The Bounty Hunters of Strike Fighter Squadron Two (VFA-2) recently sent a small detachment of their highly skilled aircrew and maintainers to Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Eglin, Fla. in support of the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron 101.
The Grim Reapers fly the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the Navy’s fifth generation fighter, and the newest addition to the long tradition of excellence in Naval Aviation. It has widely heralded capabilities in all spectrums of aerial warfare, most of which are a full generation ahead of our current capabilities.
Led by Lt. Andrew Christopher, the small but effective Bullet detachment was able to execute and accomplish their primary mission of supporting the Grim Reapers. Grim Reapers aircrew completed JSF syllabus and syllabus development sorties. Additionally, JSF aircrew completed F-35C NATOPS qualifications and flew F/A-18F currency sorties with the help of the Bullet Team.
The two week detachment also provided Bullet aircrew the opportunity to complete Unit Level Training events, further honing their air-to-air capabilities. While at Eglin AFB, the Bullets also supported Air Force assets from the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron. In doing so, the Bounty Hunters demonstrated their ability to serve in a joint capacity by providing test platforms and conducting Dissimilar Air-Combat Training.
Over 72 Bounty Hunters personnel attended the detachment and were afforded the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Destin beaches and other local tourist attractions during liberty. Those Bullets who were involved will have a quick turnaround, as the vast majority of the squadron will be headed for Key West, Fla., where the aircrew will continue to refine their air-to-air skill set and prowess with the Carrier Air Wing Two Broadsword team.
The future of Naval Aviation requires constant support from its existing assets. This latest Bullet detachment demonstrates how the Navy’s current aircraft, with their already superior capabilities, can help contribute to the future.