 2010. The LOT 4 upgrade, completed in September 2012, provided pilots with a new CNS-ATM glass cockpit and the eight-bladed NP2000 propeller system, which increased performance, reduced airframe vibration, and improved maintainability. During this period of substantial change and while maintaining a high operational tempo, the Providers continued to earn five more Battle Efficiency awards in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012.

The Providers recently completed a landmark year in 2013. VRC-30 utilized a minimal crew to execute a TRANSPAC Detachment, transferring two aircraft to the forward deployed Detachment FIVE in Atsugi, Japan, encompassing a total of 111.1 flight hours and 11,364 miles over a three-week period. In total, VRC-30 flew 4,180 mishap-free flight hours, safely transporting 13,787 passengers, 3,375 Distinguished Visitors, 13 MEDEVACS, and over 2.4 million pounds of mail and high priority cargo to every west coast carrier and Strike Group. This included overseas deployed operations in support of the USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) Strike Group, the USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) Strike Group, and the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73) Strike Group.

 
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Last Updated: February 13, 2014

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